Two of My Recent Cases - Factors and Variables Involved in Each
Above are photos of vehicle property damage for two cases I recently handled. Can you tell by the photos which client sustained the greater injury?
Well, the clients in Car A above walked away with a few bruises and glass scratched. The client in Car B suffered a cervical disk injury with disk replacement surgery. That case went to verdict in December and the jury awarded over 4 Million Dollars.
So, what are some of the factors that determine severity of an injury. There are literally hundreds, but here’s a few of the more important ones:The Angle of the collision.
The angle of collision plays a big role in what forces the neck experiences, and what tissue is damaged. A head-on crash is actually typically less harmful than a collision from an angle where the spine may be twisted.The speed and weight of the rear car
The heavier the rear car and the faster it is moving, the more force is directed into the occupant in the front car.The speed and weight of the front car
If the front car is large, there may be little apparent damage to the vehicle. A smaller can can experience much more acceleration even if the impact is minor. More acceleration equals a greater chance of injury.Was the roadway dry, wet or icy?
The amount the car moves after impact is critical and an accident on ice or gravel is likely to be more serious than one on a dry asphalt pavement.Where was the patient looking?
A turned head will expose the patient to more stressors and an increased injury risk.Gender
Women have a much higher chance of chronic neck pain than do men.Occupant awareness of impact
Sometimes, being braced can lessen the chance of injuries. However, bracing of arms and legs can lead to injury in those areas of the body.Head Restraints not utilized properly.
If the headrest is too low it can act as a pivot for hyperextension.Seat belts in use?
Typically seat belt use decreases the chance of a serious head injury but increases cervical and lumbar strains.Secondary Collisions
Can complicate the injury patterns.Medical History
A history of pre-existing spinal degeneration or of headaches can complicate healing.Pain Onset
People who report pain onset immediately are more likely to have long term problems down the line.
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal Injury Lawyer. Feel free to have your clients call me anytime for free, friendly advice. Or call me yourself for any medico-legal issue. In Sacramento, I can be reached at 916-921-6400. Elsewhere in California at 800-404-5400. You can find my firms reviews on Yelp or on Avvo.
Because so many people have no idea how to choose a good accident lawyer, I recently produced this video: