Years ago, in cartoons and movies, the joke was if someone was “faking” a car accident injury, they were often portrayed with a neck brace and claimed they were suffering from whiplash. Anyone who has actually suffered a whiplash injury, however, can attest that there is nothing “fake” about this very painful injury.
Whiplash is not an injury that has always been around. Doctors began seeing this type of injury in the early 1800’s as the railroad became a mode of transportation. Many victims of railroad accidents, who were in railroad cars hit from behind, suffered whiplash injuries. Doctors at first classified whiplash injuries as sprains, but soon realized whiplash injuries did not heal like sprain injuries. Doctors were also confused as to how the injury actually occurred and thought that injuries were caused by the “jarring back and forth of the spine.” The injury became known as “railroad spine.”
With the invention of automobiles came the increase of car accidents – and whiplash injuries – which were still a mystery to the medical industry. Finally, in 1995, a classification system was developed for what the medical field now refers to as whiplash injuries. If one searches on various medical information websites, there is wide-ranging acknowledgment that “whiplash” is a very real syndrome, for which orthopedic, chiropractic and physical therapy practices treat patients every day of the year.
Despite the classification, there are still many insurance adjusters who minimize the seriousness of whiplash injuries, or strongly question them, especially when a victim suffers chronic pain lasting many months. These insurance company reps still believe that a whiplash injury is nothing more than a sprain and should always heal within two to three weeks. Nonetheless, many sympathetic medical doctors recognize that approximately 25 percent of whiplash injury victims end up suffering chronic pain from the injury.
Issues with Whiplash Injury Claims
Despite medical records which often reveal multiple visits to the doctor with complaints of pain that a chronic whiplash injury brings, car insurance companies often offer settlements that are much less than the financial losses the victim has actually suffered or they deny the claim completely.
This is one reason why you should contact a seasoned Virginia car accident attorney if you have suffered a whiplash injury in a Virginia car crash. The legal team from Shapiro & Appleton has decades of experience advocating for injured VA clients. Our Virginia personal injury attorneys have successfully represented many clients who were forced to deal with painful injuries and long recoveries due to another person’s negligence. Contact our office today at 800-752-0042 to schedule a free case evaluation.