Neck injuries like whiplash can be difficult to prove, even for an experienced Orange Park auto accident attorney. Because whiplash doesn’t show up in an X-ray or an MRI, insurance companies and jurors might be likely to suspect malingering (exaggerating or lying about an injury for financial gain).
Your attorney may try to overcome this problem by using accident reconstructions to evaluate how the accident happened. The speed and position of the cars involved, as well as other factors, can make a whiplash injury more or less likely. In this article, we will discuss some of those factors.
Safety belts save lives in most types of car accidents, but in rear-end collisions they actually make whiplash injuries more likely. This is because the body is held in place by the safety belt while the head is thrown forward, causing the neck to extend beyond its normal range. The safety belt itself can also cause damage to the chest and shoulder.
Height of Head Restraints
Head restraints are commonly referred to as “headrests,” which misstates their purpose. Drivers frequently adjust these head restraints to a level that is comfortable to lean their heads against, which undermines their effectiveness in an accident. If a head restraint is too low (which 90 percent are, according to some estimates), the head can roll back in a rear-end accident, putting undue stress on the neck.
One surprising factor that increases the chances of injury in aOrangeParkcar accident is the gender of the car’s occupant. Women are more likely than men to develop chronic whiplash pain. This is believed to have something to do with seating position or differences in anatomy.
Angle of Collision
Any forces that cause the spine to twist in an accident can increase the risk of neck injuries. Therefore, side-impact collisions or angled collisions present a greater risk of neck injury than head-on collisions.
An occupant who is looking straight ahead during a collision is less likely to sustain a neck injury than one who is looking to the side. Similarly, a person’s awareness that an accident is going to happen can allow him or her to brace for it, which reduces the risk of neck injury (though it can increase the risk of other types of injury).
If you’d like to speak with an Orange Park auto accident attorney contact John Fagan at (904) 215-5555 today.