Auto Accidents


If you believe your injuries are a result of an automobile accident, contact us today and receive a complementary consultation.  

Call 608-442-9099 or schedule appointment online.

But I didn't Hurt Right Away. The accident is over, and while you may have just had the fright of your life, you seem fine. When the other driver or the police officer asks you if you need medical help, you say you are fine. No ambulance is called, no record is made of your injuries.

But the next day... you can barely move. Is it too late to make a claim or get treatment for your injuries? Of course not.

Often the body is not in immediate pain. A very large percentage of serious injuries, are not apparent immediately. Even life threatening brain and spinal injuries do not manifest themselves for hours. This is why it is standard protocol for most emergency rooms to issue instructions as to monitoring patients for a deterioration of their symptoms when sending someone home who might have suffered a brain or spinal injury.

As it is universally understood that many types of injuries will not become symptomatic for hours or even days after an accident, a statement to someone at the scene that you are "fine" may not be an accurate description of how you really are.

But it was several weeks before I started having problems with my back, my neck. Again this is a common occurrence, especially if a person had other more obvious pain at the time of the accident. Many times, the body only notices the worst pain. If you have been in an accident, you may have scrapes and bruises all over your body. You may be stiff all over and everything seems to ache. In such situation, even major injury to your neck or back, the pain may not be focused in these areas. In some cases, it may take weeks for a body part that has been weakened by the injury to become symptomatic.

But there was only minor vehicle damage. Injury in a motor vehicle accident comes as a result of primarily two things:

1.The contact of your body with some object, usually the inside of the car; or

2. Rapid change in speed of your body, such as in a whiplash accident. In this situation, your body can be subjected to life threatening force, without significant damage to the vehicles. In fact sometimes the injuries are worse because the energy of the collision is transferred to movement rather than destruction of the vehicle.

But I was wearing my seatbelt. Seatbelts saves lives, by reducing the risk of hitting the windshield or being thrown from the vehicle.  However, by holding the waist and one shoulder of the person in a fixed position, the seatbelt may actually increase the acceleration/deceleration forces on the head, neck and back.  In addition, the twisting that occurs because only one shoulder is held stationary, adds rotational or centrifugal force to the equation, which has even greater potential for injury.  By all means, wear your seatbelt. But understand that seatbelts do not eliminate all injuries, and can in fact be the cause of much different injuries than would have occurred without having worn them.  Such injuries are normally not as life threatening as hitting your head on the windshield or being thrown from a vehicle, but they can still be severe and disabling.

What exactly are my injuries?  In most neck, back and spinal cord injury cases, the injury occurs because of rapid change in speed of the head and torso in an accident.  These change in speed cases are called acceleration/deceleration injuries, or more commonly, whiplash.

Neck and back injuries can generally be classified into four types:

  • 1. Those involving direct injury to the spinal cord,
  • 2. Those involving broken bones,
  • 3. Those involving disk injury and
  • 4. Those involving soft tissue injury.

Clearly the most severe are those involving injury to the spinal cord as they often involve paralysis or death.  Broken bones may often injure the spinal cord, making them potentially severe as well, but not all broken bones in the spine include spinal cord involvement.  Disk injuries are more typically associated with injury or damage to nerve routes, which run off of the spinal cord and often involve radiculapathy, pain, numbness of tingling affecting the extremities such as arms or legs.  Soft tissue injuries, which involve less risk of secondary injury, are the most common, and can be as minor as a simple sprain which clears up in a day or two, or may be permanent.  In some cases, soft tissue injury may restrict activity to the point that a person is permanently disabled as a result.


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