Being involved in a car crash can dramatically change your quality of life. Even seemingly minor collisions can leave you with debilitating injuries, such as whiplash, that prevent you from going to work or spending time with your family. The pain and financial uncertainty can easily become overwhelming. Luckily, the law may be on your side. If another driver was at-fault, a whiplash lawyer in Pittsburgh at Berger and Green can help you recover compensation that is rightfully yours: 412-661-1400.
How Car Accidents Cause Neck Injuries
Rear-end collisions are notorious for causing whiplash, herniated discs, and other neck injuries. During this type of car crash, the impact often throws people in the front vehicle forward while the seatbelt throws them backward. As both cars stop moving, the passengers’ necks snap forward just like a whip cracking.
When this snapping motion happens, the people in the car can suffer an injury to their bones, discs between the bones, nerves, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
In addition to rear-end collisions, other types of car crashes can cause neck injuries too. During a head-on collision, T-bone collision, or vehicle rollover, the forces the impact places on the body can do serious damage to the neck.
Additionally, if there is a physical blow to the front, back, or sides of the neck or head, injuries are bound to occur.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is a straining of the soft tissue in your neck. For most people, it takes months of medical treatment and neck exercises to fully recover from whiplash. In some cases, people with whiplash may never fully recover, and instead must deal with chronic neck pain and other ongoing complications for the rest of their lives.
Victims suffering from whiplash after a car accident will experience:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Limited range of motion in the neck
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
Some whiplash victims may also suffer blurred vision, irritability, trouble sleeping, and ringing in the ears.
Treatment for whiplash always involves rest. This may mean taking time off from work and other strenuous activities. In many cases, sufferers of whiplash must also undergo expensive medical treatments, use pain medication, muscle relaxants, and possibly even receive injections of Lidocaine, a numbing medication that eases the pain of whiplash long enough for victims to complete physical therapy sessions. In some cases, the person may need to wear a foam collar.
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What is a herniated disc?
Your spine comprises alternating bones and discs. These discs, which cushion the vertebrae, contain cartilage and a soft, gel-like center.
When an accident places too much pressure on your spine, the cartilage can tear and the gel-like center can “herniate” or ooze out. When this happens, the disc no longer cushions the bone and may also place pressure on the nerves.
Victims suffering from a cervical herniated disc after a car accident could experience:
- Neck, shoulder, and arm pain
- Numbness or tingling in one arm
- Weakness in arms and shoulders
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
Treatment for a cervical herniated disc also includes rest and time off from work and other strenuous activities. Sufferers of herniated discs may also require pain medication, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory medicine, and physical therapy.
While healing, you will likely be unable to lift heavy items or even bend too far forward. In extreme cases of herniated discs, surgery may be necessary. Usually, surgery is necessary if the disc presses too hard on the nerves inside your spine. Depending on the severity of the herniation, a doctor may need to remove the disc entirely and fuse the bones together. Surgery will likely require more time off work to recover.
What damages can you recover for your neck injury?
If you were injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you are likely entitled to compensation, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death
Proving the value of your damages can be difficult, especially for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering which can be difficult to put a number on.
There are different types of evidence that you can use to establish both liability for the accident and proof of your injuries. Arguably, the most important of these pieces of evidence are police reports and medical reports.
A police report will help you prove that the accident did in fact happen and that it was the other driver’s fault. It will also contain any contact for eyewitnesses who can give an unbiased account of the accident.
Medical reports will help prove that you suffered injuries in the accident. This is important as the insurer may claim that you are exaggerating your injuries or that you received them doing something else.
That is why it is imperative that you go to the doctor as soon as possible following your accident, even if you think you are fine. Whiplash symptoms may take days to appear, by which time it may be too late to prove they are accident-related.
Other pieces of evidence that can help you recover damages after a car accident include:
- Traffic camera footage of the crash
- Paystubs and W-2s (to prove lost wages)
Gathering this evidence can be difficult, but a Pittsburgh whiplash attorney from Berger and Green can help.
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Contact a Whiplash Lawyer in Pittsburgh
The accident attorneys at Berger and Green here in Pittsburgh are ready to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Do not let your whiplash injuries from a car crash control your life.
Contact us today for an evaluation of your case and for help collecting evidence: 412-661-1400.