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Chronic pain can be a constant reminder of a car accident

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

The consequences of whiplash injuries in New Orleans and cities nationwide cost billions of dollars each year. Are you one of the thousands who are reminded each day of a rear-end accident and how it changed your life? Understanding whiplash and the damage it causes might help.

Are all whiplash injuries life-threatening?

A significant percentage of whiplash injuries cause no more than discomfort for several days. However, you might be one of the unfortunate victims whose life will never be the same. Understanding how seemingly minor injuries could have such contrasting consequences is not easy. While whiplash victims often face accusations of faking injury for economic gain, whiplash is real, and so are the symptoms and suffering it causes.

Whiplash facts

The following facts about whiplash injuries are important:

  • Despite its increased prevalence, people commonly overlook or mistreat whiplash for lack of understanding.
  • In most cases, whiplash follows the impact of a moving vehicle smashing into the rear of a stationary vehicle.
  • Exercising early on in the healing process promotes faster recovery than cervical collars or prolonged immobilization.
  • A poor education and treatment process for whiplash patients can result in chronic psychosocial symptoms.

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries to the neck. Typically, it results from the rapid forward motion, immediately followed by a backward motion of the neck and head after sudden acceleration or deceleration. It usually occurs to unrestrained people in motor vehicle accidents.

How does whiplash happen?

Recent research determined the most likely manner in which your whiplash injury occurred. Researchers used sophisticated crash dummies and high-speed cameras that showed that low cervical vertebrae (the lower bones in your neck) stretch out in a hyperextended position. Additionally, the upper cervical vertebrae (your upper neck bones) are hyperflexed. Following a rear impact, your cervical spine undergoes an unusual S-shape out of character with the normal motion. The soft tissues that connect your cervical vertebrae (ligaments, muscles, facet capsules) become damaged by this abnormal motion.

Financial consequences

Whiplash is not typically life-threatening, but it can be life-altering. If your whiplash injuries lead to long-term partial disability, you will likely face significant financial and emotional damages. However, if you can prove that the person who crashed into the rear of your vehicle was negligent or reckless, you might have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit in a civil court.

Your claims for damage recovery after a car accident could include medical care, including physical and other types of therapy. Other losses, like short-term lost wages, or long-term income and productivity losses, emotional pain and suffering and more, could form part of your claims. If successful, the New Orleans civil court might award a monetary judgment to cover documented damages.