West Virginia Whiplash Injury Attorney
A large percentage of traffic accidents on roads around the country are low-speed, rear-impact collisions; fender-benders. These accidents may not seem serious at first blush. However, even low-speed accidents can cause nerve damage leading to ongoing pain that persists long after the accident occurs. Some researchers have estimated that as many as 85 percent of all neck injuries seen clinically in the U.S. result from car crashes, and 85 percent of those result from rear-end collisions. One of the most common injuries that occurs in all rear-end collisions, whether low or high speed, is whiplash syndrome. Our injury attorneys shed light on whiplashes and how a minor accident can result in sustaining injuries.
Even accidents that look minor from the outside can lead to this condition. If an accident has left you with a persistent injury causing you continuing pain, then you deserve appropriate compensation from the driver of the car that hit you. Because these claims can be tricky to prove, especially when the damage to the vehicles or structures involved is minimal, it is essential that you retain a skilled West Virginia car accident attorney to properly evaluate and preserve your claims, and get you the recovery you are owed.
What is Whiplash?
A sudden rear impact can cause a person’s neck to hyperextend; the car seat pushes their torso forward while the head and neck swings backwards. Neck hyperextension followed by sudden hyperflexion leads to whiplash injury. Whiplash can lead to significant cervical and neck injury, including nerve and tissue damage. Symptoms of whiplash include chronic pain, numbness, weakness, or functional limitations that can persist for months or even years after an accident.
Medical officials estimate that around 1 in 10 of all victims of rear-end collisions will develop whiplash to some extent. Further, as many as 10-15 percent of people who suffer soft tissue cervical damage will ultimately never reach full functional recovery. These injuries can take years to heal and may even require surgery.
Even low-speed crashes can cause whiplash
A surprising number of the neck injuries found by researchers resulted from low-speed crashes. High-speed crashes may break the back of a car seat which actually limits the force of hyperextension. On the other hand, lower speed impacts preserve the car seat but maximize hyperextension. Even impact from a car going under eight miles per hour can cause occupants to feel sudden g-force acceleration; as much as a two g force on the vehicle and 5 g force on the occupant’s head. According to medical researchers, due to the physics involved, peak head acceleration may be more than two and a half times as much as the peak acceleration of the vehicle that was hit, which means the occupants may suffer much more damage than the car itself. Researchers have found that accidents even as slow as five miles per hour can cause permanent neck injury.
Whiplash can be hard to prove
Medical experts have noted that even though the pain and other symptoms of whiplash can continue for years following an accident, the physical effects may not show up on radiological or other diagnostic techniques. X-ray and other medical technologies are not as precise in showing soft tissue damage as opposed to fractures or other types of injuries.
Victims of rear-end collisions should seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident to establish whether a persistent injury has occurred. Additionally, they should immediately consult with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer to make sure they are asking the right questions to gather and preserve the evidence necessary to prove whiplash injury exists and to maximize recovery from the parties that caused the injury.
HELP IS AVAILABLE FOR VICTIMS OF WEST VIRGINIA CAR ACCIDENTS SUFFERING FROM WHIPLASH
For help after a car accident in West Virginia, contact the experienced and dedicated Martinsburg personal injury lawyers at Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson for a free case evaluation at 304-263-0900 or 304-LAWYERS.