Whiplash injuries are commonly associated with rear-end car crashes. However, you can sustain whiplash and other soft tissue injuries from any type of collision. Unfortunately, these types of car accident injuries are often treated as “minor” or “exaggerated” injuries by insurance companies. Our Sacramento car accident attorneys help whiplash victims recover the compensation they deserve after an injury.
In this article we discuss:
- What Is Whiplash?
- How Can I Tell If I Have Whiplash?
- Why Can Whiplash Claims Be More Difficult To Settle?
- What Can I Do To Help My Attorney With My Whiplash Claim?
- Do’s And Don’ts Of A Whiplash Insurance Claim
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is most often associated with a car accident. However, a person may develop whiplash from any blow to the head or jolt to the head that causes the head to “jerk” forward and backward in a “whipping” motion, such as a fall, contact sports, bicycling injuries, abuse, or even amusement park rides. It is called whiplash because of this sudden, violent whipping motion of the neck and head.
When your head suddenly jerks forward and backward, the motion stretches the tendons and muscles in your neck. In some cases, the force of the movement can cause tears in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck. Some individuals may experience immediate pain; however, it could day hours or days for the stiffness and pain to become uncomfortable or unbearable for someone.
Even though whiplash is considered a relatively mild injury, some cases of whiplash can cause long-term impairment and chronic pain. Some accident victims may develop complications from whiplash. Therefore, it is extremely important that accident victims recognize the symptoms of whiplash and see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
How Can I Tell If I Have Whiplash?
The symptoms of whiplash usually develop within a day of the injury, but some individuals with a high tolerance for pain may not realize how severe the injury may be for a few days following the accident. Whiplash symptoms may include:
- Stiffness and pain in the neck and/or shoulders
- Loss of range of motion when you try to turn your head or move your neck
- Pain that increases with neck movement
- Headaches that may begin at the base of the skull
- Fatigue or sleep disturbances
- Dizziness, blurred vision, and/or ringing in the ears
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
- Pain or tenderness in the arms, shoulders, or upper back
- Difficulty with concentration or memory
- Depression or irritability
Whiplash can often be treated with time, rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and ice packs. However, additional treatments may be necessary if the pain, stiffness, or impaired range of motion continues. A doctor can perform a physical examination and other diagnostic tests to determine the extent of the injury. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, a doctor may perform x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computerized tomography (CT scans) to determine the extent of damage caused by the whiplash.
Other forms of treatment that might be prescribed to treat whiplash include:
- Muscle relaxants
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- Cervical collars
It is important to remember that each case of whiplash is different. The individual’s health conditions and other factors may also impact the severity of the injury. As with any car accident injury, it is usually a wise decision to see a doctor for an examination as soon after the crash as possible to diagnose the full extent of injuries sustained in the accident. Prompt medical treatment can help reduce the risk of long-term complications and permanent impairments after a car accident.
Why Can Whiplash Claims Be More Difficult To Settle?
Injuries to the muscles, ligaments, or tendons anywhere in the body are referred to as soft tissue injuries. These injuries include strains, sprains, and whiplash. Even though soft tissue injuries can cause severe pain and long-term impairments, these injuries are often overlooked and underestimated. Some of the reasons it can be difficult to recover full compensation for a whiplash injury include:
- Whiplash can be difficult to diagnose. Because there no outward signs of trauma, a physician must rely on the symptoms reported by an accident victim. A victim may experience severe pain even though diagnostic tests do not reveal substantial damage. Because the pain and symptoms are subjective, insurance companies often claim that accident victims are exaggerating their symptoms to recover a larger settlement.
- Whiplash symptoms may not be present for several days after the initial trauma. A person may attempt to treat the symptoms at home before seeing a physician. The delay in symptoms and the delay in medical treatment is used by an insurance company to argue that the injury was not sustained in the accident. The adjuster may argue that if the victim had been injured, he or she would have sought medical treatment immediately.
- There is a history of fraud related to whiplash and other soft tissue injuries. Unfortunately, some people make false claims after car accidents. They use whiplash and other soft tissue injuries as a way to recover compensation because they understand that it is difficult to prove or disprove the severity of pain and impaired motion. Because of a few individuals seeking to take advantage of the claims system, insurance companies have become wary of whiplash claims.
Even though a soft tissue injury may not result in outward trauma, that does not mean an individual is not in pain. Chronic whiplash can result in a lifetime of pain and reduced range of motion. Therefore, it is important to treat any neck injury seriously. Seeking medical treatment and consulting with a Sacramento personal injury lawyer can help you protect your right to recover the compensation you deserve for a whiplash injury.
What Can I Do To Help My Attorney With My Whiplash Claim?
Seeing your doctor and calling your attorney are two of the best ways to help your attorney with a whiplash claim. However, because whiplash injuries can vary greatly, it can also be very helpful to keep a daily journal recording your daily struggles after the car crash. Things to note in your journal include:
- Your pain level each day, including the level of stiffness and limited motion. Make sure you give detailed examples and descriptions. For instance, rate your pain level on a scale from 1 to 10 and state how far you can raise your arms or turn your head.
- Keep a detailed list of the tasks you are unable to perform each day because of the injury. For example, you need help getting dressed, you cannot pick up your child without pain, or you cannot perform certain household chores.
- If you miss family or work functions because of the injury, make sure you note these in your journal with the date and reason you could not attend.
- In addition to the pain, make sure you list all related symptoms and the severity of those symptoms.
- If your doctor prescribes a certain treatment, make notes about whether the treatment helped or failed. If the treatment helped, how did it help?
A whiplash injury claim is based on medical evidence; however, your detailed notes can help your attorney demonstrate how your neck injury severely impacted your life.
Do’s And Don’ts Of A Whiplash Insurance Claim
Several do’s and don’ts of a whiplash insurance claim include:
- DO SEE AN ATTORNEY as soon as possible after your accident. An attorney can help you avoid mistakes that could hurt your chance of recovering compensation.
- DO see a doctor as soon as possible and follow your doctor’s instructions.
- DO report your symptoms to your doctor truthfully. Resist the urge to exaggerate, but also resist the urge to understate your symptoms
- DON’T return to work or normal activities until your doctor advises you to do so.
- DON’T provide the insurance company with a written or recorded statement until you meet with a Sacramento personal injury lawyer.
- DON’T sign a medical release form for the insurance company.
- DON’T post on social media accounts without consulting with an injury lawyer. Insurance companies often use this information to claim you were not injured as severely as you claim.
- DO refrain from discussing your injuries with friends or family members, other than immediate family members who are helping with your care.
- DO keep a daily journal recording your pain level and other details about your recovery.
- DO keep receipts and records of all expenses and financial losses.
- DON’T accept a settlement offer without discussing the offer with a Sacramento personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to additional compensation.
Contact a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney About Your Whiplash Injury
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, our attorneys can help you file an insurance claim to hold the person responsible for the crash liable for your damages.
To find out more about accident claims and the compensation you might be entitled to receive, call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 for your free consultation. We do not charge anything for your first visit, and most injury cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis.
Intersection accidents are some of the most common types of traffic accidents. Do you know why accidents at intersections are common? Who is at fault for intersection accidents? Our Sacramento car accident attorneys discuss these questions and other issues related to intersection accidents in the below article.
In this article we discuss:
- How do intersection accidents occur in California?
- Who is at fault for an intersection accident?
- What are common injuries and damages caused by an intersection accident?
- What steps should you take after an intersection accident?
How Do Intersection Accidents Occur In California?
Intersections, especially busy intersections, can be difficult to navigate. Many of the causes of intersection accidents are attributed to driver error. However, a few accidents may also involve other factors.
Some of the common causes of intersection accidents include:
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Turning on red
- Distracted driving or inattention
- Disregarding stop signs
- Running red lights and yellow lights
- Lack of adequate road signage
- Malfunctioning traffic signals
- Defectively designed intersections
- Overgrowth of foliage
- Turning with an obstructed view
- Misjudging the space between vehicles or a vehicle’s speed
- Illegal maneuvers and other traffic infractions
Determining the factors involved in causing the accident is crucial in proving who was at fault for causing an intersection accident.
Who Is At Fault For An Intersection Accident?
In most cases, the driver who failed to yield the right of way or violated a traffic law is found to be responsible for causing a crash at an intersection. However, it can be difficult to determine who caused the collision if multiple vehicles are involved, each driver has a different account of how the accident occurred, and the vehicles are moved before police officers arrive.
Law enforcement officers will attempt to determine the cause of the crash during their investigation. However, the officers may not be correct when they determine the driver or drivers who contributed to the cause of the crash. Therefore, you may need a Sacramento car accident attorney to investigate the crash and retain experts, such as accident reconstructionists, to recreate the crash to determine fault.
Because proving fault for the crash is crucial for recovering money for your claim, our Sacramento car accident attorneys aggressively investigate intersection accidents by:
- Conduct a physical examination of the accident scene to gather evidence
- Inspect the damage to each vehicle
- Search for and interview eyewitnesses
- Search for videos of the accident created by bystanders or taken from local security cameras
- Retain experts to assist in recreating the collision to determine cause and fault
- Subpoena the records from a vehicle’s onboard systems, including a commercial truck’s black box
We may take additional steps in addition to the above steps, depending on the circumstances and facts.
What Are Common Injuries And Damages Caused By An Intersection Accident?
It is also important to obtain evidence that substantiates your injuries, damages, and losses. The injuries from intersection accidents can cause traumatic and permanent disabilities and impairments. Your financial damages could be significant. Because the compensation you receive for an accident claim can help you pay for ongoing medical care and living expenses, we work closely with you and your doctors to document all your damages and losses.
Common injuries sustained in intersection crashes include:
- Spinal cord injuries and back injuries, including paralysis
- Neck and shoulder injuries, including whiplash
- Brain and head injuries, including concussions and TBIs (traumatic brain injuries)
- Broken bones and complex fractures
- Seat Belt Syndrome
- Second Impact Syndrome
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent impairments and disfigurements
Most accident victims are entitled to receive compensation for financial and non-economic damages. Financial damages are your “out-of-pocket” costs related to the accident. Examples of financial damages include medical expenses, loss of income, travel expenses, physical therapy, medical equipment, and medications.
Non-economic damages are your “pain & suffering” damages. In addition to financial damages, you might be entitled to recover money for your mental, physical, and emotional suffering and pain. Also included in non-economic damages are scarring, disabilities, impairments, and disfigurement.
Pain & suffering damages can be more difficult to prove. However, an experienced Sacramento car accident attorney understands how to use the evidence in your case to maximize the demand for compensation for non-economic damages.
What Steps Should You Take After An Intersection Accident?
The steps you take immediately after an intersection accident can help your claim or hurt your claim. You may not be able to take each of the following steps after an accident, but you should try to take as many of these steps as possible.
After an accident you should:
- Always report the car crash to the police. You want an official report documenting the crash from a law enforcement agency.
- Go to the emergency room from the crash scene. It is important for your health and your claim to be examined by a medical professional. If you do not go to the ER immediately after the accident, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
- Try to take pictures of the accident scene. Videos are great too! Take pictures of the position of the vehicles, damage to the vehicles, skid marks, road debris, road signs, traffic signals, and the surrounding area. Do not place yourself or others in harms’ way to take pictures.
- Avoid speaking with insurance adjusters for the other party, providing statements, or signing releases until after you meet with a Sacramento personal injury attorney. The information the adjuster obtains could be used to lower the amount of money you might receive for your insurance claim.
- Document your expenses and losses carefully. You may increase your compensation for financial losses if you have documentation of all losses. Keep receipts and invoices for any expense related to the accident, including receipts for over-the-counter medications or medical supplies; bills paid for someone to cut your grass; and, receipts for travel to and from doctor appointments.
- Contact a Sacramento car accident attorney. As soon as possible, call our office to speak with a legal professional about your case. Our legal team guides you through the process of filing an accident claim and protects you from unfair and aggressive insurance company tactics.
Contact A Sacramento Car Accident Attorney for a Free Case Review
For a free consultation with a California car accident attorney, call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or visit our website.
You were injured in a personal injury accident, and you are ready to discuss filing an injury claim against the party or parties responsible for your injuries. We encourage you to contact our office to schedule a free consultation with a Sacramento personal injury attorney if you have not already done so. Below is a checklist that you can use as you prepare for your first meeting with our attorney.
However, we want to be very clear. We care more about you, your recovery, and your story. While it is very helpful to have the information and documentation below, it is not necessary. We want to talk to you about your accident and your current situation. Our focus is on helping you understand your legal rights and your options for obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses.
Therefore, if you have the information or documentation below, please bring it with you to the first appointment, but do not let a lack of anything on the checklist keep you from speaking to an attorney.
Checklist for Meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney
- Copy of police report and accident report
- Copies of insurance policies related to the accident (i.e. homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, disability insurance, medical pay, etc.)
- The name and contact information of each insurance adjuster or other party who you have talked to about the accident or your injuries
- Copies of any medical records and statements from physicians or medical providers
- Copies of any correspondence from attorneys or insurance providers
- Information obtained from the accident scene, such as photographs and names of eyewitnesses
- Medical bills and other evidence of expenses and costs related to the accident, your injuries, and your recovery
- Proof of income and the dates you have missed work because of the accident
- A list of all medical providers who treated you after the accident
It can also be very helpful to make notes about what you remember about the accident. Small details could be very important. Your notes do not need to be full sentences or paragraphs. The information is to help you relate to your personal injury attorney what happened before and after the accident.
You may also want to include a list of questions you want to ask the personal injury attorney. We want to learn about you during the appointment, but we also want you to leave with answers to the questions you have about accident claims.
Get Peace of Mind and Learn About Your Legal Rights by Calling a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney
Being injured in an accident can turn your life upside down. If you are unsure about what you need to do to protect your rights, contact our office for a free case review. You do not need to handle an insurance claim alone.
For a free consultation with one of our Sacramento accident lawyers, call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000. We are here for you to listen to what happened to you and provide you with the legal advice, guidance, and support you need as you continue to recover from a tragic accident.
You may sustain a variety of injuries from an auto accident in Sacramento. Some common auto accident injuries include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, whiplash, fractures, back injuries, and head injuries. Second Impact Syndrome or SIS is a serious injury that may develop after an auto accident. In many cases, SIS is life-threatening. Victims who survive SIS typically have severe impairments.
What is Second Impact Syndrome?
SIS occurs when an individual suffers two concussions in a row with the second concussion occurring before the brain has completely healed from the first concussion. For instance, your daughter falls during a gymnastics competition and suffers a concussion. The following week, a speeding driver hits your car, causing your daughter to suffer severe whiplash. With the whiplash, she suffers a closed head injury that results in a concussion.
The second concussion may result in SIS, which should always be treated as a medical emergency. A person with SIS may or may not lose consciousness at the time of the second concussion. However, they often look confused or stunned and typically collapse within minutes. The person’s condition quickly worsens ultimately resulting in respiratory failure. Within minutes, a person could die from SIS.
Taking Precautions After a Concussion
SIS is rare, but it can take your life or the life of a loved one. Therefore, you need to be very cautious after a head injury. If you or your loved one suffers a concussion in a car accident, following the doctor’s orders is very important. Patients should not return to work, play sports, or engage in other activities until the concussion has healed completely. Any activity that could result in a second head injury could be deadly.
If you notice signs that might indicate a head injury, such as headaches, disorientation, fatigue, vomiting, nausea, or a general feeling of being “run-down” or “in a fog,” you should seek emergency medical treatment immediately. You could be suffering from SIS. The second impact does not need to be severe to cause SIS. A light impact can cause a concussion that leads to Secondary Impact Syndrome.
Seeking Medical Care for Brain Injuries After a Traffic Accident
Head injuries range from minor to severe. It is important to keep in mind that even a minor head injury or concussion is a serious health concern. Accident victims need to review the signs and symptoms of a brain injury so that they can seek medical care if they begin experiencing any of the symptoms of brain injury.
Common symptoms of a brain injury include:
- Losing consciousness
- Slurred speech
- Blurred vision
- Changes in personality
Filing an Accident Claim for a Brain Injury
If you sustain a brain injury in a traffic accident, you might be entitled to substantial compensation from the person who caused the crash. The Sacramento accident attorneys of The Tiemann Law Firm can help you file an insurance claim seeking full compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages.
Call our office at (916) 999-9000 for a free consultation.
Drugged driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. If a driver is using prescription or illegal drugs, the driver’s reaction times and judgment may be impaired. Even over-the-counter medications can have side-effects that might impair a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
Being able to spot a drugged driver might help you avoid a car accident. However, you may not have time to notice driving behaviors that would indicate a person is impaired by drugs. Therefore, it might help to recognize some of the signs that a person is abusing drugs so that you can point this out to the police officer at the accident scene.
Signs That a Person May be Under the Influence of Drugs at an Accident Scene
According to the Mayo Clinic, five signs that a driver might be impaired by drugs include:
Lack of Coordination and Slurred Speech
In addition to being signs that someone may have been consuming alcohol, poor coordination and slurred speech may also indicate drug use. Many drugs may have this effect, especially painkillers and anti-anxiety medications when taken excessively. Overuse of drugs can severely impair motor function thereby causing a drugged driving accident.
Paranoia and Agitation
Many people are upset after a traffic accident. However, if someone is overly agitated or paranoid, it could be an indication that the person is abusing a prescription stimulant. The drugs may not impair everyone’s ability to drive. However, if someone is agitated or paranoid, they may make mistakes behind the wheel.
Many drugs have drowsiness as a side effect. If a driver does not appear alert or able to stay awake, you may want to mention this to the police officer. The drowsiness could indicate the person took certain drugs before driving.
Hostility or Violence
Sometimes drugs that cause nervousness or paranoia can cause a person to become violent or hostile. Individuals may feel hostility after a crash, but some may be overly hostile or violent. Do not confront someone like this because drugs could be involved.
Lack of Concentration
A lack of focus or concentration can also be a side effect of using drugs, especially overusing anti-anxiety medications or painkillers. These drugs can significantly impair brain function if abused and cause a drugged driving accident.
Drugged Driving is Illegal in California
Drugged driving or driving while impaired by drugs is illegal. This includes over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, and illegal substances. Based on a driver’s actions, if you believe the driver might be using drugs, do not confront the driver. Individuals using drugs can be very unpredictable. It is best to keep your distance, remain calm, and notify the officer of your suspicions. The officer will take care of the matter.
Filing a Car Accident Claim with the Help of a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a car wreck, our legal team can help you file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. We can investigate the car crash to determine the cause and gather evidence to prove liability.
Contact The Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website to schedule your free consultation with a Sacramento car accident lawyer.