There is a common misperception that there is a rush to the courthouse by those involved in motor vehicle accidents.
But a landmark study has concluded that just the opposite is true. University researchers have discovered that most victims of auto accidents don’t sue – even though they commonly suffer chronic neck pain long after the crash.
Our veteranFort Myers personal injury attorneys represent those injured in automobile accidents fight for the compensation they deserve.
Each year, nearly 4 million people in the U.S. receive emergency room treatment for injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents. More than 90 percent of those patients are sent home without being hospitalized after being examined by emergency room doctors.
The landmark study was conducted by a team of investigators from eight institutions. The team was led by researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
According to the report’s authors, it is the first large-scale study to address muscle and skeletal pain outcomes for the victims of motor vehicle collisions in the U.S.
The study examined auto accident admissions from eight emergency departments in four states. Pain that persisted in the weeks following a crash was a common problem for those who participated in the study.
More than 70 percent of participants reported persistent muscle or skeletal pain in at least one region of the body. More than one third reported pain in four or more areas of the body. Only 17 percent of the 948 individuals who participated in the study reported having contacted a lawyer for filing a personal injury lawsuit six weeks after their accident.
Notably, the majority of study participants who said they were not planning to file a lawsuit still reported some form of persistent pain.
Neck pain was a significant problem in the study group, with 28 percent saying they suffered from persistent moderate or severe neck pain. Thirteen percent reported having widespread musculoskeletal pain in seven or more body regions. Four percent said they experienced symptoms of fibromyalgia, a syndrome characterized by widespread chronic pain in muscles and soft tissues.
“Our findings indicate that persistent pain is very common among those who aren’t suing, and that only a minority of those with persistent pain are engaged in litigation,” Dr. Samuel McLean, the lead author of the study. McLean is an associate professor of anesthesiology and emergency medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
You should understand that what some people might think are “minor” injuries may actually be significant, resulting in a lifetime of pain and suffering.
You can suffer a significant neck injury even in an automobile accident that occurs at a relatively slow speed. Whiplash is a type of neck injury that commonly occurs in rear-end collisions when, like the cracking of a whip, your head suddenly moves backward and forward.
Proving the existence and extent of a neck injury caused by a traffic accident can be difficult and typically requires the skills of an experienced attorney.
If you need help from an experienced Fort Myers personal injury attorney, contact Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner for a free consultation at 800.646.1210.