Colorado Springs Whiplash Lawyer

The most misunderstood injury commonly caused by car accidents in Colorado Springs is whiplash. Because it cannot be seen, people sometimes assume that sufferers are malingering or even faking their injuries. Whiplash is, in fact, a very common injury that is most often caused by rear-end collisions. With more than 200,000 cases of whiplash reported every year, and it  is one of the most common injuries seen in automobile accidents. If you suffered this serious injury following a collision, you should speak with a Colorado Springs whiplash lawyer.

Fact Patterns

Some common facts surrounding these injuries include:

  • While it is most commonly seen in Colorado Springs car accidents, these injuries may also be caused by roller coasters, football, falls, and other high impact activities.
  • The medical term for whiplash is a cervical acceleration-deceleration syndrome. It’s also commonly referred to as a sprain or strain of the spine.
  • The most common injury occurs when a car is hit from behind, causing sudden acceleration. The person’s body continues to accelerate with the seat the body is attached to; the person’s head, not attached to the seat, does not move forward. Opposite movements of the head and body cause the person’s spine to curve unnaturally and at unsafe speeds. When the car comes to a stop, the head snaps back, hits the headrest, and snaps forward again.
  • The repeated violent movements of the head and neck can damage the vertebrae, soft tissues of the neck and spine, and discs in the neck and back.

Heavier cars, and those with reinforced frames can help protect riders from injury, but may not be as effective in preventing whiplash. The vehicle’s frame may absorb a lot of the impact in a collision, preventing the car from crumbling, but the forces that cause whiplash to happen as a result of acceleration and deceleration, and even the sturdiest vehicles cannot eliminate those forces. Thus, an accident with very little damage evident can still lead to these injuries.

How are Whiplash Injuries Diagnosed?

A crash at high speeds is more likely to affect the severity of an injury, but the forces that cause whiplash can occur even at relatively low speeds. These injuries have been confirmed in crashes with speeds of less than ten miles per hour. Whiplash injuries are commonly divided into four categories, according to the type and severity of symptoms, and the physician’s clinical observations.

  • Grade 1 involves the patient reporting neck stiffness and pain; a physical examination does not reveal any visible injury.
  • Grade 2 includes physical pain, with a clinical observation of a reduced range of motion.
  • Grade 3 involved additional neurological symptoms, such as muscle weakness, decreased reflexes, numbness or tingling, and limited range of motion.
  • Grade 4 injuries include fractures, dislocations, or spinal cord damage.

What to Do After a Collision

If you are in an accident in which you have been hit from behind, or in any circumstances where whiplash might be possible, you should be aware of the possibility of suffering one of these injuries. It is tempting, in a seemingly minor collision where the damage to the vehicles is minimal, to simply continue on one’s way without calling the police or taking any action.

There is a risk involved in such a course of action. Once you leave the scene of the accident, evidence that might prove who was at fault may be lost. Even if you exchange information with the other driver, things may change after some time passes. A driver who willingly admits responsibility may change his mind later. Potential witnesses will disappear and their statements will be lost. Even more important, you may have a whiplash injury and not be aware of it until the next day, or even later.

With no record of the accident, it will be almost impossible for you to prove that an after-discovered injury was not caused somewhere else. If you experience any pain at all after an accident, you should see a doctor. Even if you do not experience immediate pain or discomfort, a doctor can examine you for hidden injuries. A mild injury may not require any treatment beyond rest and mild pain relievers, but it may cause you to miss work, school, or other activities. Once you have ensured your health and safety you should reach out to a Colorado Springs lawyer if you suffered whiplash in an accident.

Treatment and Recovery

Recovery times for these injuries vary according to the severity of the injury, the age of the injured person, the presence of a pre-existing condition, and other factors. Most mild symptoms clear up within days. More severe cases may require more extensive diagnostic tools and treatments. Some cases may involve permanent nerve or spinal damage. Headaches, fatigue, anxiety, memory disturbances, and muscle spasms have also been reported after these injuries.

Common treatments include immobilization of the neck, heat or cold applied to the area, muscle relaxers, and painkillers. Many whiplash sufferers find relief with chiropractic care, but make sure to consult your physician before seeking chiropractic treatment. In severe cases, more invasive treatments, including surgery, may be required. A Colorado Springs whiplash attorney could help you pursue compensation for your treatment following an accident.

Contact a Colorado Springs Whiplash Accident Attorney

In any accident case, you should not be in a hurry to accept a settlement from an insurance company. Once you accept a settlement, you give up your right to collect any money in the future. Accepting a settlement too soon can be disastrous if you have not completely recovered from any injuries. Do not let any insurance company pressure you into accepting a hasty settlement if you have any doubts at all about whether you are fully recovered.

Your Colorado Springs personal injury law firm can help get payment for medical expenses while your case is pending, so you should not feel pressured to accept an early settlement.

The Colorado Springs whiplash lawyers at Springs Law Group know how to handle an injury case. We do not charge you any legal fees unless we get a settlement or award for you. Our initial consultation is free.