Articles Posted in Whiplash

hyperflexion.jpgIf you’ve been injured in a car or truck accident, you might have concerns including how to pay for medical treatment after your accident. The Farber Law Group is a personal injury law firm in Bellevue, Washington with more than 30 years experience representing car accident victims and their families.

We often represent car accident victims who have suffered a whiplash injury. Car accident victims can suffer whiplash injuries even in car accidents that appear relatively minor. A whiplash injury is often misunderstood and mistreated but can lead to loss of mobility, chronic pain, disability and symptoms including anxiety and depression.

Whiplash Defined

Whiplash injuries can occur when a person’s neck rapidly moves forward and then backwards when the vehicle they are riding in struck from behind or involved in an accident. A whiplash injury is a term that can be used to describe an injury to the bone structures and the soft tissues of the neck.

While whiplash is not a life-threatening injury, it lead to partial disability which requires medical care.

While many people recover from a few weeks to a few months after their car accident, some whiplash injuries have lingering effects without proper treatment.

Symptoms of Whiplash

A whiplash injury can result in neck stiffness, pain, headache and shoulder pain and stiffness. Sometimes patients can also experience jaw pain, weakness in the limbs, visual disturbances, ringing in the ears and problems with vision.

Whenever a person suffers chronic pain, they can also experience depression, anxiety, stress, problems with sleep, frustration and anger.

Whiplash Diagnosis

After an accident, a patient will need to be examined by a physician to determine if there are injuries which reqire treatment. Based on reported symptoms and an examination, the doctor may prescribe a cervical collar around the neck. The doctor may also order x-rays to check for serious injuries. If the x-rays are normal but the patient still have pain, the patient may have soft tissue damage which does not show up on normal x-rays. MRI exams may be used to detect injuries to the soft tissues.

Treatment for Whiplash

Treatment for whiplash injury can vary but the injury often requires immobilization of the neck for a short period with a cervical collar followed by physical therapy. Studies have found that wearing a collar for too long can actually cause the muscles to atrophy. It is important that medical treatment be sought soon after the accident and treatment started as early as possible.

How a Personal Injury Attorney can help

If you have been injured in a car accident, a personal injury attorney can help you by reviewing your medical records; establishing how the injury affected you emotionally, physically and financially; and filing a claim for compensation on your behalf.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have suffered whiplash injury in a car accident requiring medical intervention.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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seatbelt-602535-m.jpgThe National Safety Council calls the summer months, “100 deadliest days for teen drivers” because car accidents kill more teenagers in the U.S. than any other cause and the rate of deadly crashes increases during summer months.
 
With Bellevue and Seattle schools now out for summer, let’s take a chance to review the most effective ways to protect our teens as they drive more during the summer.
 
We have talked a lot about distracted driving and texting and driving but the number one reason teens die in auto accidents is that they were not wearing a seatbelt. Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to prevent serious injury or death in a motor vehicle accident yet more than 50% of all teenagers who were killed in car accidents in 2012 were not wearing a seat belt. Teenage drivers, especially teenage boys, are some of the biggest offenders in not wearing a seat belt.
 
Importance of Seat Belts
 
Seat belts save lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that more than 15,000 people are saved every year when they are involved in auto accidents because they were wearing a seat belt.
 
Not only do seat belts save lives but they protect against serious injuries including traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. Seat belts prevent injury and death in the following ways:
 

  1. Prevents the occupants from a car from being thrown from the car. When a person is thrown from the car, they can suffer catastrophic injuries. People who are ejected from a car or truck are nearly four times likely to be killed.
  2. Restrains a person at the hips and shoulders which are the body’s strongest parts.
  3. Spreads collision forces across the body which lessens injury.
  4. Protects the spinal column and the brain.
  5. Slows the body down when the vehicle abruptly stops.

 Suggestions for teens  
A positive approach is a great way to talk to your teenage driver about the benefits of wearing a seatbelt. Remind teens that:

  • Washington law requires seatbelt use by everyone person in their car.
  • Wearing a seatbelt makes them a role model for other people, especially young children, riding in their vehicle.
  • Require passengers to wear a seatbelt because you care about them.
  • Ask friends to wear a seatbelt to avoid a $124 ticket.

Seat a good example for your teen by wearing a seatbelt each and every time that you drive.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those who have been killed.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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bellevue car accident lawyerAs Bellevue personal injury attorneys, we have spent the last 30 years representing car accident victims and their families. We know that teenage drivers are more prone to get into car accidents than other drivers still it was troubling to read a new study by Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) which reveals that teenage drivers between 15-17 are about eight times more likely than young adult drivers to be involved in a fatal car accident if they have passengers in their vehicle.

The TTI study gave both the good and bad news. The good news is that fatal car accidents for drivers 15-17 years old are down 60% nationwide in the last 10 years. The bad news is that the fatal car accident risk for 15-17 year old teenage drivers with teen passengers in their vehicle is up 30%.

While the TTI study did not look at the cause of the increase in fatal car accident among teenage drivers they did point out two factors that may be at play here:

  1. Text messaging and cell phone usage became ubiquitous during this same time period
  2. Speeding was a common factor in the fatal car accidents during the past 10 years.

Washington state has tried to address the problem of teenage drivers driving with other young people in the car by creating an intermediate driver’s license. For teen drivers under the age of 18, they are prohibited from driving with passengers under the age of 20 years old except for immediate family members for the first six month after obtaining their license. For the next six months, they are not allowed to have more than three passengers under the age of 20 who are not family members in the car.

In addition to restrictions on the number and age of passengers in their vehicle, the intermediate license laws prohibit teens for driving between 1am and 5am for the first 12 months unless they are supervised by a licensed driver who is 25 years or older.

The intermediate driver license law also prohibits teenage drivers from using cell phones or other wireless devices while driving even if the devices are hands-free.

The Washington law was created because lawmakers know that teen drivers transporting their friends are often distracted by the passengers in their vehicle. Studies also show that teenage male drivers are more apt to drive aggressively when they have peers in their car including speeding.
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The Insurance institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has just released a video which shows how they conduct rear-end crash tests to see how well car seats protect people from whiplash injury.

The IIHS developed BioRID, a dummy which was built to simulate the human anatomy with a spine and a vertebrae. The head, neck and torso of the dummy simulates how a real person would move and the likelihood of a whiplash or neck injury in a rear-end crash at 20mph.

The video is pretty interesting to watch and one can see it here on the IIHS YouTube channel.

 

 

The IIHS, along with motor vehicle manufacturers, have found that the design of car seats and headrests/restraints is effective in reducing the risk of whiplash injuries. According to the IIHS, over 60% of new motor vehicles have head restraint systems that are rated “good.”

Whiplash Injury

Whiplash is a non-medical term which people use to describe a wide range of injuries to the neck caused when there is  hyperflexion and hyperextension of the neck in motor vehicle accidents. Whiplash injuries are most common in rear-end car accidents though they can also occur in falls or during contact sports.

Whiplash injuries can occur even in low-speed car accidents and the IIHS is currently doing their testing at 20mph.

In a whiplash injuries, the bones, discs, muscles and tendons in a person’s neck can sustain a sprain or a more serious injuries. Sometimes, a person can sustain a spinal cord injury which can result in qudriplegia or even death.
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Neck sprains or strains, also known as whiplash, are one of the most commonly reported injuries after an auto accident. In fact, 57% or more of people who make insurance claims after an accident report minor neck injuries.

The term whiplash encompasses both muscle strain and tearing of the soft tissue. In more serious cases of whiplash, there can be damage to the nerves, discs and ruptures to ligaments or even neck fractures.

Whiplash injuries are most often sustained after a rear-impact accident. This is because, when a vehicle is hit from the rear it accelerates forwards but the head often whips forward more than the torso causing an injury to the neck. Researches hypothesize that even in slight hyperextension of the neck can cause nerve damage.

The severity of the injury is affected my many factors. The height of the person is one factor. Head restraints, if not at the correct height, fail to protect the person. It is important that head restraints are adjusted to match a person’s height.

Gender is also a factor in who sustains a whiplash injury in a car accident. Females are 1.8 to 2.2 times at risk for a whiplash injury. One hypothesis for the reason is that males have more developed neck muscles than females.

Where a person is sitting in the vehicle also raises or diminishes ones risk of a neck injury in a rear end car accident. Drivers are more at risk for whiplash than passengers. One reason for this might be is that passengers tend to be more relaxed in the seat and seated less prone than drivers.

The importance of adjusting the head rest

Because head restraints are so important in preventing whiplash and neck injuries, everyone should make sure their head restraints are adjusted properly. I came across this really common sense video on the importance of adjusting a head rest by Eric The Car Guy. Eric posted this video after he was an a car accident and suffered a sore neck. Check with your own vehicle’s owner’s manual on tips on how to adjust the head rest in your car.

 

 
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Four 2013 model year small cars, the Acura ILX, Ford Escape, Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ were just awarded the “Top Safety Pick” award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

To receive the award, the vehicle must receive a good performance in the following categories:

  • Moderate overlap frontal test — this test measures how occupants of a motor vehicle fare in a front-end car accident when the force of impact is not head-on and the front crumple zone is impacted. Approximately 50% of those killed in motor vehicle accidents die in frontal crashes. This test insures that occupant compartments are strong and protect passengers along with seat belts and airbags.
  • Side crash test — this test measures how passengers fare in side impact crashes. Approximately 25% of those killed in car accidents die in side impact or t-bone auto accidents.
  • Roof strength test — this test measures how a vehicle would far in a rollover car accident. More than 10,000 people die every year in rollover accidents. Roof strength tests how much the roof is crushed when a metal plate is pushed against one side of the roof. The auto industry has added Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to vehicles which can prevent a rollover accident in the first place.
  • Rear Test — this test measures the head restraint system and how it protects motorists in rear-end car accidents. Head restraint systems are important because they can prevent a whiplash injury in a rear-end car accident.

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seattle car accident and whiplash injury attorneyFlorencio Gonzalez Sr. was driving a van with his five children on board when he was rear-ended by car driven by an intoxicated college student. Stanley Bryant, 20, who was driving his father’s car, had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .22 BAC when he hit Gonzalez’s van.

The force of the rear-end collision pushed Gonzalez’s van into oncoming traffic where the van collided with a car driven by Irma Jo Gregory. The collision was so severe that the van was ripped open and the rear seat, with two of Gonzalez’s children in it, was thrown 30 feet.

Florencio Sr. filed a negligence lawsuit against Byrant on behalf of himself and his minor children. Gregory and Gonzalez’s 19-year-old son also joined in on the lawsuit claiming that Bryant was negligent for driving while intoxicated and for failing to provide a proper lookout in rear-ending the van.

Two of Gonzalez’s children — Ricardo, 12, and Florencio, 19, were the most seriously injured.

Ricardo suffered serious injuries to his legs with fractures to his tibia and fibula. His growth plate was affected in one leg which could affect the leg’s normal growth pattern. Ricardo had to undergo surgery to put screws in his legs to stabilize the fractures. He faces an additional surgery. His past medical expenses totaled $77K and his future medical expenses are estimated between $30-60K.

Florencio, 19 suffered a knee injury and had to undergo laparoscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He also suffered a sprained ankles. His past medical expenses totaled $40.4K and his future medical expenses are estimated between $25-30K.

Gonzalez’s other three children, Selenia, 17; Leslie, 14; and Kirby, 10; suffered soft tissue damage and whiplash injuries. In addition, Kirby suffered a hairline fracture to his tibia.
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Just a few days ago we wrote about a Washington wrong way driver who drove nearly 17 miles on Interstate 5 before police were able to stop her. In that wrong way driving incident, no one was injured.

Unfortunately, another wrong-way driver – again on Interstate 5 – has been involved in an accident early Sunday morning, this time sending 6 people to the hospital.

This wrong-way accident occurred on Interstate 5 in Tukwila near the South center exit around 3:30am when the wrong-way driver collided head-on with a car with 5 teenagers on board.

All but one of the injured were taken to Valley Medical Center. The most seriously injured was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle according to KOMO News.

Police suspect that the wrong-way driver was under the effects of alcohol at the time of the accident.

In the other wrong way driving incident, Pamela Drawsby a 60-year-old retired teacher from Olympia, drove at high speeds of up to 100 mph. The Highway Patrol reports that her blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time she was arrested was 0.12 percent. They also believe that she may have been under the influence of prescription medications. Drawsby has entered a not guilty plea.

Head-On Car Accidents

When two cars collide head-on, the results are often deadly. The combined force of two vehicles colliding at 50mph usually totals both vehicles.. Often, the results are deadly.
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A Florida jury has awarded Lou Sink, 50, $395,000 in damages after his car was rear-ended by an SUV driven by Andrea Derantany, leaving Sink with serious injuries.

Sink suffered multiple injuries in the car accident including fractured ribs and a spinal fracture and rupture. He had to undergo fusion surgery, a laminectomy and his recovery included six months of physical therapy.

Even after the surgeries and therapy, Sink still suffer pains and he has limited range-of-motion.

Sink filed suit against Deratany claiming her negligence caused the accident. He also filed suit against Deratany’s spouse because he was owner of the SUV.

The jury awarded Sink $395,000. His medical bills were $180,000.

Defense attorneys have asked for a new trail and a “remittitur” which is a legal term asking the judge to reduce or throw out a jury’s verdict.

Sink’s injuries are typical of a rear-end car accident. Even at moderate speeds, drivers can experience whiplash or a more severe and permanent injury such as a disk herniation.

Often laymen refer to these kind of injuries as “whiplash“. Whiplash is not a medical diagnosis but it describes what happens when there is a hyperflexion/hyperextension injury. In Mr. Sink’s case, he suffered a thoracic fracture which is an injury to the middle segment of the vertebral column.

Whiplash injuries can occur in any type of car accident but they most often occur in rear-end collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTS) estimates that approximately 800,000 suffer a whiplash injuries every year and about 33% of these were from rear-end accidents.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who suffered serious injuries due to car accidents including whiplash. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.

Case Citation: Sink v. Deratany, No. 05-2010-CA-010370 (Fla., Brevard Co. Cir. Apr. 13, 2011).

Related Posts:

What is a Whiplash injury?

Do you have whiplash symptoms after a Bellevue car accident?

Woman suffers neck and back injuries in I-5 rear-end car accident near Castle Rock
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A Centralia hit-and-run car accident on Interstate 5 injured 4 women late Saturday night. Four women between the ages of 58-71 all suffered back injuries when the car they were riding in was rear-ended by a driver who then fled the accident.

The Olympian reports that a Tacoma man, 30, was speeding in a Mitsubishi Montero on northbound Interstate 5 when he rear-ended a Cadillac driven by a 58-year-old Rochester woman. The Tacoma man then fled the accident scene by foot.

Four women in the Cadillac were taken to Providence Centralia hospital for treatment of back injuries.

The Centralia K-9 unit apprehended the Tacoma man and he faces charges of DUI, reckless driving, hit-and-run among others offenses.

Often a rear-end car accident can leave the victim with whiplash injuries. Whiplash injuries is a descriptive term for hyperflexion/hyperextension injury and occurs when the vehicle is pushed forward on impact and the victim’s head snaps backwards. Because the movement is violent and is outside of the neck’s normal range of motion, muscles in the neck and upper body are damaged.

The victims in this car accident would be well-advised to contact a personal injury attorney who can determine whether the driver that hit their car was insured.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in car accidents including those with whiplash injuries.

Related Posts:

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Auburn man injured in Kent hit-and-run car accident


Four people injured in East Wenatchee rear-end car accident

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