Fairfield Neck Injury Attorney
Neck injuries are common injuries in auto collisions. They occur from the whipping motion that your neck experiences when your car is jostled around in the impact. Seatbelts actually accentuate neck injuries. Most of us wear seatbelts while driving. Seatbelts are great safety devices for preventing your head from going through the windshield or hitting the steering wheel. But the seatbelt straps your body to the sear, while your neck is free move forward, backward or from side to side with the motion of the automobile.
For instance, when your automobile is struck from behind, the laws of physics dictate that your body will be drawn to the force that hit you. So this means your body is pushed toward the rear of your car where you were hit. This happens extremely fast. In fact, scientists who have studies this have to use slow motion photography to be able to capture it on camera. After you are forced to the rear by the rear end impact, your body naturally moves forward again. This moving backward and forward makes your spine whip around like a whip.
The injury occurs because the human neck is not strong enough to sustain such a whipping motion without injury. The neck is really part of the spinal column. The spine is composed of bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae have a hole in the center through which the spinal cord runs. The spinal cord carries information from the brain to other parts of the body. In between the vertebrae are gelatinous discs which act like a cushion in between the vertebrae, and allow the spine to be flexible and move softly. If the bones of the vertebrae were merely sitting on top of each other, then the spine would not be so flexible, and every movement would be very painful.
Surrounding the spinal column are ligaments and muscles which provide stability to the spinal column. When you experience the whipping motion in an auto collision, these ligaments and muscles get stretched and are often torn. The tearing of these ligaments and tissues cause instability in the spine, and this causes the pain. These injuries are very real injuries and can cause significant pain. This injury is often called a soft tissue injury, for there are no broken bones and the injury is only to the muscles.
Often the pain that comes with such an injury is delayed. The pain could be delayed for several hours or even days. Many of my clients feel it the most when they wake-up the next morning. This delay in pain often causes my clients to not tell the investigating police officer that they have pain. Also, the client may not have gone to get medical attention for several days after the incident. Sometimes, jurors can’t understand how such a delay occurs. However, its really quite common. Immediately after an auto collision a person’s body gets a rush of adrenaline. This adrenaline causes us to now feel the pain.
In my practice, I have seen several cases of people who have had severe long lasting pain as a result of such an injury. In one case, a young woman, approximately twenty years old, was in a significant collision. This person experienced such significant pain, that she was no longer able to work. She was in chronic pain that prevented her from being able to concentrate. Sometimes, the pain was so bad that she had to be heavily medicated. In this particular case, the young woman actually experienced two auto collisions on the same day.
In another case, a man in his late forties was traveling approximately forty miles an hour down on a public road, when another came out of a driveway into the road hit him broadside. My client engaged in some defensive driving techniques, but still ended up doing a one hundred and eighty degree turn. This person also was left unable to work because the constant nagging pain from this type of injury was so bad, he couldn’t do his normal job. The client had to seek ways of training for other work.
Other people may not suffer as serious an injury. Some people are better within a few days and need no further treatment. Still others may need a few weeks of physical therapy or chiropractic care to get better. Whatever type of treatment is sought, the patient must follow up and be consistent with their treatment. Both chiropractors and physical therapists will say that consistent therapy over a period of time is the best way to make sure that such an injury will be cured. Whether a person is receives such an injury in an auto collision often depends on the underlying strength of the person’ s muscles when the injury occurs. The stronger the muscles, then the less likely that an injury will occur. The older a person is, the more likely their muscles will be weaker, and more likely to suffer this type of injury.
Proving that my client has experienced this type of injury is difficult. This type of injury does not show up on an X-ray, and MRI or a CT-scan. Its easy for jurors to be skeptical that an injury has actually occurred. Proving this type of injury requires careful and skilled presentation of medical evidence from a health care professional. Preferably, my client can have her Orthopedist testify, however, a chiropractor will suffice if necessary. The doctor must be able to explain the anatomy of the spine and how such an injury occurred in careful terms that a jury can understand. When presented properly juries can find that such an injury occurred.
I know numerous very good trial attorneys who no longer take these kinds of cases. Nevertheless, I take them because I know I have done well with them. If you have this kind of an injury please call my office.