When you’re in a car crash, you can suffer a soft tissue injury known as whiplash. When the muscles in your neck move backward and forward rapidly or your head is jerked violently from side to side or back to front, the movement can stretch and tear the ligaments and tendons in your neck and cause whiplash. This motion is similar to that of a whip being cracked.
Insurance adjusters often claim that whiplash injuries aren’t severe or the person with whiplash is exaggerating their symptoms. Often, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Whiplash hurts. People with this injury may lose time from work, incur significant medical bills, and experience long-term complications.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Whiplash symptoms don’t always start at the scene of the accident. Instead, they may develop in the hours or days following the crash. You should report symptoms of whiplash to your doctor immediately, so you can begin getting treatment and your medical record accurately reflects your injuries. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain that gets worse with movement
- Stiff neck
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Headaches, which may start at the base of the skull
- Pain or tenderness in the shoulder or upper back
- Pain, tenderness, tingling, or numbness in the arms
- Blurred vision
- Ear ringing (tinnitus)
- Changes in your sleep patterns
- Unexplained irritability
- Trouble concentrating or confusion
- Memory problems
You may experience many of these problems simultaneously or throughout your recovery period.
Treatment may include one or more of the following:
- Medications. Muscle relaxants, injections, medications to relieve nerve pain, and pain relief medication can all help people who suffer whiplash.
- At-home treatments. Your doctor may recommend rest, heat, cold, and certain exercises to help with whiplash pain.
- Physical therapy. A physical therapist may help you control your pain, increase range of motion, and prevent further injury.
- Foam collars. Foam collars can limit your neck movements but are typically not worn for significant amounts of time.
The length and parameters of your treatment depend on your unique injury and medical needs.
Legal Compensation for Whiplash Injuries
Whiplash may not show up on medical imaging tests in the same way a broken bone or spinal cord injury would, but you still should go to the hospital or get medical attention right away. Your medical records can prove that you suffered whiplash from a car accident, and you may be able to recover compensation for your past and future:
- Healthcare costs. You shouldn’t have to pay for medical expenses caused by someone else’s negligence. Your hospital bills, surgeries, doctor visits, medications, physical therapy, and other medical needs should be part of your accident recovery.
- Lost income. Any income that you couldn’t earn because of your injuries should be part of your compensation. This may include your entire income or part of your income if you have to reduce your hours or change jobs. Additionally, it includes wages, bonuses, raises, benefits, and income from self-employment.
- Physical pain and emotional suffering. Pain and suffering can be significant after a whiplash injury, but these non-economic damages are also hard to value. Our experienced car accident law firm can present compelling evidence to convince the insurance company or court of the value of your pain and suffering.
- Out-of-pocket costs. Any other expenses that you can prove were related to your accident should be part of your recovery. This could include transportation costs or household help that you didn’t need prior to your injury.
How to Protect Your Right to a Fair Recovery
Even if you suffered serious whiplash, your recovery won’t be automatic. To recover damages, you must prove that the other driver (or another party) was negligent.
Attorney Coy H. Browning knows how to investigate car crashes and fight for accident victims who suffer spinal cord and back injuries. Contact the Browning Law Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Let’s talk about how we may be able to help you with your legal needs while you continue your physical recovery. You won’t owe us any legal fees unless we win your case.