Top-Rated Whiplash Injury Attorneys in Sherman Oaks

Have you suffered a whiplash injury in a car accident? Contact the personal injury lawyers at The Drexler Firm to protect your rights & get full compensation.

Whiplash Injury Accident Attorneys in Sherman Oaks

Even a minor car accident can be traumatic and result in painful injuries. Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash, may appear benign and insignificant at the time they occur, however, a day or two days later, you may be experiencing neck pain, stiffness, and a limitation of the range of motion of your neck. Your interests would be best served by seeking out the advice and services of an experienced Los Angeles whiplash attorney to maximize the amount of reasonable compensation you need and deserve. The Drexler Law Firm has extensive skill and experience in the area of personal injury and can help you through the process of filing a claim and getting fair compensation.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury that occurs when there is an impact with your vehicle—usually the rear of your vehiclewhich causes your head to rapidly jerk backward and then forward. This sudden jerking motion causes ligaments and muscles in the neck area to extend beyond the normal range. This forceful jerking motion may also cause strain and malalignment in the cervical vertebrae in the neck area of the spine. In severe whiplash scenarios, where the head snaps back forward, sudden movement in the brain may cause bleeding in the brain which is referred to as a subdural hematoma. Traumatic brain injuries (T.B.I.) can lead to headaches, cognitive dysfunction, memory, and, in severe cases permanent brain damage.

Whiplash injuries are common in car accidents; they can be mild or severe. Because symptoms may not emerge for hours or days after the accident occurred, it is important to go to an E.R., Urgent Care or Primary Physician to evaluate the injury and perform indicated testing to determine the nature and extent of the whiplash injury and the recommended course of treatment.

What are Common Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash?

Here are commonly experienced symptoms when suffering from whiplash from an impact:

  • Neck Pain and/or upper back pain
  • Neck stiffness and limitation in range of motion
  • Headache, Dizziness or Nausea
  • Loss of Consciousness, Disorientation or Cognitive Changes
  • Blurred Vision

What are the Causes of Whiplash?

Virtually any type of impact with another vehicle may result in whiplash injuries.

  • Rear-end Car Accidents
    Rear-end accidents are the most common causes of whiplash injuries. Seat belts and shoulder restraints do not prevent the sudden jerking motion of the head which causes whiplash injuries. The deployment of airbags can actually contribute to the cause of whiplash injuries.
  • Head-on Collisions
    When two vehicles hit head-on, the force of the impact may cause the sudden jerking motion which results in whiplash injuries.
  • Single Car Collisions
    When a vehicle strikes a fixed object such as a parked car, tree, telephone pole, or large pothole, the head jolting may occur which could result in whiplash.

How Long Do Whiplash Injuries Last?

Mild or moderate whiplash injuries may only last a few days or weeks and these less severe whiplash injuries are often treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, hot or cold compress, and massage. More severe whiplash injuries can last for many weeks or months with symptoms of chronic pain, headaches, neck, and limitation in the range of neck motion. Treatment of severe whiplash injuries requires prolonged physical therapy, pain relief medications, epidural injections, and other pain management modalities. If testing reveals underlying cervical spine damage, spinal surgery may be indicated. Medical studies have documented that the effects of whiplash may last for years after an accident has occurred.

What are Some Additional Complications Associated with Whiplash Injuries?

In severe impacts resulting in whiplash injuries, there may be damage or misalignment occurring in the cervical spine. In the event of cervical spine damage or spinal malalignment, the normal curvature of the spine causes surrounding tissues and muscles to be swollen and irritated. Often referred to as musculoligamentous sprains and strains, these spinal injuries result in physical pain, spasms, and limitation in the range of motion. 

More serious damage can occur to the cervical and thoracic spine in whiplash injuries where the spinal discs become herniated. When the discs (the soft cushions between the intervertebral bodies) are flattened or herniated, there is impingement of the nerves that run along the sides of the spinal column. Disc herniation of more than 3, 4, or 5 millimeters may result in pain, tingling, and numbness radiating to the shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers. This is called radiculopathy. 

Herniated discs are diagnosed by X Rays, CT Scans, and MRI’s. Conservative treatment may involve physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, stretching exercises, massage, and pain relief medication. When conservative treatment is not successful, more invasive remedies may be required including epidural steroid injections, nerve blocking devices, or spinal surgery.

The complications of moderate and severe whiplash injuries can be extremely debilitating and life-altering. People experiencing pain, spasms, muscle tightness, radiating nerve pain, and limitation of their range of motion are not able to perform their normal life functions and activities. This affects an individual’s ability to work, exercise, sleep comfortably, and carry out basic activities such as dressing, bathing, and household chores.

Whiplash may also be more severe in older persons whose muscles and ligaments are often less flexible and less likely to heal with conservative treatment. Whether you are old or young, and whether your whiplash injury is mild, moderate, or severe, it is extremely important to seek medical evaluation and treatment as quickly as possible after an accident. 

What Can You Do to Document and Prove Whiplash Injuries?

Insurance adjusters, insurance defense attorneys, judges, and juries tend to be skeptical about whiplash injuries and minimize their value when it comes to settlements and jury trials. The argument is made that these are non-existent or bogus claimed injuries lacking objective evidence and credibility. Often referred to as “soft tissue injuries,” it becomes a challenge to document and prove whiplash injuries. When pursuing an accident injury claim involving whiplash injuries resulting from a car accident, it is important to document the injuries because it is your burden to prove that the whiplash injuries are real and that they were caused by the accident.

For all of these reasons, it is important to follow these recommendations and to contact an experienced personal injury attorney:

  1. Accident Report and First Responders
    When police and first responders, such as paramedics arrive at the scene of an accident, they will always ask about injuries. If you are feeling any back pain, or other pain, it is incumbent upon you to report it.
  2. Doctor’s Statement
    When an injured victim appears at the E.R., Urgent Care or Primary Physician following a car crash, it is important to provide details about any complaints of back pain caused by the collision. The more specific information that is provided, the better the chances that the complaints of back pain will be recorded and documented in the medical records.
  3. Medical Testing/Scanning
    The best way to document objective evidence of whiplash injuries is with the results of testing. This would include reports of any X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, nerve conductions studies, and other tests performed by physicians to evaluate spinal damage, nerve damage or muscle damage.

What Types of Compensation Can You Receive?

If you have experienced a whiplash injury in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to different types of compensation.

  • Medical Costs
    Hospitalizations, Doctor visits, Surgeries, Physical Therapy, Tests, Medications, and Psychological Counseling are extremely expensive. Initially, you can pay through your medical insurance or through a medical lien arranged through an attorney. Reimbursement for medical expenses incurred for treatment for injuries sustained in a car crash is part of the compensation recoverable as part of an accident claim.
  • Lost Wages
    When an injured victim of a car accident is unable to work and loses earnings or sick time, this can result in serious financial difficulties. An important element of recoverable damages in an auto accident injury claim is compensation for lost wages. You may also be entitled to compensation for future lost income where the injuries will affect your ability to work in the future. If the injuries result in permanent disability, a claim for compensation may include payment for your entire work-life expectancy. Forensic accountants and economists are often utilized to calculate the full value of such claims.
  • Pain and Suffering
    Damages for pain and suffering are referred to as non-economic damages. They include recoverable monetary compensation for physical pain, mental or emotional distress, anxiety, fear, loss of enjoyment of regular activities, and diminished quality of life. The best way to document such losses is to journal and record, if possible on a daily basis, how your injuries have caused you to suffer physically, and emotionally and how they have negatively affected your life including all of the activities and enjoyment that you are not able to engage in due to the injuries. 
  • Loss of Consortium
    These are recoverable damages available for the spouse of an injured victim who is temporarily or permanently deprived of the injured spouse’s services, physical and financial support, assistance with household chores and intimate relations. This is the separate and derivative right to compensation for the injured victim’s spouse. Persons who are not legally married or have significant others or so-called “common law” spouses are not entitled to loss of consortium damages.
  • Punitive Damages
    These are exemplary damages that are only available in limited scenarios where the at-fault driver has been grossly negligent, reckless, acting intentionally or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. An experienced Los Angeles whiplash injury accident lawyer can assess your case and determine if you are eligible to seek punitive damages.

Should you Hire an Attorney?

There is no such thing as a straightforward, simple accident case involving whiplash injuries, whether the injuries are minor or severe. People who have suffered whiplash injuries should always consult with an attorney that is experienced in personal injury cases because insurance company adjusters will always do whatever they can to deny the claim, minimize the extent of the injuries and offer low-ball settlements. A skillful personal injury attorney with a proven record of successfully representing accident victims against insurance adjusters and insurance defense attorneys will take the necessary steps to prove the fault of the other driver, make sure that the injuries are properly documented by medical professionals and present all elements of recoverable compensation to the adjuster, defense attorney, judge or jury in a professional manner that maximizes the amount of money to be recovered in a settlement, or, if necessary a trial jury verdict. You need a skilled Los Angeles auto accident lawyer, with a proven track record of success, to fight for your right to fair compensation.

How to Get Help

To protect your rights and best chances to obtain fair compensation following an auto accident where you sustain injuries and damages, you should contact a car accident injury lawyer as quickly as possible. During your free consultation, you will be able to thoroughly discuss your case and your injuries with an experienced attorney who specializes in personal injury law. The Drexler Law Firm will provide you with a free consultation and personalized attention. We can guide you through the legal process, answer your questions, and give you the best representation available. Contact The Drexler Law Firm today.

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