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.
John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981.
John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder.
In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home.
John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation.
John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates.
Service to the Community
John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
The information provided on this web site is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Every case is different and requires individual attention before such advice can be given. Neither the transmission nor receipt of general advice to or from our website will constitute an attorney-client relationship.