As a personal injury attorney I know that a crash that occurs at a low speed, even though it does minimal damage to a car, can cause you crippling injuries.
That is now confirmed by a recent study published by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation reported by Michael Freeman, D.C., Christopher Centeno, M.D., and Sean Kohles, Ph.D. – a chiropractor, medical doctor and biomechanical engineer “A Systematic Approach to Clinical Determinations of Causation in Symptomatic Spinal Injury Following Motor Vehicle Crash Trauma” reviews medical studies conducted over 30 years and found no evidence that a minor did not put people at risk for disk injuries.
A major motivation for Dr. Freeman to conduct this study was his personal experience with Allstate and with other insurance companies. Dr. Freeman is known as the nation’s leading expert on injuries in minor impact collisions, and he has seen Allstate and other insurance companies increase their profits by refusing to pay the claims that they legitimately owe.
Dr. Freeman is the associate editor of The Spine Journal, and he is the co-author of a book called “From ‘Good Hands’ to Boxing Gloves” which describes how Allstate has transformed itself from a respected company to the ultimate bad faith insurance company.
One of the tactics Dr. Freeman reports that Allstate and other insurance companies use is to claim that the vehicles involved in an accident were not moving fast enough to cause spinal injuries. This study exposes that argument as a fraud.
Intervertebral disks lie between each pair of vertebrae and act as the spine’s shock absorbers. The disks also serve as part of the system of ligaments that hold the spine together.
Spinal disks are a combination of a fibrous cartilage and a fluid center that’s the consistency of jelly. Disks are tough and durable, but they’re not indestructible. Disks suffer from two common types of injuries, and motor vehicle crashes are a frequent cause.
The first type of injury, often called a slipped disk, means that the disk has moved out of its proper position.
All messages from the brain to the body’s muscles and organs travel through the spine, and an unstable disk interferes with the neurological system. An unstable disk frequently puts pressure on a nerve, and it can cause pain or numbness, as well as weakness, tingling, and loss of bowel and bladder control.
A more serious injury is a ruptured or herniated disk. When this occurs, the soft material in the center of the disk bulges through the harder outer ring of the disk. The pain from a ruptured or herniated disk is more intense than the pain from an unstable disk, and a herniated disk can disable a person with shocking and excruciating pain radiating from the back into arms and legs.
Disks are avascular and because they have no blood supply they do not heal. Once damaged they remain damaged. The victim either accommodates the loss or requires surgery to remove troublesome disk material, remove the disk and in some cases fuse the spine.
Dr. Freeman and his colleagues have now proven conclusively that any motor vehicle crash, regardless of the speed of the vehicles, can cause spinal injuries and in doing so have exposed the unethical practice of many insurance companies that claim that a crash could not have caused any injury because it did not occur at a sufficiently high speed.
Symptoms of spinal injuries sometimes don’t surface for days or weeks. If a victim refuses medical treatment and fails to consistently report their symptoms to their physician, they will have a very difficult time obtaining reasonable compensation for their injuries.
If you are involved a crash, never refuse an immediate medical examination. Document all that happened to you and follow up with your personal physician, carefully reporting all of your symptoms.
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