The fact of the matter is, the insurance companies can and will find ways to keep from paying for your injuries. They have their interest in mind, not yours. Don't be a victim twice! Retain an attorney, one that specializes in personal injuries.
Whiplash: Facts and Myths
Myth: A victim's symptoms become maximal within 24 to 72 hours after the accident, if you don't have any symptoms by then, you won't have any future problems.
Fact: Symptoms from whiplash may actually take months to years to manifest. Many times the onset of symptoms is long after the repairs to the fender have been made and the patient doesn't associate their symptoms with that fender bender. However, the onset of immediate symptoms may be an indication of severe injuries.
Myth: Low-speed collisions cause little to no harm to the occupants of the vehicle. Your injuries cannot be that bad because there is little or no damage to your vehicle. No Crash, no cash!
Fact: The amount of damage to a vehicle has nothing to do with the amount or severity of injuries sustained by the victims. Through the years the insurance companies and the government have forced the auto manufacturers to install a 2.5 or a 5 MPH bumper on all autos manufactured in the U.S. These bumpers do not absorb the energy during an accident, but actually transfers the energy to the victims within the vehicle. This action is much like the cue ball on a billiard table when it strikes the other balls during a break. The energy of the cue ball is transferred to the other balls causing them to move about. There is absolutely no way to correlate the amount of damage of a vehicle involved in an accident to the injuries a victim received.
Myth: Low-speed crashes don't generate enough force to hurt anyone!
Fact: The forces transferred to a victim are surprisingly high. Test utilizing crash test dummies during a rear-end collision has demonstrated forces as high as 2.5 times that of the forces sustained by the vehicle. Other studies have measured a peak acceleration of the head of a human volunteer to be as high as 47.8 G's at 10 MPH.
Myth: The loss of the normal cervical lordotic curvature of the neck is asymptomatic.
Fact: The cervical lordotic curvature acts as a tension loaded spring. Between the disc (the shock absorbers of the neck) and the lordotic curvature, they act much like the springs and shock absorbers on a car to cushion the blows from everyday stress such as simple walking. Without this spring, the disc prematurely wears out and degeneration of the joints of the spine begins.
Myth: If you were in a seat belt, then you cannot be hurt!
Fact: While seat and shoulder restraints have greatly decreased fatalities and serious chest injuries, the fact remains that seat and especially shoulder restraints have significantly increased the number of disabling cervical injuries. While the restraints hold the body in place, the neck becomes a pivot point for the head. The motion of the head is intensified, therefore increasing the stresses and forces applied to the neck, therefore increasing the severity of the injuries.
Myth: Pain and anti-inflammatory medications speed up your recovery from whiplash.
Fact: Recent studies published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery reports that these medications can actually delay the healing process of soft tissue injuries.
Myth: The application of heat, rest and medications will relieve a victim's symptoms leaving no residual pain or degenerative problems.
Fact: Medications only mask or cover up a victim's symptoms and can retard the recovery process. Proper management of a whiplash case must include rehabilitation and the restoration of the function of the injured areas, not rest. Heat causes inflammation and can actually aggravate your injuries. Over the past 30-years, numerous research studies have been conducted on the long term effects of whiplash. Researchers going back as far as 20 years have demonstrated that approximately 87% of victims fully recover with 11% having chronic problems that have yet to resolve. Victims with whiplash are also 6 times more likely to develop degenerative joint disease in which the disc desiccate (dry out) and develop arthritic spurs.
Myth: The insurance adjuster from the insurance company of the guy that hit you says he'll take care of you. And they are acting like your BFF.
Fact: Ok, let's get real here! Insurance companies want to settle with you as soon as they can while your medical bills are low or simply are non-existent. These guys make money by not paying claims or paying off the victim early! Then they want to to take your car to a certain body shop and if you don't they won't cover the repairs of your vehicle nor your care. Under Missouri law, you can take your vehicle anywhere you want and if their insured was responsible for your injuries they have to cover your care. Watch carefully for smoke, mirrors, and lies! It's their job!
Myth: My insurance company's adjuster said he would take good care of me!
Fact: Re-read the paragraph above.