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Whiplash & Auto Accidents – The Long-term Effects

Many people suffer from whiplash injury after a car accident, and this injury can be both mild or severe. A severe whiplash injury, and failure to properly diagnose or treat it, can result in serious, long-term injuries and consequences such as disability and significant medical costs. Whiplash is often a slow onset, gradually referring pain to multiple regions of the body. As it progresses, this seemingly small injury can go on to have long-term and sometime, permanent effects.

What is whiplash and when does it happen?

Whiplash is a soft tissue neck injury that is caused by a severe jerk to the head, which often occurs during rear-end car accidents. However it can also happen during many other incidents that involve a sudden movement of the head and neck.

The most common causes of whiplash are:

  • Car and cycling accidents,
  • Physical abuse,
  • Contact sports such as football, boxing, or karate,
  • Amusement park rides,
  • Horseback riding,
  • Falls where the head is violently jerked backwards, and
  • Blows to the head with a heavy item.

Whiplash occurs when your head is jolted forward and then snaps back, or severely rotates to the side. The sudden movement can damage the soft tendons, ligaments, and muscles in your neck as a result of being stretched beyond their typical range of motion. Even the discs between your neck and bones can be torn from whiplash, causing extreme pain as well as other symptoms to some people.

1998 study on whiplash showed that injuries can be sustained at low speeds, even as slow as 4 miles per hour.

The long-term effects of whiplash

The symptoms of whiplash after a car accident can last for days, weeks, months, or even years, depending on the severity of the impact and injury sustained to your neck or upper back. The symptoms of chronic whiplash may never disappear completely. These can include:

  • Pain and stiffness in the neck or shoulders,
  • Upper or lower back pain,
  • Jaw pain,
  • Severe headaches,
  • Dizziness,
  • Blurred vision,
  • Constant weariness,
  • Concentration and memory problems,
  • Ringing in the ears,
  • Difficulty sleeping,
  • Irritability,
  • Travel anxiety, and
  • Numbness or weakness in the arms or legs.

A severe whiplash injury can also lead to osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis in the long term, if there is a true injury to the spine such as a fracture. That is why it’s always important to seek medical treatment immediately after an accident, as sometimes there will be a delay before effects show.

Making a compensation claim for whiplash injuries

If you wish to make a compensation claim for your whiplash injury, you should first visit your general practitioner and have them make a record of the symptoms. Whiplash symptoms can be difficult to document medically by scans or x-rays, which can prevent you from obtaining fair compensation, and for that reason it’s highly recommended that you make a claim with a lawyer.

The Russell Law Firm represents injured clients involved in car wrecks throughout the State of Louisiana, including the parishes of East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Livingston Parish, Ascension Parish, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Charles Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Assumption Parish, Lafayette Parish, Lafourche Parish, Lafayette Parish, St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish; and the cities of Baton Rouge, Livingston, Denham Springs, Walker, Gonzales, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Lafayette, Napoleonville,    Kenner, Harvey, Marrero, Estelle, Gretna, Metairie, New Orleans, Terrytown, Westwego, Ville Platte, Eunice, Opelousas, Thibodaux, Houma, Belle Chasse, and Hahnville.

Our firm is experienced and highly skilled in handling car wreck claims. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car wreck  and suffers with whiplash injury in Baton Rouge or anywhere else in Louisiana, make the Right Call, Right Now and contact Louisiana car accident attorneys at the Russell Law Firm today at 225-307-0088. We will take a hands-on, aggressive approach towards getting you compensated for your losses.

**Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice.

By:      Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area personal injury attorney, licensed in Louisiana.

****THE PHOTOGRAPH ABOVE IS NOT A DEPICTION OF ANY ACTUAL EVENT OR SCENE, BUT MERELY A DRAMATIZATION. 

 

Car Wreck Claims – Danny Russell

Car Wreck Claims

russell law firm baton rouge la

Danny Russell is a Baton Rouge car accident lawyer, representing injured clients involved in car accidents throughout the State of Louisiana, including the parishes of East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Livingston Parish, Ascension Parish, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Charles Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Assumption Parish, Lafayette Parish, Lafourche Parish, Lafayette Parish, St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish; and the cities of Baton Rouge, Livingston, Denham Springs, Walker, Gonzales, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Lafayette, Napoleonville,    Kenner, Harvey, Marrero, Estelle, Gretna, Metairie, New Orleans, Terrytown, Westwego, Ville Platte, Eunice, Opelousas, Thibodaux, Houma, Belle Chasse, and Hahnville.

Our firm is experienced and highly skilled in handling car accident claims. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident in Baton Rouge or anywhere else in Louisiana, make the RIGHT CALL, RIGHT NOW and contact Louisiana car accident attorneys at the Russell Law Firm today at 225-307-0088. We will take a hands-on, aggressive approach towards getting you compensated for your losses.

**Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice.

By:      Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area personal injury attorney, licensed in Louisiana.

****THE PHOTOGRAPH ABOVE IS NOT A DEPICTION OF ANY ACTUAL EVENT OR SCENE, BUT MERELY A DRAMATIZATION. 

 

COMMON MYTHS: PARKING LOT CAR WRECKS

parking lot car wrecks

 

Private parking lots often become obstacle courses for drivers. They are usually filled with heavy vehicle traffic moving in and out parking spots, turning from every which angle, and inattentive pedestrians looking down at their phones or shopping lists, the ingredients for car wrecks.

As a car accident lawyer, I often receive calls from victims of private parking lot wrecks. The beginning of the conversation usually begins with the individual saying something to the effect of: “My mom/friend/co-worker said that because my accident happened in a private parking lot, I can’t make the other driver’s insurance company pay for my damages.” A recent call prompted this article, which provides information debunking that misconception.

I.      What Are My Rights in a Parking Lot Car Wreck? 

Although many Louisiana statues regulating motor vehicles on public roadways don’t apply to motor vehicles on private lots, Louisiana courts have imposed duties on motorists driving in private parking lots. For instance, motorists traveling in private parking lots must use “due caution” by being attentive and maintaining a slow driving speed while driving through and backing up in private parking lots. Therefore, if someone driving at a fast pace in a parking lot hits you, that person and his insurance company will likely be held liable for your damages. Among many other circumstances, the same would be true if someone wrecks into you because he/she is distracted by something else (e.g. phone).

II.     Do Officer’s Even Respond to a Parking Lot Car Wreck? 

Another common misconception is that law enforcement officers are told not to respond and never do respond to calls involving parking lot car wrecks. However, local law enforcement agencies are encouraged by the State of Louisiana to respond and usually do respond to such calls. In fact, most local agencies have crash report forms designed specifically for parking lot wrecks. Those forms are used during the local agency’s investigation of the crash scene, to record key facts relating to the circumstances surrounding the car wreck, names of drivers involved, vehicle information, each driver’s insurance policies, and etc.

III.    Other Implications

Furthermore, under Louisiana law, motorists are required to maintain the minimum automobile liability insurance while operating a motor vehicle, whether on public roadways or private lots, to cover damages from any at-fault wrecks of the motorist. If a law enforcement officer learns that one involved has no automobile liability insurance, the officer can cite that individual for not having insurance.

Lastly, if you operate your vehicle unsafely on a private lot, you could be cited for violating the Louisiana “Reckless Operation of a Vehicle Statute.” Because that statute is a criminal statute, it is applicable everywhere, including private parking lots.

The Russell Law Firm represents injured clients involved in private parking lot car wrecks and those with underinsured/uninsured motorist claims throughout the State of Louisiana, including the parishes of East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Livingston Parish, Ascension Parish, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Charles Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Assumption Parish, Lafayette Parish, Lafourche Parish, Lafayette Parish, St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish; and the cities of Baton Rouge, Livingston, Denham Springs, Walker, Gonzales, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Lafayette, Napoleonville,    Kenner, Harvey, Marrero, Estelle, Gretna, Metairie, New Orleans, Terrytown, Westwego, Ville Platte, Eunice, Opelousas, Thibodaux, Houma, Belle Chasse, and Hahnville.

Our firm is experienced and highly skilled in handling private parking lot car wreck and uninsured/underinsured motorist claims. If you or someone you know has been involved in a private lot car wreck in Baton Rouge or anywhere else in Louisiana, make the Right Call, Right Now and contact Louisiana car accident attorneys at the Russell Law Firm today at 225-307-0088. We will take a hands-on, aggressive approach towards getting you compensated for your losses.

**Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice.

By:      Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area personal injury attorney, licensed in Louisiana.

****The photograph above is not a depiction of any actual event or scene, but merely a dramatization. 

 

18-Wheeler Accident: Lawsuit Deadline

Someone who sustains bodily injuries and/or property damages (“damages”) resulting from an 18-wheeler accident in Louisiana, has one (1) year from the date the “injury or damage was sustained,” to file a lawsuit against the the driver of the 18-wheeler, the owner of the 18-wheeler, the insurance company insuring the 18-wheeler, and any other parties responsible for compensating you for the damages you’ve sustained. The date the “injuries or damages were sustained,” is usually the date that the accident occurred.

Given that you have only one (1) year, it is important to make early contact with a personal injury law firm experienced in handling 18-wheeler accidents in Louisiana if you’ve suffered damages from an 18-wheeler accident. Before filing a lawsuit, it is crucial to collect all necessary evidence from the scene of the accident, the 18-wheeler, and others, which can take months. If some of that evidence is lost or destroyed, it could severely impact the outcome of your case.

The Russell Law Firm represents clients injured in 18-wheeler accidents throughout the State of Louisiana, including the parishes of East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Livingston Parish, Ascension Parish, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Charles Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Assumption Parish, Lafayette Parish, Lafourche Parish, Lafayette Parish, St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish; and the cities of Baton Rouge, Livingston, Denham Springs, Walker, Gonzales, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Lafayette, Napoleonville, Kenner, Harvey, Marrero, Estelle, Gretna, Metairie, New Orleans, Terrytown, Westwego, Ville Platte, Eunice, Opelousas, Thibodaux, Houma, Belle Chasse, and Hahnville.

Our firm is experienced and highly skilled in 18-wheeler accident cases. If you have sustained damages from an 18-wheeler accident, contact the Russell Law Firm  today at 225-307-0088. We will take a hands on and aggressive approach towards getting you compensated for your losses.

Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice
****The photograph above is not a depiction of any actual event or scene, but merely a dramatization. 
By:       Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area personal injury attorney, licensed in Louisiana.

6 Photographs To Take After a Car Wreck

A “to-do-list” is usually the last thing someone wants to worry about immediately after being involved in a car wreck. However, there are a number of things that you need to do once everyone’s health has been checked on, beginning with taking the following photographs:

1.      Damage to All Vehicles Involved – Photographing damage to all vehicles involved may help establish the severity of the impact between the vehicles involved, how the auto accident was caused, and the damages to your vehicle under your property damage claim.

2.      Your Bodily Injuries – You should take photographs of injuries to your body that can be visibly seen (e.g. bruises and cuts) to evidence that you’ve actually suffered those injuries, as they usually heal within days.

3.      Other Vehicle’s License Plate – Photographs of the other vehicle’s license plate may assist the police in identifying the other driver(s) involved, should he or she flee the scene without giving identifying information to you. That information can also be used to identify the insurance carrier for that vehicle.

4.      Entire Scene – Taking photographs of the entire scene at various angles is critical. Pictures of the resting place/positioning of the vehicles, markings (e.g. tire marks, bridge walls or rails), traffic lights, and traffic signs, may assist with reconstructing the accident and determining liability.

5.      Your Vehicle’s Odometer – If your vehicle is totaled, the odometer reading may impact the value of your property damage claim. Many times the vehicle is towed away and the owner of the vehicle does not remember the vehicle’s mileage before the accident.

6.      Damaged Personal Belongings – Photographs of damaged personal belongings, such as phones, smart tablets, car seats, and etc., may be used to support an additional property damage claim for those items.

Lastly, if your camera is broken or you don’t have a camera with you, ask a witness or the police officer at the scene to take photographs for you. Give that person contact information that he or she may use to send the photographs to you. Once received, store them in a safe place and give them to your attorney if you chose to hire one.

For other suggested action following a motor vehicle accident, read our our previous blog, “7 Steps to Take After a Car Accident, or call the Russell Law Firm at 225-307-0088.

By:       Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area personal injury attorney, licensed in Louisiana.

Danny Russell is a Baton Rouge car wreck and personal injury lawyer who has experience dealing with the insurance companies and working towards getting you the proper medical treatment so that you can get back on your feet and maximize your recovery. If you have been involved in a car wreck in Baton Rouge or anywhere else in Louisiana, contact a car wreck attorney at the Russell Law Firm in Baton Rouge. We will immediately begin scheduling treatment for you and dealing with the insurance companies for your vehicle repairs and personal injury claims.

By: Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area personal injury attorney, licensed in Louisiana and admitted in the following courts:

– All Louisiana District Courts
– All Louisiana Appellate Courts
– Louisiana Supreme Court
– U.S. Middle District Court of Louisiana
– U.S. Western District Court of Louisiana
– U.S. Eastern District Court of Louisiana
– U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

**Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice. The photographs are not depictions of any actual even or scenes, but merely dramatizations. 

****The photograph above is not a depiction of any actual event or scene, but merely a dramatization.

Rear-End Accidents: Know the Law

Under Louisiana law, if your vehicle is involved in a rear-end collision with another vehicle, the driver of the vehicle that rear-ended you, is presumed to be at fault for causing the rear-end collision. That is because Louisiana Revised Statute 32:81 imposes a duty upon the driver of a following motor vehicle to maintain a “reasonable and prudent” distance from the preceding vehicle, “having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”

In other words, a driver must be observant of the vehicle in front of him (or her), leaving enough distance between his vehicle and the leading vehicle so that he can stop safely and avoid a collision, should something happen with the leading vehicle.  

However, the driver who caused the rear-end collision, may free himself of fault by proving:  

  1. He had his vehicle under control;
  2. He closely observed the vehicle in front of him; and
  3. He followed at a safe distance under the circumstances.

Louisiana courts have recognized several situations where the rear-ending driver may not be presumed to be at fault for causing the collision. An example is when a driver rear-ends another vehicle after that vehicle veered into his lane, leaving him with no opportunity to avoid the collision. Additionally, if a driver unsafely enters a highway from a private driveway or from the shoulder, then gets rear-ended, the rear-ending driver may be free of fault for causing the accident.

The Russell Law Firm represents clients in rear-end collision throughout the State of Louisiana, including the parishes of East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Livingston Parish, Ascension Parish, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Charles Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Assumption Parish, Lafayette Parish, Lafourche Parish, Lafayette Parish, St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish; and the cities of Baton Rouge, Livingston, Denham Springs, Walker, Gonzales, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Lafayette, Napoleonville, Kenner, Harvey, Marrero, Estelle, Gretna, Metairie, New Orleans, Terrytown, Westwego, Ville Platte, Eunice, Opelousas, Thibodaux, Houma, Belle Chasse, and Hahnville. Mr. Russell is an experienced and skilled attorney in rear end collision cases, who has aggressively represented

If you have suffered a personal injury from a rear-end accident, call the Russell Law Firm at 225-307-0088. We are experienced in handling the complex legal issues, losses, and medical needs of rear end collision cases. Mr. Russell will take a hands on and aggressive approach at getting you the medical treatment and compensation you deserve.

Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice.
****The photograph above is not a depiction of any actual event or scene, but merely a dramatization. 

 

Auto Accidents: Deadline to File a Lawsuit

Someone who sustains bodily injuries and/or property damages (“damage”) resulting from a motor vehicle accident has one (1) year under Louisiana law, from the date the damage was sustained, to file a lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for causing the damage. The date the damage was sustained is usually the date that the automobile accident occurred.

Too often I speak to individuals having a hard time getting the other driver’s insurance company to pay for medical bills incurred for treatment of their injuries or property damages. The insurance company is either not willing to pay the full costs or the insurance adjuster will not return their calls. By the time I am contacted, the individual is either nearing the one year deadline to file a lawsuit or the deadline has already passed.

That is why it is important to make early contact with a personal injury law firm like the Russell Law Firm, if you suffer damages from an automobile wreck. Not only can such a law firm address any questions that you may have, but they may also assist you in dealing with the insurance companies and making sure that you don’t lose your rights forever by failing to file a lawsuit within the one year deadline.

By:       Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area personal injury attorney, licensed in Louisiana.

Danny Russell is a Baton Rouge car accident and personal injury lawyer who has experience dealing with the insurance companies and working towards getting you the proper medical treatment so that you can get back on your feet and maximize your recovery. If you have been involved in a car accident in Baton Rouge or anywhere else in Louisiana, contact a car accident attorney at the Russell Law Firm in Baton Rouge. We will immediately begin scheduling treatment for you and dealing with the insurance companies for your vehicle repairs and personal injury claims.

****INFORMATION FURNISHED HEREIN IS ONLY GENERAL AND NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PERSONALIZED LEGAL ADVICE.

****The photograph above is not a depiction of any actual event or scene, but merely a dramatization.