In California, rear-end collisions (rear-end whiplash accidents) are the most common type of car accident. When a driver rear-ends someone else, that driver is always legally at fault, with very few exceptions. In rear-end auto accidents, liability is usually clear and undisputed. A typical problem that insurance adjusters have with these cases is the question of whether the person who got rear-ended really got hurt. It's important to understand that in car accidents as well as other vehicular accidents, the damage of the vehicle is not indicative of the damage to the bodies of this involved in the accident.
Even if your vehicle appears to be in good condition, it is important to seek medical advice and to prioritize your health. Many car accident victims will experience whiplash whether or not their vehicle has sustained great damage.
Even when liability is beyond question, the defendant's insurers will very often contest the victim's damages claims. To protect your entitlements in these situations, it is important for you to be able to demonstrate evidence that the force of the impact in the accident was enough to cause injuries. You should be able to present evidence of these injuries in medical reports.
At Mitchell Law Firm, our Bay Area car accident attorneys have helped many individuals in San Jose and the surrounding areas successfully file claims for the compensation they deserve. We know that assessing medical reports and carefully reviewing the accident situation are vital to building any strong case for an injury claim.
Rear-end collisions cause distinctly different types of injuries from those caused by head-on or side-swipe collisions. By far the most common injury in a rear-end car accident is so-called whiplash, a stretching or tearing of the neck muscles, ligaments and adjacent soft tissue as a result of high-speed flexion and extension of the neck and back.
Whiplash is a soft tissue injury to the ligaments, tendons and muscles. Doctors refer to such injuries as cervical sprain, cervical strain or hyper-extension injury (the neck tissue has extended beyond its normal range). A neck injury can impair your quality of life, causing intense pain, limitation of motion, sleeplessness and anxiety.
Whiplash may result in the following symptoms:
The presence or absence of motor vehicle bumper damage is an important consideration when estimating the severity of a low-speed, or minimal damage collision. As we are increasingly learning, however, even low-speed impacts can cause significant injury. Accident reconstructionists must be utilized to re-enact the accident, and persuasive workup of the biomechanics of injury by appropriate medical specialists is important during settlement negotiations and essential in the proper trial presentation.
If you were involved in a rear-end collision, there are a number of steps you should follow:
When high-enough speeds, weight differentials or other factors are involved, rear-enders certainly can cause serious injuries and even fatalities. Most low-speed rear-end car accidents, however, involve only relatively minor injuries. Even without spinal cord damage, traumatic injury to the soft tissues of the neck or back can result in severe pain, loss of mobility and interference with work.
It is no secret that insurance adjusters often pretend that so-called minor soft tissue whiplash injuries to the neck and back aren't "real" at all. If the insurance companies were to be believed, only "fakers" make such claimed injuries. If there was no significant property damage requiring the "Jaws of Life" to extricate the occupants of the rear-ended vehicle, could they really have been hurt? Insurance adjusters really think like this!
At best, they will characterize your claims of pain and discomfort as overstated. Insurance adjusters argue that such minor neck and back soft tissue injuries just heal in time on their own and absolutely no medical treatment, physical therapy or chiropractic care is ever required for these typical whiplash injuries involving strains/sprains to the neck and back. This, of course, is nonsense.
For those lucky folks who have never had a back injury, it is hard for them to understand just how serious, painful and disabling it can be. There are people with these attitudes who sit on juries. Some jury members may even believe that plaintiffs who complain of back injuries are just making it up. Because these biases are out there, most personal injury law firms shy away from these types of whiplash cases involving only minor soft tissue injuries.
Mitchell Law Firm, on the other hand, specializes in successfully handling such cases and we take great pride in doing so. We believe that an injury is an injury - regardless of the severity! Sustaining even minor injuries in an auto accident can be devastating, creating unwanted medical bills, loss of earnings, pain and stress on you, the victim and your family. We know how to confront and overcome resistance to the recognition of your overall damages claims.
One of the most important steps you can take to protect your legal rights after a minor rear-end auto accident is to see a doctor immediately. After your injuries are medically documented, follow your doctor's orders carefully regarding treatment, therapy, medications or possible referrals to other specialty physicians such as pain management specialists, neurologists or orthopedic surgeons. The next step is to talk with our law firm - we have a proven track record with cases similar to yours.
We stand ready, willing and able to help all injury victims who perhaps have only minor soft tissue neck and back injury cases. We are prepared to take on the big insurance companies and stand up for your rights. Our commitment is to offer the same dedication and focus to minor soft tissue "whiplash" injury cases as with our catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases.
You are encouraged to contact our firm for assistance even if you are unsure whether your rear-ended whiplash injuries warrant an attorney's attention. We'll be happy to help you. Call (888) 483-8614 today!
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