Making a claim for chronic neck pain

Antitort proponents often trot out stories of fraudulent whiplash claimants in their defense of the insurance industry. A recent study overturns this stereotype and reveals a serious gap in how compensation is being awarded in certain personal injury cases.

Researchers from the North Carolina School of Medicine followed nearly 1,000 people who were treated in an emergency room after an auto accident. Six weeks after their release, participants reported the following:

  • 70 percent experienced some kind of chronic pain
  • 28 percent experienced chronic moderate to severe neck pain
  • 13 percent experienced chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain
  • 4 percent experienced fibromyalgia syndrome (chronic musculoskeletal pain, tenderness and fatigue)

Even though the majority of these auto accident victims had some kind of chronic, persistent pain, only 17 percent had contacted a personal injury lawyer. It was not clear from the study how many of the accidents resulted from the negligent actions of the at-fault driver.

Accident victims with chronic neck pain may be reluctant to proceed with a legitimate personal injury suit because no one takes their claims seriously. Soft-tissue injuries are more difficult to see compared to bruises or a broken bone and pain reports are subjective. Many people think that their only option is to swallow a pain reliever, grit their teeth and wait it out. However, if untreated, a neck injury can lead to depression, sleep problems, memory loss and fatigue — in addition to the disruption caused by living with persistent pain. For some people, the symptoms are long-term or permanent.

Insurance companies often attempt to deny neck injury claims or to minimize the seriousness of the injury. Knowledgeable car accident lawyers understand how devastating chronic neck pain can be and they know how to present the facts of your case so you get fair compensation for your medical expenses and other losses.


Three myths about personal injury law

Given the various media outlets available, there is a lot of inaccurate information floating around about injury law. If you have recently been involved in a car, truck, motorcycle or other type of accident in California, you no doubt want to know if you are entitled to receive some form of compensation. The first thing you need to realize is that nothing you read or see will ever be as educational or beneficial to you as consulting with a knowledgeable attorney.

Additionally, you should be wary of the following three common misconceptions about personal injury law:

  • You don’t need a lawyer — If you suffer injury in a car accident, would you say you don’t need a doctor? The same logic applies to your legal case. The purpose of filing a claim is to obtain reimbursement for medical expenses and other damages. Without an attorney, you lower your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your injuries.
  • One lawyer is as good as another — You may have a friend or relative who is a lawyer. However, you need a personal injury attorney, not a bankruptcy lawyer or business attorney. To use the doctor analogy again, you wouldn’t visit a foot doctor if you had a brain injury, would you? Further, the attorney you hire should be someone who has extensive experience and success in personal injury law.
  • A lengthy court battle lies ahead — One of the biggest misconceptions victims have about personal injury law is that at the end of the road lies a heated courtroom battle. Truthfully, the majority of accident cases are resolved through settlement negotiations. That being said, every case is different.

When an accident of any kind — auto accident, bicycle mishap, medical malpractice, or a slip and fall — causes you injury and pain because of someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.