Almost three-quarters of car accident victims who go to a hospital after a collision are still in pain six weeks later. Texas fault laws are supposed to ensure these victims don't face financial loss if someone else caused their injuries. Unfortunately, many victims may not be taking steps to protect their rights in the wake of motor-vehicle collisions.
If you or a loved one was in a collision, contact Hagood & Neumann to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Houston. You have only a limited time to act and shouldn't wait if you are in pain of have suffered injury.
Disturbing Studies Show Crash Victims Left With Pain
Recent research on pain outcomes after motor vehicle accidents sheds light on how collision victims are recovering. More than four million people visit hospitals in the U.S. annually after car accidents, with injuries ranging from mild to severe. Unfortunately, among patients who are discharged from the hospital, the effects of the crash can linger for weeks or longer.
A total of 948 injury victims who sought treatment were evaluated to determine what happens to crash victims when they leave the hospital. Seventy percent of the study participants still had musculoskeletal pain six weeks after discharge. The musculoskeletal system is the system of muscles, bones, ligaments and joints that runs throughout the body. Around 1/3 of those who had musculoskeletal pain reported discomfort in at least four different regions of their body.
Lingering pain that persists for this long can be a sign of serious soft tissue injuries, including herniated discs in the back or neck injuries like whiplash. These injuries can sometimes be debilitating, can require surgical intervention and ongoing pain medications, and can necessitate lengthy absences from work.
Victims who take legal action could have costs and losses covered by a driver who caused the collision. Despite this, only 17 percent of the patients had consulted with an attorney or begun pursuing a car accident case within six weeks of their accident.
The patients who had not begun litigation were often in as much or more pain as those who had sought legal advice. For example, 13 percent of those not pursuing an accident claim had pain in seven regions of their body. Four percent reported symptoms similar to a debilitating condition called fibromyalgia. Finally, 28 percent said they were experiencing neck pain described as moderate to severe.
Neck pain is often an indicator of whiplash, which can have symptoms beyond just discomfort in the neck. Fatigue, jaw pain, tinnitus, visual disturbances and extreme weakness can all occur in whiplash patients. Unfortunately, as many as 10 percent of patients with whiplash will have severe and persistent pain that could linger for years, according to the North American Spine Society.
Car accident victims should never assume that a musculoskeletal injury will just get better or go away on its own since it is not immediately clear whether a soft tissue injury will actually heal. If you are one of the victims who doesn't get better and you have waited to take legal action, you could jeopardize your right to damages and be left with significant financial loss.
Contact a personal injury lawyer in Houston at Hagood & Neumann after your collision. Call (800) 632-9404 or visit www.h-nlaw.com to schedule your free consultation.