Car accident injuries are the most common personal injury claims that insurance companies handle. Studies of states with high crash rate incidents and injuries usually place Massachusetts drivers at the top of the list, making our state one of the worst places to drive. In Boston, an Allstate study found that you are 157.7% more likely to be involved in a crash than is the norm., meaning you can expect to be in a car crash in Boston every 3-years. The national average is once per 10-years. And along with many car accidents is the high likelihood of sustaining neck and back injuries.
Although any kind of injury is possible in a car accident, neck and back injuries are more typical. You are in an enclosed space when a violent impact occurs. Your body can only travel so far, whether you are seat-belted or not, before it strikes something in your car or y9ou are held back by your shoulder harness. If it results in sprain or strain injuries, these are referred to as acceleration/deceleration type injuries or whiplash.
What is Whiplash?
Rear-end accidents, which make up anywhere from 28% to 45% of all car crashes, are likely to result in a whiplash injury. The violent thrust of your neck and back and forth when your car is impacted can cause the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your neck and back to stretch too far, resulting in various symptoms, such as:
- Temporary memory loss
- Sleeping difficulties
- Neck and back pain and stiffness
- Limited range of motion in neck and back
- Tenderness in the shoulders
There is a difference between neck and back strains and sprains. A strain is damage to the muscles or tendons, which are bands of tissue connecting muscle to bone. A sprain is the tearing of the ligaments, which are the tissues that connect the bones to each other. Symptoms can last from just a few days or weeks to months or even years.
A problem with these types of injuries is that they do not show up on imaging tests, so that a medical provider must diagnose this based on a clinical examination and your responses. Many insurers suspect injury claimants of exaggerating or falsifying symptoms to obtain compensation. Accordingly, you need a credible and competent medical provider who can support your claim of injury and can address any discrepancies in treatment, whether treatments were reasonable, and that your limitations causing you to be unable to work or engage in many daily routine activities are real. Any time you suffer injuries in a car accident, you should retain Boston car accident lawyers to handle your claim and who can adequately address an insurer’s suspicions, which commonly arise in these claims.
Other Types of Spinal Injuries
Disc herniation can be a serious condition that can be the result of age or degeneration or trauma from a car accident. A herniation occurs when the gelatin-like material filling of the inner disc protrudes and contacts a nerve. Surgery is usually the only way to correct this condition that can be very painful although your doctor will generally try non-invasive measures first, such as epidural corticosteroid injections. Herniations can readily be detected on MRIs.
If you are relatively young and were in a severe collision, then it is more likely in most cases that the car accident was the cause of your herniation. If you are middle age or older, then insurers, defense attorneys, and the medical providers they retain to review your medical history or to examine you will usually claim that you had a pre-existing, degenerative condition that is the true cause of the herniation. You will need your orthopedist or surgeon to testify or prepare a well-reasoned and detailed report to support your claim that the car accident was the substantial cause of your condition.
Facet joint injuries can also be seen on imaging. Facet joints work with the spinal discs to allow controlled movements of your spine so that it does not move too far in any pone direction. The joints have a large bundle of nerve endings that can become inflamed and painful if damaged.
Chiropractic Treatment and Injury Claims
Chiropractic treatment has long been an alternative to traditional treatments by medical doctors who prescribe pain medications in most cases where car accident victims are in pain. Many physicians take a cautious approach in treatment, insisting on rest, icing, followed by heat. If needed, some physical therapy followed by or in conjunction with steroid injections in the neck or back if the pain persists.
Chiropractors cannot prescribe medication though they may suggest their clients to take some pain medication. Their treatments are targeted at the spine in accident cases where a patient complains of neck and back injuries, including whiplash symptoms. The theory behind such treatment is that proper alignment of the spine or musculoskeletal system will enable the body to heal without medication, injections, or surgery, although many chiropractors work with medical doctors and physical therapists.
Typical treatments may initially consist of icing the affected area with some massage and a TENS unit. This is followed up with heat packs and spinal manipulations among other types of treatments. Millions of people use chiropractic to resolve back and neck pain and studies do confirm that treatments are effective in many cases.
If you are considering chiropractic, it is usually best to talk to your primary physician to see if such treatment can be beneficial for your type of injuries. If you do use such treatment but feel no or little improvement after a few months, you should talk to your chiropractor and primary physician to determine if you have a more serious spinal condition.
Retain Tetzel Law
Although you may have an injury claim that appears clear cut and will be easy to settle, few cases turn out to be. You also risk losing out on compensation that experienced Boston car accident lawyers can help you obtain. Numerous studies confirm that accident victims who retain lawyers obtain substantially more in compensation than those who handle their own claim, even accounting for legal fees.
Call the Boston car accident lawyers at Tetzel Law at (617) 933-3858 to see how our experienced and dedicated attorneys will handle your claim.