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Beginner’s Guide to Dealing with Whiplash, Car Accidents, Lawyers, Doctors, and More

Hi. I’m dr. Tarrin P. Lupo and back in the
day to see a lot of patients who were involved in car wrecks. So now that I’m
not doing it so much anymore I don’t really have to worry about what I have
to say and I can be a straight shooter with you. So stay tuned and I’m gonna
tell you everything you need to know about how to find a good personal injury
attorney and how pick the right doctor. Most likely if you’re watching this
video, you or somebody you know has been involved in some sort of trauma or car
accident where you guys are thinking about if you need an attorney. So let me
go over a few things and we’ll discuss do you need an attorney? First let me
start off by saying I’m not an attorney so I’m not giving you legal advice. This is just for educational purposes
and all the information I’ve learned over the years dealing with this whole
system. Now the first thing people always ask me when they come in is, Hey do I even
need an attorney? You know this injury is not that big of a deal, it is just a little
fender bender, should bother with getting an attorney? What I found out over
the years was people with an attorney usually got page two to three times more
in their settlement. Understand that insurance companies have to deal with a
lot of people who try to cheat the system. Insurance companies have people that
fake all the time, or try and figure out a way to scam the system. So
they’re usually very defensive about paying money. On the flip side I’ve also
seen insurance companies do some pretty slimy things where they will sweet talk
someone into signing papers right away and settling the case. When this person
has a lot more damage in this gonna have a whole lifetime of bills and they just
really wanted money quick and they signed off and took the money right away. Sometimes patients don’t understand that the little injuries, something like five mile per hour
whiplash injury ends up being a big deal down the road.
Especially a year later when all the money is gone and you’ve already settled.
What ends up happening is a person injured in their desperate for money and
they just want to get it over with. An insurance company will come along and
dangle a check in front of them for a ridiculously low amount and they’ll tell
them over the phone that’s as high as we’ll ever go. Then
what happens is if you get an attorney all the sudden they find magical money and
they can go higher. So I’ve seen people try to deal with insurance companies on
their own in the just do not get very far. You might think a little fender benders
no big deal and you know a little whiplash injury really its gonna hurt
for a few weeks in be over but you’re wrong. whiplash can be very very serious. I want
to explain a little more about whiplash injuries and how they work and this
model spine will help me a little bit. What you’re looking at is this is like
the base of the skull that has been cut off, the occiput and the cervical spine. I would
be sitting this direction. What happens when you get a car wreck is your
torso thoracic spine moves forward before your
neck does. What will happen is your neck has to snap the catch back up and
it snapped by going backwards towards the headrest and didn’t really hard forword. What this does is injure this area that neck, the very top, it rips these
ligaments up and the lower area around C5 and C6 gets damaged in this motion. It’s
very very devastating because during the wreck your head accelerates to almost 15 G’s! That’s equivalent to having your head shot out of a cannon for a few
milliseconds. That’s an enormous amount of stress on the spinal connective
tissue and it does serious damage even a five miles per hour. Let’s first discuss
the physics of the car wreck. A lot of it’s going to depend on what kind of car
you were in when you were involved in your accident. A lot of older cars are ones
made of heavy metal, you don’t really get that damaged in the
wreck. In fact it’s usually just a couple dents on the bumper those are actually
much, much worse because all that force goes through that steel frame it right
into your body. The cars that look like they really got busted up crumpled and
mangled are actually much safer. Cars today are designed to crumple up and
crush so they absorb the impact instead of your body. Some of the most
horrible looking accidents where the cars are just crumpled wrecks, you’ll see
the people actually get out of. If you compare that with an accident that
happens in an older model car, where the car doesn’t take much damage, you’ll see
people who get their neck broken at ten miles per hour. Conventional care after your accident
will usually involve going to get some diagnostic studies at the hospital or another
facility, where the x-ray and make sure nothing is broken and then what they
usually recommend wants nothing is broken is to immobilize the joint, Do
bed rest and some pain killers. This is fine in the very beginning of the
accident but after a few days you really want to take the brace off and start
mobilizing area. If you continue to wear the neck brace it can cause a lot of
problems with scar tissue down the road. It’ll help accelerate the formation of
adhesions. The upper neck area and the base of the head
are very complicated a lot of blood vessels and nerves and soft tissues run
through the same area. Unfortunately this area is very
susceptible to whiplash injuries and it can cause a whole host of problems. Also
the base of the neck has its own problems. The nerves that come out of the
base of the neck control everything that goes on in your arms and upper trunk. This causes a lot disruption when there’s
twisting or the seat belt smashes into your shoulder. It creates this traction
during injuries which stretches these nerves and damages them. Over time these
damaged nerves can heal but if they’re completely torn you’re in big trouble.
During a whiplash injury it’s very easy to tear the muscles and nerves.
Muscle tears actually called a strain. A strain can be very serious but most
will heal in time. One of the worst parts of the injury is the sprain and that’s a
tearing of the ligaments themselves. Now ligaments hold the bones together. They no longer hold the bones together
well and it creates kind of a “sloppy joint”, where bones move too much. If the
bones get knocked out of place and the ligaments are torn, you can start to have
real problems with adhesions and pinched nerves. The big problem with ligaments is, once
they get too stretched, there’s no way to unstretch them. It is kind of like a rubber
band, once a rubber band is all stretched out you can’t bring it back. Once that
happens you will have joint instability the rest of your life. After about two
weeks after the accident you enter what’s called the remodeling
phase and at that point what your doctor is trying to do is keep tissue from
sticking to each other. Ligaments and muscles need to slide while they heal, if
you do not put a lot of motion into them they will fuse together in scar
down. Think of it like a piece of gristle. You can get a good idea of what scar
tissue looks like by checking out a piece of meat that white, fibrous
connective tissue that’s really hard to cut that gristley stuff, that is scar tissue.
One of the main reasons you want to go to therapy during your remodeling face
is so this doesn’t happen to your muscles. Muscles and connective tissue they touch
need to be able to slide back and forth freely. After an injury, the swelling in
the scar tissue will cause adhesions and stop that at healthy motion from happening Here’s a video to describe it a little
better and show you. What you have on top is the connective tissue and this is
muscle moving nice and healthy. It is sliding back and forth along the tissue.
Now I am going to compare this to an unhealthy situation. After an injury or whenever
there’s pain and swelling, they don’t slide anymore. There’s the connective
tissue on top but the muscles are sliding nearly as much. If that happens
long enough actually form on the ligaments and you
can see that here on this scan. If you’re really unlucky those
calcification knobs will actually start to press on the spinal cord itself, and
that’s really bad news. Let me show you what a healthy curve looks like. This neck is relatively
healthy. There is a nice curve and that curve is there to absorb shock.
Your head like a bowling ball bouncing around on your neck all day so that
curve is really important. What happens during an accident is that you can
damage this curve get what’s known as a straight neck or a military neck. Now the
joints no longer absorb shock and they drive into each other at full force. A lack of
healthy motion will actually cause the joints to start fusing and forming
arthritis. The disc will get damaged because the spine no longer pumps nutrients
to it an it starts to collapse. Over a few years you’ll start seeing something like
this, where you see osteophytes and the bones using into one big bone. and that is also not good news. It can
be slowed down and even prevented sometimes if you continue to get care
after your accident. If this process is ignored in motion is it restored to the
joints eventually they just kind of fuse into one big bone in like this guy. A
sign of a good doctor is if the at least take a flexion and extension X-ray
series including the Atlas movements. I am going to show you what that is. So here’s the
flexion, when you put your chin to your chest and extension when you put your
head back. What this shows is a lot more than a static x-ray and actually shows
what’s moving on the spine correctly and what’s not. The problem with just taking a
static x-ray of a spine and not moving the spine around in X-raying from
different angles is that you can’t see how well the joint is actually moving.
You really can’t see ligaments while on X rays so you kinda have to put the body
in different positions to see if the ligaments are doing their jobs are not.
This is especially important with the Atlas bone, which is the very top bone in your
neck. the problem is this bone gets really
easily injured and it’s extremely important bone because so much of the
spinal cord in blood vessels run through it. To really get a good study it’s kinda
hard with just regular X-rays I always recommend videofluoroscopy or motion
X-rays these are superior to regular x-rays and
they really let you see the motion of the joint what stuck and what’s not what’s moving correctly. You can see
a head moving backwards and forward in your checking to see how well the joints
are opening and closing. Here you can tell the atlas bone is not really
moving as well as it should. It should be almost touching the back of the skull.
Now this next one here is important because you need to test the rotation
moving head back and forth. Right now you’re seeing the lower neck and
shoulder area which gets injured a lot but what’s more important and usually
really causes problems again is that atlas bone. You have to open the mouth to see it, so you
can see lateral flexion of the Atlas joint, you have to open the mouth to see how
well it’s moving. This motion X-rays kind of a little blurry but it does show the
Atlas movement here you can see a transverse ligament rupture that bone is
moving way too far away from the one below it. The atlas bone is coming all the way
off. Serious injuries like a transverse ligament rupture or a rupture to the
odontoid check ligaments are often missed by hospitals and doctors because they
don’t take motion X-rays. I can’t overstate the importance of using motion
X-ray when you can. Besides ligament damage, the other thing
that routinely gets injured is your brain. You have to remember your brain is
sitting in a big liquid vat and when you get a whiplash injury the brain will
actually slam against the front of the skull and then the back of the sckull. This is
known as a coup contrecoup injury. If you’re unlucky enough to also
hit the windshield then you can do double brain damage to the frontal lobe.
This is pretty common. Conventional care will usually be an MRI
or maybe CT scanning where they look for contusions like this one, that big white
spot and if necessary they’ll actually drill in to the head in release the
pressure. The injury that’s really hard to see is damage to the axons and
that’s what you’re looking at here is a nerve cell dendrites growing there and
those can get damaged by something called axonal shearing. The gray in the
white matter in your brain have different masses and so what
happens during the accident is they go different speeds in a stretch these
axons that are between them these nerve cells. Again that’s called axonal shearing.
Sometime this kind of brain damage takes a while to present it usually your
loved ones start noticing your personality changing and some
psychological differences. The signs of axonal shearing don’t really show up on
regular MRI’s you need some special ones like a DTI MRI or SWI MRI. There are also some
other tests that are quite useful to have. There’s something called a Spect-CT, and a MEG can also be quite helpful. Again if you feel like you’re having some sort of
brain disturbances you might want to talk to your doctor about ordering these tests. Now that you better understand the science behind whiplash cases lets
talk about how to pick a good attorney. Now finding a good personal injury
attorney can be tough what I suggest is you ask around your
friends and go on social media ask if someone had a good experience with an
attorney. Also actually pick up the phone and call the attorney. This will give you a
good idea of their level of service. If all you ever get as an assistant and you
can’t get past his gatekeeper move on. Those attorneys are really difficult to
work with you want attorney that will actually sit down and talk to you and
not pass the buck to someone else in their office. Also these days there are
reviews of attorneys online. You can go to Yelp and look somebody up. Those can be very
helpful as well. Once you actually find attorney you like you can expect to pay
anywhere from third to sometimes even a half of your settlement depending on how
good the attorney is. But one thing patients don’t realize is you can
negotiate this fee. So if you feel like you have a pretty slam-dunk case you
know somebody hit you and is clearly their fault and you’re gonna have a
large case you should negotiate their fee before you ever sign anything. Also
you want to find a personal injury attorney that that’s pretty much all
they do. If you go to an attorney that does you know I million other things they’re
usually not as a depth building a really good case. You’re kind of taking your
chances if you’re going with you know your girlfriends uncle who also does
copyright title searches probably not the best choice. Now that we discussed your lawyer we
need to discuss your doctor’s it really want to go to a team of doctors. The
captain of the ship should be your chiropractor you’re gonna see them the
most and you’re probably gonna see them for
about a year during that remodeling phase we talked about. It is also very smart
to do your physical therapy at your chiropractor so the care is coordinated.
Most the other doctors will mainly be used for diagnostics and testing. I would refer
to other doctors for orthopedic evaluations, MRI’s, nerve conduction
studies and I always said my motion X-rays out to a radiologist. When brain
trauma suspected it’s also smart have a psychologist and also a neurologist
check them out. It is just good doctoring to try to collaborate with this many
specialists as you can, but one doctor needs to run the show or on
informational just kind of get blurred and lost. Let your chiropractor do
that because they see you the most. Chiropractors are really excellent a
restoring nerve flow and keeping those adhesions from forming that I showed you
before. You also help straighten out the joints which is nice. No other doctors are trained to reduce
subluxations you just can’t substitute this kind of corrective care by going to
just a physical therapist or just a massage therapist or just an osteopath. You need to go to
a chiropractor. If you go to a doctor initially who refused to send you to a
chiropractor is time to fire your doctor and get another. Even if your doctor says you’re not a
good candidate for chiropractic care go to a chiropractor anyway in get a second
opinion. They will be honest with you they can help you are not. I can’t stress
enough the importance of going to a chiropractor first as you’re really
missing the boat if you don’t. One last thing I want to discuss is that
you need to be a good patient and what I mean by that is don’t make your doctor
have to dig information out of you you want to be keeping records on your
own. Especially if you feel that there’s some sort of brain damage you want to
keep a psychological log things like maybe you feel depressed more than usual
or that your headaches now seem a lot worse for you can’t sleep through the
night anymore you’re getting nightmares things that disrupt your daily life. Now
also if you took a lot of spinal injury you also want to keep a record of how it is
affecting you with daily tasks. Does it hurt to go to the bathroom now? Is it
hard to shower? Can you actually hug your loved one without
pain. These things your doctor needs to know and you need to document them. One
other thing is when you first go in to a doctor you wanna make sure you list all
your new complaints. Now remember the insurance companies only responsible for
bringing you back to the level you were before the accident. they’re not responsible for fixing
everything that existed before the accident. So you want to make sure that
you honestly tell them what’s new now that could also mean that your old
injuries that have existed forever are now worse. So if now you have even worse
neck pain them before or your migraines or even worse or, now the numbers down your leg is even
worse, you need to tell your doctor this when you first go in. Be sure to list any little mineut details no matter how
small if you’re not sure if that’ll become a
big detail later. Say you get a whiplash injury in your neck hurts
really bad for two weeks and that’s all you really focus on but you know what
you jammed your foot into the pedal really hard and your ankles not right. Well if you forget to mention your ankle
when you go in, they are gonna think that it had nothing to do with the car wreck so
even though you know you come into the doc and “oh my neck hurts really bad
just fix it, fix it, fix it!” you also want to list every little
injury that happened. My ankle is a little sore, my wrist is a little sore, I
think I jammed some fingers, my teeth are not right, something came loose when I got
hit. Whatever happened, you need to document it. One of the questions are
used to get a lot more people who got a wreck and then just kind of didn’t do
anything about it but a month or two goes by and now they’re neck really hurts or
their shoulder really hurts. Is it too late to start a case if it’s been a few
months that has been rolling. The answer to that is no, but you’re probably
not going to get the same kind of settlement you would have you come in
right at the beginning and it was well documented. What’ll happen is, what
happened during those two months that you didn’t come in did you re-injure it
some other way it’s always different possibilities and without documentation
kinda hard to prove that the accident was the cause of your pain two months
later but you can still go to someone and they probably help you but don’t
expect it to be a slam-dunk case like if you were to come in and do it right. That
being said please remember don’t lie and make stuff up just to get a better
settlement. We doctors have special tests called malingering tests, which I can kind of figure out when your
lying when you’re not and there’s some other tests we can do to just flat-out
prove your lying. It always comes back in bites you when you try to settle this
or it goes to court. Someone will find out your lying so just don’t do it. One last
thing I want to say is please remember you can you fire your attorney or fire
your doctor’s anytime you want. If you’re talking to your doctor and you really
think some sort of test should be run, and they just don’t want to do it or
they’re arguing with you, go to another doctor. Same with your attorney if you’re
asking him what’s going on my cases you can give them a call you back or they’re
just ignoring you, fire them, get a better attorney. You have to deal with these
consequences in all the aftermath when the case is settled. So if you have
permanent ligament damage your goning to be dealing with this the rest of your life. It is
never gonna completely be the same where once your case is done attorneys don’t have to deal with you
ever again and you know they just move on. Remember this is kind of a big game that
one attorney will go after the other and fight like crazy in court but when it’s
over they both go out to dinner together and hang out. You have to live with the
consequences so you need to be proactive and be kind of a pain in the butt
patient to make sure that everything is being done right for your case. If you
thought this story was useful please share this information it’s free just
put it out there. Favorite it so you could find that later. There’s a lot
of things I went over here and you might need to watch this video a few times.
Also if you found this video really useful please give it a thumbs up that
really helps other people find it. One last thing I want to say is you can
swing over to my website just click here. There’s little
tab appearing up there you’ll see it now. and you’ll see lots of free stories
about other topics I do a lot of stories about health topics. I do some gardening topics,
all that information is free but I have videos up there that you can’t find on
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everything’s free.

Cesar Sullivan

9 thoughts on “Beginner’s Guide to Dealing with Whiplash, Car Accidents, Lawyers, Doctors, and More

  1. Great information.. learned a lot from your video!! I think this is a wonderful guide for people who have been in car wrecks, and also for people who haven't but want to prepare. It's difficult to get honest information about these topics, and I think you did a great job in conveying the facts. Wonderfully informative video!

  2. Hey Tarrin, you might remember that Ron is a board certified PI attorney and he says you are spot on. Good job!

  3. question… if i settle case very low bail… but i havent cash check .. can i still refuse thise 2000 specially because i have a lot of isues my nack is wrong i have head aches and my back is not the same plus i feel so depressed its already almost 4 months of accident i have ringin in the ears i cant sleep well even with sleeping pills. … i made a mistake 9 days after the accident and i settle case thinkin i was fine … i did see a doctor and i report to him about my back and neck pain car accident doctor gave me a ketaroloc injection for pain…

  4. Thank you Dr Luppo, I really wish I saw this video 21 years ago when I had my twisted whiplash accident. I would not have pushed through the first 5 days of work as a 3rd year apprentice hairdresser in agony until I could not stand up 1/2 way through on the fifth day, followed by 6 months off work gratefully returning back to my hairdressing 4 year apprenticeship and being looked after by work cover, workcover then said I had zero % disability and I could take them to court, but I would have to pay both sides of court costs . It took another 6 months of pain at work for the pain to subside( I had Physio and Chiro from workcover and I trusted workcover for my back during the first 6 months until I got the 0% even though I was in a lot of pain L4/L5, T11/T12 and (C 6 I think then)
    After lower pain flare ups for a few months off and on over the following 9 years and closing down my hairdressing salon in 2007 because I could not finish a ladies hair without laying down for 1/2 hour on the floor inbetween her haircut. At 29 in Jan 2006 I picked up a sock and I have had chronic lower back pain every day of my life to this day. I am grateful for the accident as I have helped many others to rest and get proper tests and see a good chiropractor since and not push through work because of fear of letting employers down and I am now going to open up a Healing Studio from home next year( Reiki, reflexology, Charkra balancing and Aura readings( injures show up in aura even before people can feel them in their physical bodies)
    I will be able to stand and sit through my healing sessions and work again at my own place.
    Thanks for this video confirming my pain( that the doctors did not believe, they called it phantom limb pain when I turned 20 3 months after my accident?) , I have only recently diagnosed with disks torn and the soft disc jelly leaked out if 5 of my discs and a 3cm syrinx T2-T7 and another squashed disc there.
    I am lucky, my husband who I met when I was14 has taken care of the mortgage and all medical bills over 10 years and now has a work injury and 2nd operation in same knee himself . I will return to work and he plans to pass the 100% clearance test to work in the same electrician job , by same employer for over 20years, but they can't keep him on if he can not crawl through supermarket ceilings or work on ladder for 12 hours a day etc. we have never sued , but if he can't return to work in 3 weeks, we have to look at our options, thank you so much for the helpful info😊
    Nicola Australia πŸ’œ

  5. Never let an attorney get your medical records. Call the hospital and request them on a disk for $13.50 print them out yourself or if you don't have a printer go to staples with the disk and they can print it out. 11 cents per. If you let the attorney get your medical records it could cost you $1.49 per page or higher and that could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars and it comes from your settlement. No attorney will tell you this and it happens in all 50 states.

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