Whiplash is a neck injury that is caused by sudden and violent movement of the head. Although many different types of accidents can cause whiplash, the condition is most commonly associated with automobile wrecks.
For some, it’s hard to appreciate the potential severity of whiplash. Victims often require costly medical treatments and miss time from work, among other losses. If you’ve suffered whiplash from a car accident, it’s time to speak with the auto accident attorneys at Elrod Pope Law Firm in Rock Hill, SC.
What Are the Causes and Signs of Whiplash?
The Mayo Clinic defines whiplash as a neck injury resulting from the forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, akin to the cracking of a whip. This injury can affect the bones in the spine, the discs between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tissues in the neck.
If severe enough, whiplash can damage the entire neck region and may even reach cervical muscles, arteries, eyes, and the head and brain.
The following are some common symptoms in whiplash victims:
- Neck pain, tenderness, and stiffness
- Limited neck movement
- Muscle spasms and swelling in the neck region
- Shoulder, back, and arm pain
- Jaw pain
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
How should whiplash be treated?
Whiplash usually requires specialized pain treatment, therapeutic exercise, and prescription medications. However, your exact treatment regimen will depend on how serious the whiplash is.
Possible treatments include:
- Muscle relaxers
- Wearing a neck collar to restrict movement
- Applying hot or cold compresses to the neck
- Chiropractic care
- Physical therapy
- Lidocaine injection
- Home rest
How long might an accident victim be dealing with whiplash?
Contrary to what many people believe, whiplash from a car accident can be severe and leave victims with lasting pain. Although less serious forms of whiplash could last only a few days or weeks, more significant injuries can last several weeks or months. The longest lasting cases of whiplash are those with complications that trigger chronic pain or inflammation in and around the spine.
If you or a loved one have developed whiplash after being in a car crash, it is important that you see a doctor right away. Doing so can help you begin the treatment you need so your condition does not last longer or cause more pain than is necessary.
But it’s also critical to follow your doctor’s instructions. That includes taking any prescribed medications on time, attending subsequent medical appointments, and meeting with a specialist if you are referred to one.
Can Injured Victims Claim Compensation?
Following your doctor’s orders is not just vital for your health, it is also critical for seeking whiplash injury compensation. While you are eligible to claim damages associated with your whiplash, many car accident victims unwittingly make decisions (like delaying treatment) that can jeopardize their legal cases.
Attorneys and insurance companies representing the at-fault parties are always looking for excuses to deny or underpay accident claims, especially when it comes to whiplash. Not only do some people refuse to accept that whiplash is a real injury that causes real suffering, insurers and lawyers in general will jump at the chance to blame the accident victim if there is evidence of delayed treatment or failure to do what the medical professional advised.
You do not want to be in the position of having to explain why you waited to see a doctor, missed an appointment, or didn’t follow the treatment regimen. Get the medical attention you need to preserve your right to whiplash injury compensation.
Depending on the nature of your injury, you could be eligible to claim:
- Medical expenses, including prescription medications and equipment such as a neck collar
- Lost income due to time missed from work during your recovery and related matters
- Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional and psychological trauma
- Property damage for your damaged vehicle
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Most accident victims will be able to seek settlement payouts for whiplash injuries from the at-fault drivers’ insurance companies. In fact, personal injury cases typically do not have to go to trial because of the time involved and insurers’ general unwillingness to face juries. But that doesn’t mean whiplash car accident settlements are simple matters.
If you’ve been injured, retaining a knowledgeable car accident attorney will improve your chances of winning a fair recovery. Your attorney will work with your doctor as well as medical expert witnesses who can reasonably project the treatments you will need (and their costs).
This and other information, such as how much income you lose from not being able to work, will be used to demand compensation for your injuries. However, if the insurance company refuses to fairly negotiate, your lawyer will begin building a case for trial.
Help for Your Whiplash Car Accident Injuries
Our personal injury attorneys have helped numerous car crash victims win settlement payouts for whiplash injuries. We’ve also successfully taken negligent drivers and their insurance companies to court over whiplash and other injuries stemming from automobile accidents. To learn more or to get started on your case, contact our team at Elrod Pope Law Firm today.