What is Cervical Strain That is Caused By an Accident?

What is Cervical Strain That is Caused By an Accident?
Published: October 21, 2019

Cervical strain is a common injury routinely seen in the ER. Although it’s usually associated with car accidents, any impact or blow that causes your head to jerk forward or backward can cause neck strain. Neck strains are caused by damage to the muscle or the tendons, bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Cervical strain involves the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar portion of the spine.

In an auto accident, there are powerful forces that could cause someone to change direction quickly. Even though individuals might be wearing their seatbelts, there is no restraint for the head. This causes the neck to snap back and forth quickly. This can stretch the tendons in and around the cervical spine, leading to a wrenched neck.


What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Cervical Strain?
  • Pain and stiffness
  • Limited movement
  • Headache
  • Swelling or bruising
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness or vertigo
How is a Cervical Strain Diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will check your movement, balance, and strength. An x-ray, CT, or MRI may show the injury. A pronouncement of cervical strain means that diagnostic radiographs (CT, X-ray) are negative for fracture or dislocation

Radiographs in addition to bedside examination will guide a clinician as to strain versus indication to investigate for more emergent condition(s). MRI, CT Scan and Myleogram are only way to visualize the soft tissue components of the spine (muscles, nerves, intervertebral discs, ligaments) > generally performed in the ambulatory setting (upon follow-up with a specialist) if the strain is not resolving as expected.  MRI and Mylegoram will allow for visualization of herniated intervertebral discs, displaced or torn ligaments, injured or torn discs, as well as nerve root impingement.

Generally classified as a “soft tissue injury”, cervical strain  may require further workup in the ambulatory (non-ER) setting.

Red Flags – When to Seek Additional Immediate Care

Red flags which may indicate something MORE than a strain include:
– Numbness
– Tingling
– Motor weakness of any extremities
– Changes with bowel or bladder pattern and even incontinence
associated chest/back or abdominal pain

How Long Can the Pain of Cervical Strain After a Car Accident Last?

Neck pain from cervical strain / whiplash typically lasts several weeks. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, most people recover fully from whiplash within three months. In addition to general neck pain and stiffness, you may also experience these symptoms with a whiplash injury.




Treatment Methods
  • Modalities to decrease pain and inflammation
  • Postural exercises
  • ROM exercises
  • Stretching exercises,
  • Use manual techniques such as joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, and cervical manual traction
  • Strengthening exercises such as cervical stabilization exercises
  • Mechanical traction may also be useful,
  • Light Aerobic conditioning exercise, such as walking
Complications of a Sprain of the Cervical Spine

Even though many people who suffer a sprain of the cervical spine will make a full recovery, others might develop serious complications. When someone develops complications of an injury, such as a cervical lumbar strain, following an auto accident, it is important to ask for help.

Watch our full Youtube Channel video series and learn more from the experts!


Joe Zarzaur, a board certified civil trial lawyer and founder of Zarzaur Law, P.A., a Pensacola Personal Injury law firm, has created this video blog in an effort to educate the many citizens and visitors of Pensacola and Destin, Florida about their legal rights.

Joe Zarzaur knows the ins and outs of Florida law, and offers friendly-quality legal help whether you have experienced an auto accident/car wreck, have been a victim of medical malpractice or are in need of a personal injury lawyer. Offices in Pensacola and Destin. Board certified in Florida and Alabama.

For more information, visit: https://www.zarzaurlaw.com

11 E Romana Street
Pensacola, FL 32502

Telephone: 850-444-9299
Email: info@zarzaurlaw.com
Follow us on Twitter: @zarzaurlaw
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zarzaurlaw




When Is A Personal Injury Severe Enough For A Lawsuit?

When Is A Personal Injury Severe Enough For A Lawsuit?
Published: December 27, 2021

Personal Injury Severe Enough For A LawsuitIf you are injured in a car crash in Florida, there are many laws that affect your ability to be compensated for your injuries. Many years ago, Florida established a requirement that drivers have “no-fault” Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits in their policies. This means that if you are injured by someone else that your own insurance will pay for medical bills up to $10,000.

Why Is The “No-Fault” Law Important?

In true no-fault states, every driver out on the road must be carrying a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy. Coverage provided by a PIP will vary by state but in most cases, it should cover medical fees, lost wages, funeral costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses. The major difference between states is the dollar limits on the various coverages.

It should be noted that no-fault insurance refers to injuries and medical bills. If your car was damaged in an accident, which means the other driver was at fault and you were not at fault the cost to repair your vehicle would fall to the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.

Permanent Injury.

The rationale for this law was that it would make sure that people could get medical treatment for their injuries if the wrongful party did not have coverage. However, to get this, injured parties gave up their right to sue for damages unless they could prove permanent injuries as a result of the wreck. In this regard, Florida law is very different from other states, and an injury case requires the skill and knowledge of a top Florida car accident lawyer.

To recover from non-economic injuries (pain and suffering, loss of ability to enjoy life, etc) a Florida plaintiff in a car crash must prove he or she had:
1-Severe and permanent loss of an important bodily function or
2-Permanent injury within reasonable medical probability or
3-Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement or

In other words, a Florida car wreck victim can only recover economic damages (unpaid medical bills or lost wages or income) unless one of the “thresholds” is met. Many of these, such as scarring, loss of a bodily function, or death may be easy to prove.

While some of these injuries may be self-evident, proving a permanent injury within reasonable medical probability may be difficult. In many cases, the injuries sustained in a car crash may not be as noticeable as scarring or loss of a limb. Even in severe crashes, the injuries may involve the bones and soft tissues of the body.

For example: Suppose you had a cervical strain injury to your neck as a result of a car wreck that was due to the fault of another driver. If there are no broken bones or spinal injuries, these may take many months and much therapy to heal. Usually, most treating physicians will want to treat these for several months and wait a while to determine if they will be permanent. The treating doctors will wait for you to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) before giving an opinion about a permanent injury. If you still have problems after this time and treatment, a treating physician will give an opinion that you have a permanent injury.

MMI is defined in Florida Statutes as the date “after which further recovery from, or lasting improvement to, and injury or disease can no longer be reasonably anticipated, based upon reasonable medical probability”. Fla. Stat. §440.02(10).

How Do You Prove A Permanent Injury So As To Recover Non-Economic Damages?

Your personal injury lawyer will need to work with your doctor to gather all medical records and get an opinion from them to present to an insurance company. Frequently the doctors will want to make sure there were no prior problems, and if there were, they will want to examine the records to make sure there are new injuries or aggravation of pre-existing injuries from the car wreck. Your lawyer may be able to help the doctor gather the records he needs for review. Your lawyer may also be able to make sure the doctor’s opinions follow Florida law in order to reach the threshold.

Compulsory Medical Examination.

If the personal injury case does not settle before a suit is filed, which is a common occurrence, the insurance company will have the right to have a doctor of their choosing to examine you and give an opinion on permanency. This is called a “Compulsory Medical Examination” and is allowed by the Florida rules of civil procedure. These doctors usually have medical records and are allowed to conduct a reasonable medical exam of an injured party. Many of these doctors are regularly used by the insurance industry and thus have a built-in bias to help the insurance companies in finding no permanent injury. An experienced personal injury lawyer will often have a file on these doctors that they can use when questioning these doctors before and during the trial. This is just another obstacle you may face in recovering compensation for your injuries.

If you think you have a significant injury from a car crash, you need to seek both medical and legal advice. Florida law is very specific on the grounds for recovery of injuries and this requires a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you to the best result.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an auto accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.


Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyers – Car Accident, Wrongful Death, Malpractice



Why Should You Seek Medical Treatment After A Car Wreck?

Why Should You Seek Medical Treatment After A Car Wreck?
Published: October 6, 2021

You’re in a car wreck and people sometimes think it wasn’t that big of a deal. Maybe it is just a little neck pain or a little back pain and you don’t really want to go to the ER. People are going to make excuses for not going. If you’re having symptoms after a car wreck, you should absolutely go to the ER or urgent care. 

Reasons You Should Seek Treatment After A Car Accident

1. To Ensure Over All Well Being – Especially after the adrenaline from the accident has worn off.

There could be something going on more serious than you realize. And the ER is the place to diagnose that. The ER is not there to diagnose all of the issues that could be going on with you after a car wreck, they are only going to diagnose life and limb-threatening issues.

There are a multitude of injuries that could end up well into the six figures in value and are serious life-altering injuries that can cause you to lose value in your potential car accident case if you leave the ER and don’t follow up after you receive the standard “clean bill of health” or “cervical strain back strain.”

2. Treat “Invisible” Injuries – Injuries that show up a few days/weeks later – re: concussion. Don’t delay since the insurance company may refute.

The reason it’s important to go if you’re having symptoms is that the insurance company who’s going to be on the other side of all these claims, whether you have a lawyer or not, are going to make the argument that the longer it takes you to go to the ER or seek treatment, the less serious your injury must have been, or perhaps, maybe the cause of it was something other than the car wreck.

3. To Obtain Evidence- Medical Records Can Be Important Pieces Of Evidence To Help Establish Case.

If you don’t want to go to the ER simply because it’s the right medical thing, then it is certainly the right legal thing to do because it documents your injury. It documents the timing of your injury and symptoms, and it takes away the argument that you didn’t need treatment immediately.

Paying For The ER Visit and Treatment.

The other thing that comes up a lot of times is when people say they don’t want to spend the money on an ER visit because it’s really expensive and it’s going to cost a lot of money. In Florida, the status of the law right now in 2021 is that your car insurance by law, not your health insurance. Your car insurance has to pay the bills after a car wreck.

Why Does Your Car Insurance Have To Pay?

Florida has PIP law  (Personal Injury Protection) PIP covers 80% of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses up to $10,000 resulting from a covered injury, no matter who caused the crash.

Medical Costs

Most medical costs will be covered by PIP with the exception of popular, but not widely accepted practices such as acupuncture. In other states, PIP will generally cover the injuries of anyone in your household, but in Florida, you can choose whether you want your PIP to cover just yourself or other residents in your household. The following are eligible for a PIP claim:

  • Medical services and medication
  • Surgical services and hospital expenses
  • Rehab costs
  • Diagnostic services
  • Ambulatory services

What sets Florida apart from other states is that only 80% of your medical costs will be covered by PIP. So if you have injuries that cost $10,000, PIP will only pay for $8,000 of that. Furthermore, if your injury is not considered an emergency, you will only be entitled to $2,500 worth of benefits. If you have a good health insurance policy, it might take care of the rest of the costs, but you should make sure it will cover car accident injuries.

4. Counter The Claims Of The Insurance Company. 

The at-fault driver’s insurance company is going to make this argument, if you say, well, I didn’t know that I didn’t have to pay. Right. I was gonna have to pay something. The car insurance company on the other side of the case is going to say, well, you could have gone to seek treatment and it would have been free. Basically, your PIP would have paid the bill. Why didn’t you go?

You can’t say, well, I didn’t know. Or you can say, I didn’t know, but at some point, it’s not going to make sense for you not to go, especially after you’ve got a legal action started.

It’s always smarter, if you’re having symptoms and Florida, you don’t have the financial excuse because your car insurance pays that.

And as far as you not thinking, it’s that serious, right? Well, you don’t know because you have no idea what going on inside your body. But if you’re having symptoms after a car wreck and if you’re teetering on not going to the ER, you should go, okay. It’s that simple.


Most of the time injuries that are permanent don’t go away. .

Refer to the car wreck checklist for more info on what to do right after you’ve been involved in a car accident.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.

Car Accident Lawyers in Pensacola, FL

Car Accident Lawyers in Pensacola, FL
Published: January 23, 2015

Joe Zarzaur, Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’re involved in a serious car accident and you or a loved one are seriously injured, it can be a major disruption to your life, your income, and your daily state of mind.

Unfortunately, in many serious auto accident cases the situation is made worse by insurance companies that refuse to pay what they should when your life is turned upside-down.

At Zarzaur Law, our accident lawyers fight the insurance companies and get justice for our clients. Our clients have been awarded record-setting verdicts in both Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties.

Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.

Joe Zarzaur is Board Certified as a Civil Trial Lawyer by the Florida Bar and is AV PREEMINENT Rated, the highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

Free Consultation




1. I was in a car accident in Florida and I hear it’s a no-fault state, what does that mean?

FLORIDA is one of the states that has a different system when it comes to car insurance.  The car insurance law in Florida requires PIP_imagethat everyone purchase “no-fault” coverage (a.k.a. personal injury protection or “PIP” coverage).  This coverage is generally a minimum of $10,000 and provides compensation to drivers in an accident, regardless of who was at fault in causing the collision.  The PIP COVERAGE PAYS 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages, so long as they are related to the wreck. What’s even more surprising is that your OWN PIP coverage pays for your medical and lost wages even if the other party is at fault for the wreck. Keep in mind, this only applies to the first $10,000 in bills and wages.  Once your PIP coverage has paid the maximum amount ($10,000), the focus is then on the at-fault driver to make sure that any other medical expenses are covered. This is where the lawyers and staff at Zarzaur Law, P.A. can assist in recovery for your injury case.

 2. The at-fault driver’s insurance company appears to be dragging their feet on accepting responsibility for this wreck, even though it was clear at the scene that they got a ticket for causing the wreck.

First, it’s important to understand that contrary to their feel-good TV advertisements, insurance companies are not in the business of making wrongs, right. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and will do so at all costs.

Car Accident Lawyers in Pensacola, FLThe typical process for an insurance company following a car wreck includes:
a. The at-fault driver’s insurance company doing their own investigation after a wreck regardless of what the investigating Trooper concludes at the scene, and if their insured driver received a citation for the wreck.

b. The wreck report is usually not available until a few days after the wreck. The document provided at the scene of the accident is not the wreck report. The wreck report will be titled the “Long Form” or “Short Form” Florida Accident Report and will be several pages with a diagram on the last page depicting the position of the cars at the time of the impact.  The abbreviated document provided by the Trooper at the scene of the wreck is called a Driver’s Exchange of Information, and only has the identities of the persons involved in the wreck and their respective contact information.

c. 99% of wrecks in Florida involve the issue of a ticket to the at-fault party. HOWEVER, THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE AT-FAULT DRIVER’S INSURANCE WILL AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will still conduct a full investigation which usually involves taking a recorded statement from their driver and anyone in the driver’s car. THEY MAY ALSO TRY TO GET YOU TO GIVE A STATEMENT AND YOU SHOULD NOT SINCE IT IS NOT VITAL TO THEIR INVESTIGATION AND WILL LIKELY ELICIT SOMETHING THAT COULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO YOUR INJURY CASE.

d. The at-fault driver’s insurance company investigation takes about 7 to 10 days following the wreck and they like to treat you like they have all the time in the world. They know that the more desperate they make you feel the more likely you will just take what they offer you and not hire a lawyer to help you.

To speed up the process you can do a couple of things:
1. Hire a lawyer for your injury case. This important step usually makes the insurance company stop playing games, even with the car (property damage) issues.

2. File a claim through your own car insurance company for your losses. Have your car insurance company pay for your car, they will then get reimbursed by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, once they have completed their investigation. This second option assumes you have purchased full coverage for your insurance (in this context collision coverage). If you have full coverage then your insurance company can pay for your vehicle repairs immediately and then they will worry about the at-fault driver’s insurance company reimbursing them. This is the quickest and smartest route to take if you have full coverage.

If you don’t have full coverage, you will have to wait on the at-fault driver’s insurance company to finish their investigation.

 3. Can I get a rental car and does the at-fault drive have to pay for it?

YES – you can get a rental car. NO – the at-fault driver’s insurance company is not obligated to pay for the rental car. While this may not seem to make sense, the at-fault driver’s insurance is not legally required to give you a rental car. The only “rental car coverage” is one that would be on your own car insurance policy. It is an optional coverage that is not often purchased, but if you have paid for it, you should use it.

The at-fault driver’s car insurance ultimately has to pay for your property damage called “loss of use,” for each day that you are not able to use your vehicle. So many times the at-fault driver’s car insurance will offer a rental car in lieu of having to pay you for “loss of use”. The at-fault insurance company also offers a rental car to sometimes keep a good rapport with you in hopes that they can convince you to not hire an injury lawyer and to settle your injury case for nothing.

 4. When I go to the ER, what insurance information do I need to give them?

According to Florida Car Wreck Law, the only insurance that can pay for the first $10,000 in medical expenses is YOUR OWN PIP COVERAGE. The hospital should ask you for the name of YOUR car insurance carrier and possibly a claim number. Many times you will not have a claim number, but as long as you give them the name and policy number, the hospital billing department can determine where to send the bill for payment.

The hospital may ask for your health insurance carrier as secondary coverage, and you certainly should not hesitate to give them this information as well. There is no need for the hospital to have the name of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy since it will not pay for anything until a personal injury lawyer, like Joe Zarzaur, requires them to.

 5. Can I handle the “Car Part” of the claim without a lawyer?

Yes, and you should, BUT be very careful not to discuss your injury claim with the insurance company, since they are COMPLETELY SEPARATE CLAIMS.  The injury claim and the car (also known as “property damage” claim), are distinct claims and are not even handled by the same adjuster.  The at-fault driver’s insurance company will assign a property damage adjuster and an injury adjuster to the claim.
Car Accident Lawyers in Pensacola, Florida
You can and should talk to the property damage adjuster since they are only involved in determining if the car is totaled or handling getting it fixed.  Zarzaur Law, P.A., a personal injury law firm, rarely, if ever, get involved in the property damage portion of the claim. The property damage claim is usually resolved within 10 to 14 days after the wreck.  The value of a car is something that is not really negotiable and both you and the adjuster can access this information online.  Kelly Blue Book or NADA will have tools you can use to assess the value of your car by make and model.

 6. Should I give a statement about my injury to an adjuster without a lawyer?

NEVER GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT TO AN ADJUSTER WITHOUT A LAWYER. This is the oldest trick in the book and standard practice for most insurance adjusters. They actually get bonuses based upon how many injury victims they get on record talking about their injuries. The insurance companies want you to speak with their adjusters who are trained to get you to say things on the recorded line that minimize your injuries and then later, once the injuries have been fully diagnosed and the adrenaline has worn off, use against you and your injury case.

Insurance adjusters may make you believe that not giving a statement about your injury it will slow the claim process down – this is NOT true. The injury claim is 100% separate from the property damage claim. It is also very important to understand that insurance companies really want to deny the claim. If the insurance adjuster gets you on a recorded line and gets you to say something that appears different from what you told them when your purchased the policy, they can use that fact to deny coverage. It is recommended that you have a lawyer, like those at Zarzaur Law, P.A., on the phone with you before anything is recorded.

If you are asked to give a “recorded statement” so that they can get the claim started…..Refuse to give the recorded statement without a lawyer. If the insurance claims adjuster insists, tell them you will call a lawyer right away, since they are not giving you any other options.

 7. Does it cost money to get advice from Zarzaur Law, P.A., even if I am uncertain about my injury?

Click HERE to view full contract sample

No. All advice and counsel up to the point of recovery of money is FREE. The lawyers at Zarzaur Law offer free advice to clients and non-clients alike as part of our business practice, and it is customary in this field of law to provide this service.  We only collect fees and costs if we actually make a monetary recovery for your injury case. Once we are retained as your personal injury firm and you sign our firm’s contingency fee contract, you then are agreeing to pay us, but ONLY IF WE WIN AND GET YOU MONEY. If we lose or do not get a monetary recovery, then you don’t owe us anything.

 8. If I get discharged from the ER after a wreck and they say I am OK, does that mean I don’t need an injury lawyer?

NO. The emergency room is not there to diagnose every injury. The emergency room has one mission – to make sure that everyone seeking treatment there is not going to DIE or lose a limb within the next 24-48 hours. If you don’t fall into the class of severity (DEATH OR LIMB LOSS), you will be discharged from the ER with a general diagnosis and told to follow up with your primary doctor or a specialist.

Visiting the ER is just the very start of your injury case. Most of Zarzaur Law’s clients that end up with verdicts and settlements well into the six figures, left the ER with the same or similar paperwork noting “cervical strain,” “lumbar strain,” or “Whiplash injury”. The reason the ER is not in the business of providing a full diagnosis for every patient is that doing so would prevent them from accomplishing their main mission of preventing immediate death or loss of limb. Being discharged from the ER only means that the doctor felt that you were not going to die or lose a limb in the next 24-48 hours. The ER diagnosis is very basic and thus you should not read into your discharge from the ER as meaning anything about the full extent of your car wreck injury.

 9. The ER told me to follow up with my primary doctor. When I called their office, they told me they don’t accept car wreck-related injuries. I have been a patient there for many years and don’t understand why they won’t see me.

Unfortunately, this issue is extremely common.  There are two basic reasons:

1. PIP insurance is the only insurance that can pay for any of the first $10,000 in medical treatment. Health insurance claims will be denied until the $10,000 in PIP has been fully used and the health insurance carrier receives proof that the PIP benefits have been exhausted. Most healthcare facilities are not set up to bill automobile insurance, since their systems are set up to bill health insurance, and for this reason, many physician offices prefer to steer clear of automobile cases.

2. Many doctor’s offices do not like to deal with litigation cases due to the time required to answer calls and respond to medical records requests from law offices, like Zarzaur Law, and in some cases, having to provide testimony about the patient’s treatment.

 10. What else should I do to make sure that I protect all of my rights following a car wreck?

Zarzaur Law, P.A. promotes a list of tips for easy reference in the event you are involved in a wreck — CARWRECKCHECKLIST.COM. This resource contains 10 very important pieces of advice for those who are the victims of a careless driver. Click the carwreckchecklist.com link to be taken to this list.

Car Accident Lawyers in Pensacola

The lawyers at Zarzaur Law, P.A. are available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for FREE CONSULTATIONS. You can reach us at (855)HIREJOE and a lawyer will answer your questions free of charge.

Be confident you have a legal expert on your side.

Have you sustained an injury due to someone else’s careless driving?

Call Joe Zarzaur of Zarzaur Law at (855) 447-3563 today for a free case evaluation.
Request a Free Case Review Through Our Website

Common Injuries From Airbag Deployment in a Car Wreck

Common Injuries From Airbag Deployment in a Car Wreck
Published: July 14, 2021

Airbags undoubtedly save lives every day, as they help to lower the risk of hitting your head and body against hard surfaces, being ejected from the vehicle. There is little debate that these restraint systems have been proven to save lives and reduce the severity of injuries.  However, they do not guarantee NO INJURY when activated.  Injuries from restraint systems are quite common and very commonly benign compared to more severe injuries such as death, brain injury, or loss of limb.

These entries contain information that is used to not only describe the accident but more so to direct the triage, examination, evaluation, assessment, and treatment of the (potentially) injured patient.  Apart from the widely understood force generated by a motor vehicle accident as the etiology of injuries to the involved persons stands the prospect of injuries resulting from the passenger safety features of a vehicle.  Airbag injuries.

The airbag works as an inflatable seatbelt that inflates upon frontal impact from another vehicle. … Activation of automotive airbags is triggered by impact sensors that work to detect frontal impact and trigger a control unit that deploys the airbag to cushion the passenger.


Common Injuries From Airbag Deployment

Face Injuries
Because of the positioning of airbags, your face is the easiest target during a crash. The airbag prevents your face from meeting the windshield, however, the force of the airbag can strike your eye or fracture fragile bones in the face. Eye damage, including temporary or permanent blindness, is possible. Concussions may also occur if the impact is strong enough.

Chest Injuries
In order to prevent your body from being thrown out of the car, airbags deploy very fast and hard. If it collides with your moving body, the chest area may be vulnerable to injury. Broken bones in the chest or damage to the soft tissue are not uncommon.

Neck and Back Injuries
Your spine and cervical spine are also vulnerable to the impact of an airbag. While your body is prevented from being thrust forward as it might otherwise, damage to soft tissue can still cause you to suffer from whiplash or other similar car accident injuries as the soft tissue is damaged. Just because you did not notice the traditional, jolting movement does not mean you will not need to see a whiplash chiropractor if you are suffering from stiffness and pain in the back or neck.

The speed of airbag deployment can cause surface abrasions or burns. The face and arms are most likely to suffer from this. Think about the fabric encountering your skin, and suffering from something like rug burn, but as a result of this.

Internal Injuries
The chemicals that release during deployment can irritate the lungs or even cause asthma attacks. The skin can also become irritated, causing a condition known as airbag dermatitis.

Additionally, enough pressure on the abdomen can cause damage like lacerations to organs, including the liver, spleen, lungs, and heart. In severe cases, internal bruising or bleeding is possible.



The Most Common Types Of Airbag Deployment Injury:

– Abrasion (63.6%)
– Contusion
– Laceration
– Thermal burn (7.8%)

Common Injuries From Airbag Deployment [Pensacola]Frontal airbags are generally designed to deploy in “moderate to severe” frontal or near-frontal crashes that are equivalent to hitting a solid, fixed barrier at 8 to 14 mph or higher.

 Therefore, the knowledge of if a passenger was restrained and whether airbag deployment occurred coupled with which seat, they were occupying is extremely useful in the context of an evaluation for traumatic injuries.  Emergency personnel will understand best which possible internal injuries to assess for based upon such information when applied to additional historical information, patient symptom profile, vital signs, and examination findings.  Such injuries may include (though not limited to):  internal abdominal or thoracic bleeding, contusion or laceration of internal organs, injuries to the central nervous system, injuries to the spinal column.

“When used properly…”
 What can you do to best allow your seatbelt, airbag, or child restraint system to do the job they are designed for?  Read the manual.  Follow the guidance.  And revisit this information frequently by making it a habit.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.









Traumatic Disc Herniation Caused by a Car Wreck.

Traumatic Disc Herniation Caused by a Car Wreck.
Published: April 29, 2021



Impact On The Spine During A Car Wreck

Disc herniation due to degenerative changes most commonly occurs at the lumbar levels of the spine (L4-L5, L5-S1) though herniation at the lumbar level can also be the result of acute trauma.  The cervical levels of the spine (C5-C6, C6-C7) are the levels most commonly impacted by acute trauma resulting in disc herniation.

What Is A Disc Herniation?

During a car crash, for example, your spine is subjected to a series of forces. These forces can put pressure on the disc, causing the nucleus to push out through the disc’s fibrous exterior—especially if your spine already has some age-related degeneration. The protrusion is called a herniated disc or slipped disc.

What Types Of Impact Cause Disc Herniation?

The mechanism of traumatic disc herniation at the lumbar level is generally related to linear forces (head-on impact or rear-end impact collision) in a motor vehicle accident.

The mechanism of traumatic disc herniation at the cervical level is generally torsional or tangential forces (sideswipe or T-bone impact collision) in a motor vehicle accident.

Both cervical and lumbar herniations can be associated with the deployment of life-saving passenger restraint systems:

  • Lap belt at the lumbar level and the shoulder belt
  • Airbags at the cervical level

Signs And Symptoms Of Disc Herniation

Signs and symptoms of intervertebral disc herniation include but are not limited to the following:

  • Pain radiating along an extremity, numbness or sensory deficit

  • Muscle or motor weakness. These are generally unilateral, or one-sided and reflect the impingement or irritation of the involved nerve root at the respective disc level

  • Persistent aching or stiffness along the spine

  • Sharp, localized pain in the neck, upper back or lower back

  • Chronic ache in the middle or lower back, especially after sitting or standing for extended periods

  • Back pain that radiates from the low back to the buttock, down the back of the thigh, and into the calf and toes

  • Inability to stand straight without having severe muscle spasms in the lower back

Diagnosing A Disc Herniation

Workup and investigation when disc herniation involves variations of the following and always should include a history and physical examination of the patient by a qualified clinician:

  • Diagnostic imaging (plain radiograph, CT imaging, CT myelogram, MRI)
  • Functional testing (electromyography, nerve conduction testing).

Treatment For A Disc Herniation

Treatment of disc herniation can range from conservative measures to operative intervention, with less-invasive options existing between the two extremes.

Conservative measures might include: 

  • Anti-inflammatory agents
  • Physical Therapy
  • Strengthening and range of motion exercises

Operative measures might include:

  • Discectomy (resection or removal of the herniated disc)
  • Laminectomy (removal of vertebral bone to allow for a larger passage for the spinal cord and nerve roots
  • Hardware implantation

Operative measures are indicated when a conservative approach has failed to yield symptom control, worsening of a herniation in regard to symptom profile or diagnostic testing (progression by MRI), or when overt motor weakness is demonstrated by a clinician’s physical examination.

Less-invasive measures are aimed at targeting the symptoms of disc herniation with features short of overt motor weakness – pain and numbness primarily.

  • Epidural injection of a steroid agent at the involved disc level

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms after a crash, then you should seek medical attention to determine whether you are suffering from this type of injury


Car insurance companies have conditioned many people to think that all back and neck-related complaints from car accidents are minor and not worthy of compensation. In fact, car accidents represent a large percentage of serious back injury cases in the United States. A serious back problem may lead to a chronic pain, inability to work and lost productivity. A herniated disk claim should be handled by an lawyer who concentrates on personal injury cases.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.






Dydyk AM, Ngnitewe Massa R, Mesfin FB. Disc Herniation. [Updated 2020 Nov 20]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441822/

The Most Common Car Accident Injuries.

The Most Common Car Accident Injuries.
Published: March 15, 2021

Car Wreck Settlement Process

Everyone knows someone who was involved in a car wreck, and most know people who were seriously injured or killed in a car crash. This is not surprising.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) there are 3 million injuries in US car crashes each year. These result in 100 deaths per day. The costs of medical care and the loss of productivity caused by these crashes is almost $100 BILLION per year.



Car crashes cause damage. The most obvious damage is to the vehicles involved; however, such crashes can cause bodily injury that is not always immediately visible.

Soft Tissue Injuries

The most common injuries caused by car crashes are soft tissue injuries. These are defined as injuries other than broken bones, to the “soft tissues” of the body.

Bruising and Contusions
Often seat belts or air bags can cause these conditions. While these generally heal without long term issues, they can be indicative of more serious, long term injuries.

A “Whiplash” Injury
While the term refers to the mechanism of the injury, a forward and back whiplash of the spine, it often is a term for the type of injuries sustained, such as strained or sprained muscles, tendons and ligaments of the spine. The whiplash motion can cause serious long-term injuries such as concussion and spinal disc injuries. Treatment options may include physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, massage and in some cases may lead to spinal surgery to repair disc injuries. This treatment can be very expensive, and disrupting. Even with appropriate care, these injuries may result in lifetime problems and treatment modalities.

Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Some crashes may cause serious brain injuries. Many people sustained concussions from striking their head or simply from the whiplash mechanism that may stress the soft tissues of the brain. You do not need to sustain a discrete period of loss of consciousness to be diagnosed with a brain injury. Many people have no memory of the crash and have other symptoms of concussion. It is very important to get immediate treatment if there is a suspicion of a concussion. Such injuries can change the way your brain functions, which may result in lifelong problems.

Broken Bones

The impact of a crash can caused your body to strike the interior of your vehicle, resulting in serious and painful injuries. Even with modern safety features such as seatbelts and airbags, there are many ways to stress your bones such that they are fractured in a crash. Treatment for broken bones may require surgery to set the bones and often the use of hardware to help the bones heal. This treatment can be very expensive, time consuming and painful.

Avoiding Serious Injury

While there is often no way to avoid a crash, there are common sense methods to protect yourself from serious injuries. These include wearing the seatbelt in your car. The CDC found that 61% of fatality victims were not wearing their seat belts. While some may find them uncomfortable or inconvenient ,the seat belt is a proven life saver.

If you have young children, you should leave them in approved booster seats as long as required. These are proven to provide great safety to a child. Again, regular use may be inconvenient, but they are an invaluable tool to keep kids safe,


Low Impact Crashes

Even low speed crashes can cause serious injuries. While most such crashes cause long term injuries, factors such as the type of vehicles involved, the mechanics of the crash and the pre accident condition of the victims can lead to serious long-term injuries. There have been many scientific studies the show the forces in a low speed crash may result in long term damage.


If you are injured in a car crash, whether a high speed or low speed crash, you should seek the services of an experienced person injury lawyer. A board-certified civil trial lawyer has much experience in dealing with these cases and can give you the advice you need.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.








Car Wreck Checklist

Is Whiplash a Serious Injury