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Nashville Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Car Accidents > Whiplash Injuries: Are They Really That Serious?

Whiplash Injuries: Are They Really That Serious?

Elderly Woman With A Whiplash Injury Stock Photo

If you were rear-ended by a vehicle, there’s a fairly good chance you suffered an injury commonly referred to as “whiplash.” Here’s what you need to know about whiplash injuries:

What is a Whiplash Injury?

There are a lot of people who believe whiplash isn’t a real injury. It is real, and people who have it require medical attention. Some other names for whiplash are neck sprain or strain, hyperextension/hyperflexion injury, myofascial injury, or cervical strain or sprain.

These conditions occur because often when a car experiences a rear hit, the force of the impact propels people in the vehicle forward. Their bodies move abruptly forward while their heads generally stay in place. This movement occurs in a whip-like motion and inflicts major strain on the individuals’ necks. This can happen to the driver and any passengers in the vehicle, no matter where they are sitting in the car.

Common Misconceptions about Whiplash

One common misconception regarding whiplash is that it only occurs after a severe collision that happened at a high speed. In actuality, most whiplash injuries are caused by accidents happening at both low impact and low speed.

Another common misconception is that whiplash injuries aren’t a big deal. This is because they damage the soft tissue and are not especially obvious on the outside. Realistically, whiplash can result in serious health complications. In short: Never brush off your whiplash injury.

Common Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash injuries have a multitude of symptoms, and it is not uncommon for car accident victims to be unaware they are suffering from whiplash. Common whiplash symptoms include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • A decreased range of motion in any part of your body
  • Feelings of dizziness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Pain and stiffness of the neck, back, shoulders, or arms
  • General fatigue
  • Difficulty seeing or blurred vision
  • A headache or series of headaches post-accident
  • Unusual feelings of burning or tingling in parts of your body
  • Trouble focusing, thinking, or psychological issues

See a Medical Professional

See your general practitioner or the emergency room to prevent your whiplash injury from becoming more serious. Keep a record of any medical attention, or help you receive, for your insurance claim. If you do not visit a doctor, the insurance company might try to claim your injury was actually not as severe as you are claiming. A lawyer will also encourage you to keep thorough notes of the accident as well as all related events. This will add credibility to your injury and strengthen your case.

Long-Term Effects of Whiplash

Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash injuries. The sudden jerking motion of the neck and head caused by the impact of the accident is what causes the neck muscles to be stretched beyond their normal range of motion. Other causes of whiplash include falls, contact sports, and physical blows to the head.

Diagnosing A Whiplash Injury

Diagnosing a whiplash injury typically involves a physical exam, as well as imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI. The doctor may also do a range of motion test to see how much the neck can move.

Treatment Options For Whiplash

Treatment for whiplash typically includes rest, medications to reduce pain and inflammation, and physical therapy to help restore range of motion. In more severe cases, a neck brace or traction may be recommended.

Prevention Of Whiplash Injuries

The best way to prevent whiplash injuries is to wear a seat belt when riding in a car. It is also important to keep your head and neck in a neutral position during car rides, as well as avoiding any sudden jerking movements.

Considerations For Severe Whiplash Cases

In more severe whiplash cases, a neck brace or traction may be recommended to help reduce chronic pain and inflammation. In addition, physical therapy may be prescribed to help restore range of motion and strengthen the neck muscles.

When To Seek Professional Medical Advice

If you have been involved in a car accident or have experienced any symptoms of whiplash, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible. This is especially true if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: neck pain that does not improve with rest, persistent muscle weakness or stiffness, decreased range of motion in the neck, problems with vision or balance, or a fever.

Diagnosing A Whiplash Injury

Whiplash is a type of neck injury that is caused by a sudden jerking motion of the head and neck. This motion can occur in a variety of ways, such as when a person is in a car accident, slips and falls, or is assaulted. Whiplash can be a very serious injury if left untreated, as it can lead to long-term pain and other health problems.

When whiplash is diagnosed, it is classified into two categories. The first is called whiplash-associated disorders, or WADs. These are mild to moderate injuries that can include neck pain, stiffness, and headaches. The second category is more severe injuries, which can include nerve damage, fractures, and disc herniations.

Whiplash is most commonly seen after car accidents when a person’s head is quickly and forcefully jerked forward and backward. This motion can cause the soft tissues of the neck to become stretched and strained, leading to pain and other symptoms. In more severe cases, the force of the jerk can cause the vertebrae in the neck to become misaligned, leading to more severe injuries.

Whiplash can often be treated at home with rest, heat and cold therapy, and over-the-counter pain relievers. However, if the pain persists or is severe, it is important to seek medical attention. A doctor may prescribe stronger medications, physical therapy, and possibly even surgery. If the whiplash is caused by a car accident, it may be important to contact a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation.

Unfortunately, many people who suffer from whiplash do not get the treatment they need and can suffer from chronic pain and neck headaches. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after whiplash occurs to prevent long-term complications and to get the treatment needed to speed up recovery.

Preventing Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash is most commonly seen after an auto accident, but can also be caused by physical abuse, sports injuries, and other activities. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of whiplash and to take steps to reduce the risk of this neck injury.

One of the most important ways to prevent whiplash is to wear a seatbelt when driving or riding in a car. Wearing a seatbelt can help to protect the neck and spine from the force of an accident. It is also important to be aware of the positioning of the head and neck while driving, as having the head and neck in a forward position can increase the risk of whiplash.

Additionally, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an initial injury. Symptoms of whiplash may not be apparent in the first few weeks after an injury but can become more severe over time. A healthcare provider can assess the injury and provide treatment to help reduce the risk of more serious complications.

If a person has suffered from a whiplash injury due to the negligence of another person, they may be eligible to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and in some cases punitive damages. A personal injury lawyer can help to ensure that a person gets the compensation they deserve for their whiplash injury.

By taking steps to reduce the risk of whiplash injuries, people can reduce their risk of suffering from this neck injury. If a person has suffered from whiplash due to the negligence of another, they may be eligible to receive compensation for their injury.

Speak With a Car Accident Lawyer

If you are suffering from a whiplash injury following a car accident, you might benefit from speaking with a car accident lawyer. You may want to file an insurance claim with the insurance company of the driver-at-fault to cover your medical costs. Other losses incurred may include physical pain, emotional trauma, and wages lost from missed work days due to recovery.

Seeking out personal injury lawyers will help you receive compensation for your neck injuries when you’ve had whiplash diagnosed by a doctor.

A car accident lawyer will provide you with invaluable advice, such as the recommendation to use a more technical term than “whiplash” in your claim. The terms listed above — neck sprain or strain, hyperextension/hyperflexion injury, myofascial injury, or cervical strain or sprain — tend to be more effective. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer at Mitch Grissim & Associates for more information or for a case evaluation.

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