Getting into a car accident is a traumatic experience that can lead to serious injury. If you or a loved one has suffered a head or neck injury caused by a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Our car accident lawyers have 25 years of experience handling head and neck injury cases in St. Louis and Southern Illinois. Our team has a deep understanding of the head and spine as a result of litigating thousands of cases on behalf of injured clients.
In this post, we’ll outline how to value your head and neck injury after a car accident to make sure you’re prepared in case disaster strikes.
Most Common Head and Neck Injuries
Cantor Injury Law was founded in the early 90s by Mark’s father, Dr. Harvey Cantor who was a pediatric neurologist. Mark grew up hearing about head and neck injuries so he has a deep understanding of how the impact of a car accident can affect these sensitive areas. The first step to figuring out how to value your head and neck injury is figuring out what type of injury you’re suffering from.
Here are a few of the most common injuries that are caused by car accidents:
Whiplash is caused by the sudden movement of your head. When you collide with another vehicle, your head whips forward and then back due to the force of the impact. This causes your neck to flex dramatically which can result in a sprain. The contraction of your muscles is a normal reaction to dramatic movements in an effort to make the injury less severe.
This type of injury is most commonly treated with chiropractic care, however, medical care is preferred. We would specifically recommend a combination of treatment from an orthopedic surgeon, physical therapy and an MRI. When you go to trial you have to testify within a reasonable degree of medical certainty. It’s a lot more difficult to do that if the only care you’ve received is from a chiropractor. We understand, however, that you may not have the option to see an orthopedic surgeon right away. If that’s the case, we recommend that you at least see a certified doctor in St. Louis county to document your injuries.
Image sourced from Welcome Back MRI & Pain Management Clinic
Your head and your neck are part of your central nervous system and everything else is considered your peripheral nervous system. When you injure your neck with a disc herniation that impedes upon the nerve, you’ll often experience pain that radiates down your arm or leg. We deal with these types of injuries all the time as a result of car or truck accidents.
The only way to properly diagnose a disc herniation is with an MRI or a CT scan. X-rays only show the bone so they will not detect when a disc is outside of its normal area, impinging on a nerve that is causing pain. The x-ray may show that there’s increased space along your spine, but the only way to see the extent of your disc herniation is with an MRI.
If you go to a chiropractor, you will experience the same issues in court as you would with whiplash. An MRI will help prove a reasonable degree of medical certainty of your disc herniation and help ensure that you receive full compensation for your injuries. You also want to make sure that you prove your disc herniation was caused by trauma and not by degeneration due to age.
Image sourced from NewYork-Presbyterian
Bone fracture cases are often the result of severe trauma to the head or spine. We see a lot of collarbones (clavicle), orbital, and jaw fractures that result from car accidents. Some minor fractures don’t cause a lot of immediate pain. This leads people to believe that they don’t need medical care and that the injury will just heal on its own. This is not the case. You should always seek medical care immediately after an accident, even if you’re not experiencing severe levels of pain. You can get compensation even for minor fractures.
The most common method for diagnosing bone fractures are x-rays. We would still recommend an MRI or CT scan in addition to your x-rays to help detect any other potential injuries. When you go to court after a car accident, you need proof of all injuries in order to be properly compensated. The more evidence you have, the easier it is to win your case.
Do Past Medical Records Impact The Value of Your Case?
The short answer is yes. If you’ve been seeing a doctor, orthodontist, surgeon or other medical professional for health concerns proceeding the accident, these past records may be referenced during your trial. If you had pre-existing conditions that were not caused by the collision, you will not be compensated for these injuries. If, however, the collision worsened existing conditions or caused new injuries, your past records could help prove this in court.
If Injured in a Car Accident, Seek The Help of a Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, it’s important to seek the help of a lawyer right away. Your lawyer can help coordinate care with your doctors and make important decisions to aid your case. If you choose your own doctor, or if you let the insurance company choose, chances are you won’t be well cared for from a legal perspective. You need to be careful who you choose to be on your side.
|Benefits of Legal Representation
|Considerations Without Legal Assistance
|Gain insights from a lawyer experienced in head and neck injury cases.
|Rely on personal knowledge without specific legal expertise in this area.
|Receive professional evaluation of the impact of head and neck injuries.
|Assume responsibility for assessing injury severity without legal guidance.
|Assistance in collecting and organizing critical medical evidence.
|Handle the process of gathering medical documentation independently.
|Utilize a lawyer’s negotiation skills for fair compensation.
|Navigate negotiations with insurance companies without professional representation.
|Guidance through complex legal procedures related to injury claims.
|Manage legal procedures independently, potentially leading to procedural errors.
|Payment only if you win the case, with a contingency fee structure.
|No contingency fees but may need to cover legal expenses upfront.
|Protection against aggressive insurance company tactics.
|Face insurance companies without specialized legal representation.
|Representation in court if a trial is necessary.
|Self-representation or finding alternative legal representation if the case goes to trial.
|Access to a network of medical professionals and experts.
|Build your own medical network and seek experts independently.
|Peace of Mind
|Reduce stress by having a legal professional handle complexities.
|Take on the added stress and responsibility of managing cases solo.
At Cantor Injury Law, we don’t charge a fee until a case is won. We have 25 years of experience with car accident, truck accident and personal injury cases. If you’re wondering how to value your head and neck injury, look no further. We can help you win your case and get the compensation you deserve.