What is Whiplash After a Car Accident?
Whiplash. The name doesn’t precisely convey what’s behind this painful injury. After suffering injuries in a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident, whiplash can be severe. However, it is an injury that’s too often neglected in favor of more “visible” pain and suffering. Whiplash does cause pain and suffering, though. This article explains exactly why this injury is so severe, and painful.
Within the context of this article the Shaked Law Firm provides an in-depth explanation of whiplash resulting from accidents. We cover the following topics:
- What happens after a car accident?
- Which kind of accidents cause whiplash injuries?
- What are whiplash symptoms?
- What does the recovery from whiplash injuries look like for accident victims?
- Why are the insurance companies hiding this information from beneficiaries?
What happens after a car accident?
After a car accident, a victim should receive treatment on the scene. Then, if injuries are severe, receive transportation to an ER. Hospitals triage injuries by severity: internal bleeding, Spinal Cord Injury, TBI, and broken bones. Normally, injuries receive treatment in this order. When necessary, doctors stitch up open wounds. After a car accident, the hospital will most likely keep a patient under observation overnight. This allows any complications that may arise to receive treatment quickly.
Sometimes victims “feel perfectly fine” after EMTs check them out on the scene of an accident. They may feel anxious, which is normal. Sometimes victims have minor bumps and bruises. In these instances victims may insist they do not require medical attention. They simply wish to go home. When this happens, victims are risking further injury. It’s important for any victim who sustains injuries in a car accident to allow transport to a hospital. They may have an “invisible” injury that, left undetected causes severe pain down the road. One of these injuries can be whiplash.
Which accidents cause whiplash injuries?
Whiplash occurs when the head and neck move rapidly back-and-forth during a car accident. This is often a result of the impact when a car collides with something else on the road. The force causes the neck to sustain a back-forth-motion too quickly. Furthermore, the result is permanent injury and chronic, widespread pain.
What are the symptoms?
Next, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of whiplash for what they are. The symptoms of whiplash are widespread. Often, whiplash symptoms have no association to the actual injury. This is because whiplash symptoms are ones commonly found in other injuries. Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury symptoms are two other injuries involving symptoms that mimic “less severe” injuries at first. Similarly, whiplash symptoms are found in a variety of car accident injuries. Thus, whiplash may be misdiagnosed for weeks or months, leaving a victim in severe pain.
Also, the symptoms of whiplash even mimic those of a concussion. Thus, a doctor may reasonably treat a patient for a head injury “for safety”. This means the doctor is paying attention. Addressing all injuries in order of severity prevents the occurrence of misdiagnosis later. Most hospitals are very diligent in keeping any patients with possible concussion or TBI for observation. This is acting in a reasonable manner. However, the patient still needs treatment specifically for whiplash. 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 in victims suffering whiplash injuries include:
- 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 look like for car accident victims?
Many people recover from whiplash injuries and remain asymptomatic. However, thousands of people every year suffer the chronic, widespread discomfort of ongoing whiplash pain. Post accident, victims who suffer chronic neck, back, and shoulder pain may find themselves losing quality of life. Once athletic people find themselves unable to engage in active hobbies, such as tennis, due to extreme next pain as a result of whiplash.
It’s for these reasons that retaining a Board Certified lawyer to pursue a victim’s right to recover damages after an accident with injuries is in the client’s best interest. Medical expenses victims incur attempting to seek treatment for pain can cause debt on the legal side. This comes on top of physical injury on the medical side.
Why are the insurance companies hiding this information from beneficiaries?
Finally, insurance companies want victims who sustain whiplash injuries to believe they have no legal recourse. If injuries are “invisible”, how can it be proven during trial? That’s where a Board Certified lawyer comes in. An accident lawyer should have experience protecting clients with any number of injuries. Whiplash is a common injury post car accident, one Personal Injury lawyers should have years of experience recovering compensation for. Insurance companies don’t want to pay out. This is why lawyers must have a client’s best interest. Any firm that sends a client with a whiplash injury out the door with a meager settlement offer is a red flag for “paper pushers”.
A lawyer with experience in fighting for clients that suffer chronic pain post accident is a must. Victims may receive compensation for pain and suffering after accidents resulting from the negligence of another driver.
Ultimately, with sufficient Burden of Proof, whiplash injuries go all the way to trial when necessary. It’s important that a Personal Injury lawyer handling a case involving whiplash injuries frequently sees these cases to verdict. Lawyers who can prove the severity of lifelong chronic pain for a victim will be able to obtain sufficient compensation for the client.