How Whiplash Can Leave You with Lasting Pain and Trauma?
Motor vehicle accidents are a primary cause of most neck injuries, and neck strains often referred to as whiplash. Yet, although these neck injuries happen quite frequently in the United States, too often, they are left untreated or mistreated and result in long-term suffering, pain, and disabilities.
For these reasons, we have prepared the following blog post. In it, we will discuss what exactly is whiplash, the signs and symptoms that can indicate you suffered a whiplash injury, and what legal remedies you may be able to pursue if your whiplash injury was a result of another person’s wrongful or negligent actions.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the head suddenly moves backward and then forward, like someone that is lashing out a whip. Even though this injury can occur for a number of reasons, it is incredibly common following a rear-end automobile collision, where the car in front completely stops and the motorist behind crashes into them. As a result of this collision, the driver in the front vehicle will be thrown backward in their seat. However, as the inertia from the impact shifts, the individual will then be tossed forward a moment later. Consequently, even at low speeds, these rear-end crashes can cause the neck to whip enough that it triggers a severe whiplash injury resulting in significant pain and trauma.
Generally, symptoms and signs of a whiplash injury develop within a few days of the incident and include the following:
- Pain that results from neck movement and continues to get worse over time
- Neck stiffness
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Tenderness in the shoulder, upper back, or the arms
- Tingling in the arms
- Numbness in the arms
However, if this condition goes untreated or undiagnosed, the injury will only worsen as the symptoms intensify, primarily if medical treatment was not provided soon after the crash. Subsequently, this injury can cause severe symptoms that will leave victims with intense pain and problems.
Severe symptoms of whiplash tend to include:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
Once these severe symptoms start to manifest, the likelihood of whiplash causing lasting pain and trauma is high. Generally, minor whiplash will cause symptoms that will last for days to possibly weeks. Moderate whiplash can last for months, while severe whiplash can cause intermittent symptoms of pain and distress that will last for years, if not forever. Usually, the two symptoms that will last the longest, even with early medical intervention, include neck stiffness and migraines.
When to See a Doctor?
If you have been involved in an automobile accident, it is imperative that you see your doctor after the crash. Even if you believe your injuries are not that serious, you still need to get examined by a medical professional. Many times, serious injuries like whiplash or brain trauma can take days to even weeks to manifest. Yet, the longer you wait to get treatment, the worse the condition can become. For these reasons, you should get a prompt and accurate diagnosis to rule out injuries that can cause lasting symptoms and problems.
Additionally, getting medical treatment shortly after an accident is important to your case. Insurance companies are looking for any reason to deny your claim. Not getting prompt medical assistance provides them the opportunity to argue that your injuries are not that serious or a result of a subsequent event. Fortunately, when you see your doctor shortly after your accident, these doctors can prepare a medical report detailing your injuries and the cause of your injuries, ultimately providing you evidence of a direct link between the harm you endured and the accident.
Types of Treatments for Whiplash Injuries
Thankfully, most whiplash injuries heal on their own. However, there are certain types of treatments that can be used to help speed up this recovery:
- Ice: Icing the neck works great to reduce swelling and pain and should be done as soon as possible following the injury.
- Pain Medications: Taking painkillers or other medicine recommended by your doctor, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, is often needed following a whiplash injury. However, always check with your doctor before taking any drugs if you have any other medical problems, or take any other medications. If the over-the-counter medications are not working, your doctor may need to prescribe you a more potent painkiller or muscle relaxant.
- Neck Brace: Using a neck brace can help add support as you are healing. Yet, this treatment should not be used long-term as it can weaken the neck muscles.
- Heat: Use heat on your neck only after the initial swelling has gone down. You can use warm towels and place them around your neck or take a warm bath to help relax the muscles.
- Other Treatments: Other treatments such as ultrasounds, massages, and physical therapy can also help the neck pain, but you need to speak with your doctor before incorporating these types of treatments into your routine.
If your whiplash injury resulted in severe pain and trauma, your doctor may also recommend surgery or injections to help alleviate some of the worst symptoms. In these instances, the cost of these treatments may exceed insurance coverage and result in you having to pay for a portion of these treatments on your own. If this happens, you may want to consider filing a personal injury claim against the individual responsible for your accident and going after the compensation you require.
Get the Legal Help You Need After a Whiplash Injury Accident
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident that resulted in a severe whiplash injury, you need legal help that you can count on. Fortunately, when you work with an experienced personal injury accident attorney, they can get you the legal help you need and walk you through the complicated legal nuances often involved with these legal claims.
This means they can:
- Provide you with the legal advice you need, evaluate your potential legal claim, and discuss the legal options you have.
- Answer all of your questions and offer you the support you require during this challenging time.
- Investigate your accident and secure the vital evidence necessary to show what happened and who was at fault.
- Hold all the at-fault parties accountable for your harm and damages.
- Handle all the negotiations with the insurance company, and go after the fair compensation you are entitled to.
- Make sure that legal documents and motions are filed before time expires.
- Bring in the experts such as engineers, doctors, and accident reconstructionists that can substantiate your claims and prove the extent of your harm.
- Take your case to trial, if needed, and go after maximum damages on your behalf.
If a whiplash injury turned your life upside down, do not wait any longer to seek the legal assistance you require. Contact Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC today, or call our office at (504) 294-5118 and let our experienced personal injury attorneys show you how we can help you go after the justice and financial recovery you deserve.