Planning a Safe Road Trip

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Road trips can be great fun. Whether you’re heading out with your family, your friends, or on your own, it’s always a good idea to keep safety in mind. Unless you enjoy juggling road hazards and unanticipated risks, consider these few tips before you go. They’ll help you bypass a few not-so-great surprises and help you have a safe road trip.

Make Sure Your Car Is Roadworthy

Road trips are exciting. Before any such trip, you should eliminate your vehicle-breakdown potential. If you’ve driven long distances before, you know the drill. You should do the following:

  • Check your tires, windshield wipers, and other car parts that require periodic replacement due to wear and tear.
  • Replace, refill, or at least check critical fluids, such as oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and windshield washer fluid.
  • Make sure your air conditioner blows out cool air rather than hot air.
  • Double-check your young passengers’ safety and booster seats to make sure they’re installed properly. If you’re not sure about what a proper seat installation looks like, call your local fire department or children’s hospital to see if they’ll do a no-fee installation check.
  • Ask your mechanic to take a look under your car’s hood to make sure you won’t have any surprise mechanical problems.

Plan Your Route Ahead of Time

If you have a smartphone or an onboard GPS system in your car, you no longer need MapQuest or a AAA Trip-Tik to plan your road trip. You can simply enter your coordinates and go, but be careful. If you use a phone app, work your GPS magic before you leave home. Program and save the coordinates, then give the phone to a passenger to help you navigate. Some states will ticket you if you use your phone for any reason while driving, including navigation.

Know the Distracted Driving Laws in the States Through Which You Plan to Drive

It took a long time for police departments to recognize that cell phones and cars constitute a dangerous combination. However, police quickly caught up and are now very serious about their enforcement of distracted driving restrictions. Distracted driving can be anything that takes your hands, mind, or eyes off the road, and authorities see smartphones and other digital devices as the primary culprits.

Consider any relevant distracted driving laws before you pick up your phone to check your location, your messages, or your Facebook timeline. Make sure you know and understand local phone, texting, and other digital restrictions. States are cracking down on digital devices because the evidence proves that using them while driving causes accidents. Washington recently enacted a hands-free law, which means you’ll receive a citation if any part of your body touches any part of your phone while you’re driving. It also applies to putting on makeup.

For a brief recap of nationwide distracted driving phone laws, view the chart on the Governor’s Highway Safety Association website.

Don’t Forget About Roadside Assistance

You’ll really appreciate a AAA membership when a local tow truck driver fixes your flat tire on a lonely highway far from home. Before you hand over your money for a new membership card, be sure to check your auto insurance policy first. Some insurers include roadside assistance coverage when you buy comprehensive and collision insurance. Others offer it as an optional element of your policy.

Review your auto policy before you hit the highway. Roadside assistance coverage varies depending on your insurance company. Some insurers will have a tow truck respond when you have an emergency; whereas, others reimburse you for incurred towing and emergency labor. Regardless, you must always submit towing as part of your claim.

Ensure That Your Insurance Coverage Is Up-to-Date

Before you leave home, make sure that you’ve paid your auto insurance premium. It won’t help if you remember you’ve forgotten to pay after you crash into someone’s car. Also, make sure you have an up-to-date insurance card, either paper or digitally stored on your smartphone.

All states have financial responsibility laws. You must show proof of insurance if you’re involved in an accident. You don’t have to meet other states’ limit requirements, but you do have to prove that you can pay for any damages that you cause. You can view a brief digest of state laws and financial responsibility requirements on AAA’s website.

Download a Travel App

If you’re traveling a long way from home, you’ll appreciate a gas app that can help you save on travel costs. Apps like GasBuddy and Gas Guru tell you where to find gas for the best prices. GasBuddy also gives you a per-gallon discount. Gas Guru has a feature that lets you save the location, so you can stop for low priced gas if you return home the same way you came.

Waze is a multipurpose, crowd-sourced app. The app gathers information from other users to help you avoid traffic jams, find travel shortcuts, locate the best gas prices, and perform other helpful functions. All of these three apps are free; you’ll find them and similar apps in your IOS or Play store.

Don’t Get a Speeding Ticket

It’s annoying when you see flashing lights in your rear-view mirror. It’s worse when you realize that those flashing lights are coming after you. Nothing can ruin a road trip like a surprise stop by a local police officer. Speeders inspire police officers to act, and there’s a good reason for that. Speed is a major factor in causing accidents and greatly affects crash and injury severity.

Here are a few statistics published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that you should consider before you decide to ramp up your speed:

  • 26 percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide are speed-related.
  • People usually drive faster than the speed limit. Higher speed limits motivate speeders to drive even faster.
  • A visible law enforcement presence reduces excessive speeding.
  • 37,000 traffic fatalities over the past 25 years were directly related to speed limit increases.

You can prevent adverse speed-related outcomes by knowing a little bit about the speed limits in the states through which you plan to drive. Some roads won’t always have speed limits conveniently posted. You can still avoid problems by checking out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s chart of maximum posted speed limits by state.

Miscellaneous Road Trip Items

Of course, you know to bring snacks and plenty of water on your road trip. If you’re traveling with children, you’ll need kid-friendly activities, games, and a digital pad to keep up with daily screen-time. You should also have a working car charger and cord to keep your smartphone active and ready for emergencies.

Perhaps most important, you should feel well-rested before setting off. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association lists drowsy driving as a risky driving behavior. You’ll drive most safely if you sleep well the night before you hit the road.

NHTSA Investigates Additional 12.3 Million Vehicles for Defective ZF TRW Airbags

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Airbags remain a continuous target for safety investigations and consumer product recalls. After some airbags in Hyundai and Kia vehicles didn’t deploy, and caused four fatalities and six people to suffer serious injuries, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigated more than 400,000 vehicles in 2018. In April 2019, the NHTSA expanded their investigation to include the airbags in an additional 12.3 million vehicles.

This investigation focuses on ZF TRW airbags found in Honda, Mitsubishi, Fiat Chrysler, and Toyota vehicles as well as Hyundai and Kia. The NHTSA reports some of the airbags might fail during a crash. Their investigation includes examining the airbag control units each car company uses and determining if they are faulty. The control units are responsible for sensing a crash and triggering deployment of the necessary airbags.

The ZF TRW investigation comes on the heels of the Takata airbag recall, the largest automotive recall in United States history. The NHTSA reports more than 41 million vehicle equipped with about 56 million airbags have been recalled because the airbags might explode in conditions of high heat and humidity, leading to fatalities and severe injury for drivers and passengers.

This guide provides information about defective products in general, airbag defects, potential injuries from a malfunctioning airbag, how you can stay safe in light of recent recalls, and your next steps if you have suffered harm from a malfunctioning airbag.

Understanding Product Defects

You might wonder exactly how a malfunctioning airbag can make its way into your vehicle. After all, designers and manufacturing plants perform all types of testing before they release a new product, especially automobile companies who have a lot to lose when people are injured or lose their lives in their vehicles. Regardless of the type of product, defects typically fall into three different categories:

  • Design defects occur in the beginning stages of a vehicle. When engineers are designing new vehicles and features, they have made a mistake somewhere in the design, causing a defect. In many cases, malfunctioning airbags are a result of design defects. For example, the recent Takata airbag recall is a result of a poor choice in material during the design process. Sometimes issues show up during crash tests, but often times consumers and car companies aren’t aware of design defects until the car has been on the road for some time.
  • Manufacturing defects occur when companies build parts and assemble vehicles. This might be a result of an employee mistake, improper tooling of machinery, damage during shipping, and a variety of other things. Improper assembly remains the most likely manufacturing defect which might cause an airbag to malfunction. Airbags are sealed under other pieces of the car, making it unlikely for an airbag to be damaged after assembly.
  • Information/marketing defects occur when manufacturers fail to warn of dangers associated with the use of a specific product. While marketing defects can and do happen in motor vehicles, the most recent recall of Takata and TRW airbags are not related to marketing defects.

Examples of Airbag Defects

The NHTSA sets motor vehicle safety standards and regulations for car companies and companies who design and manufacture component parts, including airbags. Manufacturers designed and included airbags in vehicles as an additional safety feature to complement seat belts. The NHTSA estimates the combined safety of airbags and seat belt use save about 3,000 lives each year. An airbag must deploy at the right time with the exact amount of required force, and any design or manufacturing defect might cause malfunction. Common defects that cause an airbag to malfunction include:

  • The moment of impact sensor fails to trigger deployment of the airbag.
  • The airbag deploys with excessive force.
  • The airbag deploys with less than force than it needs to be effective.
  • The airbag doesn’t deploy at all.
  • The deployment timing isn’t correct so the airbag deploys too soon or too late
  • The recent Takata recall includes airbags which explode when the weather is too hot and humid

Defective Airbags Can Lead to Severe Injuries and Death

Airbags are intended to be a safety feature to help drivers and passengers avoid injury in a traffic crash. When airbags malfunction, drivers and passengers might experience a wide variety of injuries, including:

  • Head injuries and brain injuries when failed deployment causes an occupant’s head to hit the steering wheel or windshield
  • Whiplash
  • Back injuries
  • Multiple facial fractures
  • Crushed or broken limbs
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal bleeding and broken ribs when airbags deploy with too much force

Was Your Car Recalled for an Airbag Defect?

The NHTSA can force an automaker to initiate a recall, but as soon as car companies know about airbag issues and other defects, they often recall on their own. In either case, you will likely get a notification in the mail. Yet, when cars change owners, people move, or the owner has had the car for several years, those notifications may not arrive. If you are concerned you might have a malfunctioning airbag, you need to do a little research on your own as soon as possible.

The NHTSA maintains a website, safetycar.gov, where you can enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and get information about recalls on your vehicle; however, the VIN lookup feature only covers the following:

  • Uncompleted safety recalls on your vehicle
  • Safety recalls initiated in the past 15 calendar years
  • Safety recalls by major automakers

The VIN lookup at safetycar.gov does not provide information for recently announced investigations and issues, so you may not find the recent ZF TRW airbag investigation listed yet. If your vehicle was manufactured later than 2002, you might have a Takata airbag, which means you need to take in your vehicle for repair, even if you haven’t experienced any issues.

A Product Liability Lawyer Can Help

If you suffered injury or lost a family member as a result of a malfunctioning airbag, Washington law entitles you to sue for damages. An attorney can help you learn more about product liability claims, and what to do next if you were injured due to an automobile defect.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Washington and Oregon: What to Know Before You Ride

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The Pacific Northwest offers some of most scenic motorcycle routes in the United States. Highway 20 in Washington and the Aufderheide Memorial Drive in Oregon are just two routes that offer more than 60 miles of natural beauty. Traveling these roads, or any other road throughout Washington and Oregon, by motorcycle requires the use of a helmet. Both states adhere to the universal helmet law, which requires all riders to wear helmets. Understanding the specific helmet requirements makes your ride safer—and legal—as you cruise along on your adventure.

Standards and Regulations for Motorcycle Helmets

Research by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that helmets reduce a rider’s risk of head injury by 69 percent and risk of death by 37 percent.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that helmets sold within the United States meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. This federal standard sets the minimum requirements for protecting the head and brain during a crash. Helmets that meet the standard have a DOT sticker on the outside, back of the helmet.

Counterfeit DOT stickers are a threat to motorcyclists’ safety. When inspecting a helmet, a DOT-approved helmet should contain the following features:

  • A thick, inner lining
  • Sturdy chin strap with thick rivets
  • Helmets meeting FMVSS 218 generally weigh about three pounds

The DOT conducts intense testing on helmets, including:

  • Visual conditioning
  • Force of impact
  • Penetration resistance
  • Retention system strength

Despite claims by opponents of helmet laws, helmets do not restrict a rider’s vision or hearing. Helmets that do not meet FMVSS are known as novelty helmets. While these helmets may appeal to some riders as more attractive, research shows that riders wearing such helmets are twice as likely to die in the event of a crash.

DOT-approved helmets include half-shell, open-face, and full-face helmets. A certified, full-face helmet is the ultimate defense against injury while traveling on a motorcycle.

Universal Helmet Laws at Work

Washington and Oregon are part of a group of 19 states and the District of Columbia that have universal helmet laws. According to a 2017 study, 97 percent of riders wore DOT-approved helmets in states that require helmet use.

Universal helmet laws date back to 1967. The federal government required states to adopt stricter helmet laws to receive federal safety and highway construction funds. By 1975, most states had complied; however, the power of Congress to control such regulation faltered throughout the years.

Research continues to show the advantages of helmets in saving lives and minimizing serious injury. In Washington alone, nearly 75 motorcyclists die in accidents every year. With the proper gear and training, motorcyclists can avoid a majority of accidents, except for those caused by the negligent driving of other drivers.

Motorcycle Injuries

The blunt force trauma of a motorcycle collision with a car or commercial vehicle can result in serious injuries. Most drivers understand the meaning of share the road, yet many continue to engage in risky and unsafe behaviors behind the wheel.

When a driver fails to yield the right-of-way or pulls out in front of a motorcycle, the impact often ejects the rider from his or her bike, and the driver will then strike anything in his or her pathway before colliding with the ground.

Heavy clothing, gloves, boots, helmets, and other safety gear only go so far in protecting riders. Many drivers face multiple broken bones to their legs and arms. Drivers also face serious neck, back, internal, and other injuries that may require months for recovery.

Far worse are the injuries from which a rider has no chance for a full recovery. These types of injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBI) or spinal cord injuries (SCI). Both of these injuries affect a person’s quality of life and can require a lifetime of medical and personal care.

Get Your Motor Running

Driving defensively and using your safety training skills will provide you with the best chance for avoiding a serious collision. Enjoying the freedom of the open road is your right as a licensed motorcycle driver.

Cruising throughout the scenic states of Washington and Oregon, either as a resident or a visitor, is a welcome change from your usual routine. When another driver violently interrupts your ride and causes your serious harm, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer without delay.

There are a variety of reasons why passenger and commercial vehicle operators crash into motorcycles. All it takes is one risky behavior to create devastation and injuries that last a lifetime. Examples of risky and negligent behavior include:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving—includes texting, talking on a cellphone, reaching for items, eating, or applying makeup
  • Failing to check blind spots for motorcycles or to properly adjust mirrors
  • Failure to estimate the distance and speed of an approaching motorcycle
  • Not paying attention to slowed or stop motorcycles

No one should suffer long term medical, financial, or emotional consequences due to the negligence of another driver. If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, contact a motorcycle crash lawyer for more information.

Stay Safe and Obey Helmet Laws

The state governments of Washington and Oregon want motorcyclists to travel safely, which is why they’ve implemented the universal helmet law. While a helmet doesn’t completely eliminate your chance of injury, wearing a helmet is your best protection against a serious head or brain injury.

Serious injuries may occur during a crash caused by a distracted or drunk driver. When this happens, you have a right to refuse low-dollar settlement offers from insurance companies and to instead contact a personal injury lawyer.

Stay safe and get your motor running this summer. Obey helmet laws and map out your route through the Pacific Northwest.

Everyone has a right to safely enjoy the scenic beauty of Washington and Oregon, especially by motorcycle. Should the unthinkable occur, a motorcycle accident lawyer stands ready to assist you with your personal injury claim.

How to Prove a Car Accident Claim

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Car accidents can happen to anyone, at any time. Whether your car only suffers minor property damage or someone sustains a serious injury, at some point in your life, you will probably experience a car accident. In 2017, Washington experienced 565 fatal car accidents throughout the state.

The Question of Fault

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, first the insurance companies will decide who is at fault for the accident. If there is a lawsuit that goes to trial, the jury will determine fault. Deciding who is at fault for an accident is an important question, as it determines damages and any resulting penalties or fines.

In some cases, proving fault is straightforward, but that’s not always the case. The law regarding car accidents varies from state to state. Washington is a fault state, which means that if a car accident occurs in Washington, the driver who caused the accident is liable for the resulting losses and injuries. This means that an injured victim may sue the other driver and/or his insurance company directly. To prove a car accident claim, you must establish all of the following:

  • That the other driver acted negligently (negligence is the failure to use ordinary care to avoid foreseeable damages).
  • That the negligence of the other driver caused the accident
  • That the plaintiff sustained an injury and financial damages as a result of the accident

In some cases, a court may hold multiple parties liable for an accident. Washington follows the pure comparative negligence theory, which means that a court will reduce any compensation amount by the injured party’s percentage of fault for his or her own injuries.

Washington law requires every driver in the state to have liability insurance coverage. If you have such coverage and are involved in a crash, your insurance company will pay for your damages, up to the value of your policy. However, you may also have insurance coverage of your own that applies as well, such as:

  • No-fault coverage
  • Med-pay
  • Coverage that only covers property damage

Even if your insurance company should be paying for your injuries, such companies are notoriously difficult to deal with, which is why having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side can help.

Proving Liability in a Car Accident

All drivers owe a duty to everyone else on the road to use the highest degree of care to avoid injuring others or damaging property. To establish fault in a car accident, you must prove that the other driver owed you a duty of care, that he or she breached that duty, and that the breach caused your injuries and damages. It is important to establish that the other driver failed to act as a responsible person would in a similar situation. Proving liability in a car accident can prove difficult.

In car accident cases, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff (the party seeking damages), which means that he or she must establish that the other driver was at fault. To meet the burden of proof, the plaintiff must validate all of the claims that he or she is making in the personal injury claim. The evidence must support the plaintiff’s version of the accident and any information related to the details of his or her injuries and damages. To build the best possible case for an injury lawsuit or insurance claim, it is critical to gather as much evidence as possible. The more evidence you have to support your claims, the more likely you are to obtain fair compensation. There are many different types of evidence, including medical bills, photographs, witness statements, and accident reports.

Evidence From the Scene of the Accident

Even the most minor car accident can leave you upset and disoriented. Immediately following an accident, seek medical help for yourself and any other injured persons. Call the police, as an official accident report may prove crucial in proving fault down the road. If a car accident in Washington resulted in an injury to any person and/or damage of $1,000 or more to any one vehicle or another unit of property, someone involved in the car accident must complete a motor vehicle collision report, unless a police officer has already accomplished this task.

While at the scene, collect as much evidentiary information as possible, such as:

  1. Contact information for all of the other drivers. In addition to names, addresses and phone numbers, try to obtain license plate numbers, drivers’ license numbers, and insurance information for all drivers involved in the accident.
  2. Contact information for any witnesses to the collision.
  3. Damaged vehicles and property. Take pictures of all damaged property from several angles.
  4. Photograph the surrounding area. In particular, take pictures of skid marks and any road debris in the crash area. Document all road conditions and traffic lights or signs in the vicinity of the crash.
  5. Take notes. What was the other driver doing when the crash occurred? Did you notice the other driver texting, driving while distracted, or using alcohol or drugs?
  6. Look for other cameras. Security cameras of adjacent businesses or other cameras may have recorded the accident. These recordings might provide valuable evidence, but you must gather them before they are destroyed.

Evidence of Damages

Most car accident cases involve property damage. To receive compensation for the full cost of your property damage, you will need all records related to car repairs, car rentals, or other property damage caused by the crash. Don’t forget recent improvements you may have made to the car before the accident. If your car was totaled, proof of these improvements may increase the value of your vehicle.

Physical injuries are an extremely important part of your car accident claim. You should obtain medical care immediately following any accident. You may think that you are uninjured, but do not wait to seek treatment. It may take days, weeks, or longer for the symptoms of car crash injuries to show up. Common injuries include back, neck and spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and internal bleeding. You should preserve all evidence related to your injuries, including:

  • Hardcopy and electronic records of your medical care. You should have copies of your treatment record and diagnostic images, such as x-rays and MRIs. Include records of your post-treatment care, such as therapy or rehabilitation. You will also want to gather any information related to lost wages. You will need proof of any out-of-pocket costs, or copays, as well as information related to lost wages. In addition, keep records of all communications between you and your insurance company.
  • Keep a journal of the aftermath of the accident. Over time, memories fade. A daily diary related to your injuries may provide useful details. Keep track of your healthcare appointments and changes in your condition. Car accident injuries are not just physical. Your mental and emotional state may contribute to an award for non-economic damages.

You Need an Experienced Attorney

A car accident may happen in an instant, but the serious and long-term losses can affect you and your loved ones far into the future. There are time limits for filing claims, so you need to consult an experienced, dedicated personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Back and Neck Injuries From Rear-End Collisions

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The United States experiences more than six-million car accidents each year. Back and neck injuries are common, especially in rear-end collisions. These injuries are often catastrophic, leaving the victim with a long term disability and huge medical bills. Car accidents are a leading cause of trauma in the country, and approximately 10 percent of all car accident victims are left disabled.

Rear-End Collisions

In 2017, 438 rear-end collisions occurred in King County, Washington, home to Seattle. In a rear-end collision, one car crashes into the rear of another vehicle. Usually, the driver in the rear vehicle is presumed to be at fault. In some cases, however, that driver may have been following too closely or driving while distracted.

Some rear-end collisions cause minor damage; whereas, in other situations, such as when a larger car or truck hits a smaller passenger vehicle, significant damage can result. The speed and force of a rear-end collision may suddenly propel the front car forward. The driver and passengers in the front car are often thrown backward and forward, and the force of these abrupt movements can injure the joints, ligaments, and muscles of the neck and back.

Studies have shown that a rear-end collision at speeds as low as five miles per hour can induce cervical (neck) injury, and whiplash can occur at speeds as low as 2.5 miles per hour. Unsurprisingly, a high-speed collision can cause severe bodily damage.

Whiplash

Whiplash is commonly used to describe a hyperflexion/hyperextension injury. Whiplash occurs when the impact of a crash causes an individual’s head to snap forward and backward. When the ligaments and muscles in the neck stretch beyond their usual range of motion, they may be ripped or torn. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries caused by car accidents, affecting over one-million people in the United States each year. Symptoms may last for years, and many victims never fully recover. Whiplash symptoms may include:

  • Stiffness and neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Arm pain or numbness
  • Decreased muscle strength
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty with memory or concentration
  • Mood swings or irritability
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Abnormal reflexes

Often, injured individuals do not realize the extent of their injuries until after the accident, when they begin to experience the symptoms, such as a stiff neck. Claims for whiplash injuries are difficult to prove because the injury does not always show up on X-rays.

Common Back Injuries From Rear-End Collisions

Your back spans much of your body and has many components, including ligaments, muscles, tissues, tendons, vertebrae, discs, and bones, any of which an accident can damage. A car accident victim may experience pain that is sharp and/or aching, depending on the circumstances of the accident. The injury may cause a limited range of motion or restrict the injured individual’s ability to walk or stand for an extended period of time.

Some of the most common types of back injuries from car accidents include:

  • Lumbar or thoracic vertebrae fractures. Both the lumbar vertebrae (in the lower section of the spine) and the thoracic vertebrae (in the middle section of the spine) are susceptible to rotation, flexion, and extension fractures.
  • Back strains. When soft tissues are damaged by force or pressure that causes them to stretch too much, the resulting back strains lead to pain and mobility problems.
  • Back sprains. Sprains are also caused by soft tissue damage to the back. Ligaments, which connects bones to joints or connect bones to each other, are usually damaged in the case of back sprains.
  • Herniated discs. Discs cushion the vertebrae (bones) of the back. The force of a rear-end collision may cause the discs to break or rupture. They may also bulge and press on the nerves along the spine, causing significant pain.
  • Compression fractures. Compression fractures are often very serious, resulting in breathing problems and significant pain. A compression fracture is a small break or crack in the bones of the spine.
  • Spinal stenosis. This condition refers to a narrowing of the bone channel that contains the spinal nerves and spinal cord. A car accident may lead to a bone fragment or ruptured disc, applying pressure to the nerves or spinal cord.

Recovering From Back and Neck Injuries After a Rear-End Collision

Back and neck injuries can be painful and debilitating. They may restrict your mobility and interfere with your quality of life. Recovery after a rear-end collision varies, depending on the severity and location of the injury, but may include the following:

  • Wearing a cervical collar, corset, or brace. A cervical collar restricts movement and helps to support the neck during the healing process. It prevents you from making sudden, painful movements.
  • Working with a physical therapist. An individualized physical therapy program helps restore your range of motion. If you have lost mobility for some time after an accident, it can also strengthen impacted muscles and reduce pain.
  • Your doctor and physical therapist can help you determine how to use heat or cold to help control pain. As a general rule, cold helps reduce swelling and thereby reduces overall pain; whereas, heat helps loosen tight muscles for relief of immediate pain.
  • Your doctor may prescribe prescription or over-the-counter medications to control pain. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations for effective pain control to avoid the risk of addictive habits.
  • It may hurt to move, but your doctor and physical therapist will help you work toward resuming your normal activities and maintaining the best quality of life possible.

Do You Need an Attorney After a Rear-End Collision?

Following a rear-end collision, many people brush off minor pain or think that they did not suffer any serious injuries. A few days later, however, their injuries may prevent them from getting out of bed. If you’ve sustained an injury in a rear-end collision, you need prompt medical attention. Your medical professional will conduct a thorough evaluation and provide immediate treatment, if necessary. If you have suffered back or neck injuries, the road to recovery may be long and expensive, with mounting medical bills and lost wages. An experienced vehicle accident attorney can help you obtain compensation for the full cost of your injuries.