Whiplash: The name doesn’t acutely convey at first glance what this painful and life-altering injury is actually hiding behind. When a victim suffers a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident to name a few, whiplash is one of the most common but potentially most severe injuries. Yet, it is often dismissed as minor or infrequent while the reality of its longterm pain is overlooked or ignored altogether.
Within the context of this article we will provide an in-depth exploration of whiplash as a result of an accident. We’ll cover the following topics:
- What happens after a car accident?
- What kind of accidents can cause whiplash injuries?
- What are the symptoms of whiplash?
- What does the recovery from whiplash injuries look like for accident victims?
- What are the insurance companies hiding from beneficiaries?
What happens after a car accident?
After a car accident, a victim may be treated on the scene for severe injuries and then transported to an emergency room by EMTs. The hospital will then proceed to treat the victim for the most serious injuries first: internal bleeding, Spinal Cord Injury, TBI, and broken bones. If required, medical professionals will stitch up any open wounds and most likely keep the patient under observation to avoid any severe complications if the injuries didn’t appear life-threatening at first. This is standard protocol after a car accident.
Sometimes a victim at the scene of an accident will “feel perfectly fine” after being tended to at the scene of the accident. They may be shaken up, scared, have bumps and bruises, but insist they do not require any medical attention beyond being looked over by EMTs on the scene. When this happens, victims are at-risk for injuries they didn’t even know they sustained during the accident. It’s important for any victim who has just been involved in a car accident to allow themselves to be properly transported to a hospital to be checked out. They may have an injury that, left undetected, can cause severe pain down the road. One of these injuries is known as whiplash.
So, what is whiplash, exactly?
What kind of accidents can cause whiplash injuries?
Whiplash occurs when the head and neck are moved rapidly back-and-forth during a car accident. This is often a result of the impact when a motor-vehicle collides with another vehicle or object on the road. The force causes the neck to sustain a back-forth-motion too quickly. This can result in permanent injury and chronic, widespread pain for the victim.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
The symptoms of whiplash are widespread and are often not associated with a diagnosis of whiplash at first. That’s because the symptoms are ones commonly found in other injuries (Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury). The injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident can be similar, and can be overlooked by EMTs who don’t err on the side of caution. Whiplash may be overlooked by medical professionals if they are unaware of the level of pain that this type of injury can cause a victim.
Sometimes, the symptoms of whiplash can even mimic those of a concussion, thus a doctor may reasonably want to treat a patient for a head injury “just to be safe”. Hospitals are very diligent in keeping any patients suspected of a concussion for observation. This is considered reasonable, however, the patient will still need treatment for the whiplash they sustained. When a patient with a concussion (or suspected of having a concussion) is discharged from the hospital, they are sent home with instructions on what to do post-concussion. It is important for patients to follow this medical information to the letter, as concussions left untreated can result in life-threatening TBI injuries.
The list of severe symptoms found in victims suffering whiplash injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Trouble focusing on everyday tasks
- Pain in hands or arms
- Numbness or tingling in hands or arms (or both)
- Severe headaches; migraines
- Lower back (lumber spine) pain
- Sleep disruption (insomnia)
- Pain, stiffness in neck
- Severe pain between shoulder blades
- Cervical spine pain
What does the recovery from whiplash injuries look like for accident victims?
A great many people will recover from this type of injury and have no recurring symptoms if treated properly. However, thousands of people every year suffer the chronic, widespread pain of post-whiplash injuries. After an accident, victims who suffer chronic neck, back, and shoulder pain may find themselves suddenly limited in what they are able to do on a daily basis. Once active, athletic people may find themselves unable to run or play a sport they once loved, such as tennis, due to the hand and arm pain they sustained.
It’s for these reasons that retaining adequate, Board Certified legal representation to pursue a victim’s right to recover damages after an accident in which they sustained permanent injuries should be a top priority after being stabilized, medically. The medical expense that car accident victims incur while attempting to seek treatment for their pain can cause a great deal of debt and financial injury on the legal side; this on top of the physical injury on the medical side.
A lawyer with experience in fighting for the rights of their clients that suffer from chronic pain after an accident is a must. Victims are entitled to compensation for lifelong pain when they sustain injuries in an accident caused by reckless or careless drivers on the road. An experienced lawyer will know what steps to take and what actions need to be filed in order to obtain the maximum compensation for their injured client.
What are the insurance companies hiding from beneficiaries?
Often, insurance companies want victims who sustained whiplash injuries to believe they have no legal recourse. The injury is “invisible”, and therefore how can it be proven in a court of law? That’s where your experienced Board Certified lawyer comes in. An accident lawyer should have experience protecting their clients with any number of injuries from insurance companies who don’t want to pay out, even though the victim is suffering, in pain, and entitled to recovering compensation.
The truth of the matter is that with sufficient Burden of Proof, whiplash injuries can go all the way to trial when necessary. It’s important that a Personal Injury lawyer taking point on a case involving whiplash injuries has seen similar cases to verdict. A lawyer who can prove the severity of what amounts to lifelong chronic pain for a victim will be able to obtain the compensation that client deserves.