Do you know what to do if you experience whiplash after a car accident? Do you know what symptoms to watch out for?
It is important to be informed. Whiplash injuries can be severe and long-lasting. Sometimes they can even lead to chronic lifelong problems!
What about the help of a personal injury lawyer like Lungin Law? Depending on your injury, you could be entitled to compensation. It is important to know where you stand and what your legal rights are. A good whiplash injury attorney is key in your recovery process.
Next, we’ll talk about exactly what a whiplash injury is, the symptoms, treatments, and what steps to take after an accident.
You only have one body, and it is important to keep it in motion!
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is the term for a neck sprain or strain. Usually, this injury is the result of being rear-ended in your vehicle. You get hit from behind and your neck snaps forward and then back again, much like the motion of a whip.
Whiplash is actually an injury made up of two parts. First, there is hyperextension, where your neck rapidly jerks back. Next is hyperflexion, where your neck is thrown into a forward motion.
It is the combination of these movements that cause the most damage and injuries to the soft tissues of your neck as well as vertebrae, muscles, and nerves.
In addition to car accidents, some other causes include:
- A fall that snaps your head backward.
- Physical abuse.
- Accidents while horseback riding.
- ATV or motorcycle accidents.
Any force that can whip your head back and forth rapidly has the potential to cause a whiplash injury!
Symptoms of Whiplash
Whiplash symptoms are often associated with neck pain and stiffness, but there are other symptoms it can cause such as:
- Dizziness and fatigue.
- Tender and stiff joints.
- Headache and blurred vision.
- Shoulder and arm pain.
- Numbness and tingling.
- Stiffness and muscle tension.
- Ringing in the ears.
There also can be cognitive symptoms too such as insomnia, depression, problems with concentration, and feeling irritable.
Your doctor will examine you thoroughly to figure out the severity of your injury. Your doctor might check:
- The range of motion of your neck
- What movements cause the most pain
- Tenderness and pain you may have
- Your reflexes and sensation to your arms and legs
Your doctor may also order some imaging tests such as an x-ray, CT scan, and MRI. There also may be physical therapy, rest, prescription, over-the-counter medications, and light exercise.
Whiplash is graded from 0-5, depending on the level of your injury. Grade 0 means there is no pain or physical signs. Then the grade increases from there:
- Grade 1 includes mild pain and stiffness, but no physical signs of injury
- Grade 2 has pain, stiffness, but no sign of physical injury
- Grade 3 muscle pain, decreased range of motion, and tenderness
- Grade 4 Neck pain and dislocation or a fracture
The Quebec Task Force classifies people with whiplash, based on these grades and criteria for injury.
What to Do if You Experience Whiplash?
The first and most important thing you need to do is seek medical attention, even if your pain is mild! Oftentimes you may not feel the true extent of soft tissue injuries until after the accident occurred.
A medical professional is trained to recognize the signs of whiplash from accidents. This step is especially important as you need medical documentation of your injuries should you decide to file a personal injury claim later.
Long-term complications of a whiplash injury can range from:
- Chronic neck pain and stiffness
- Chronic headaches
- Jaw pain
- Numbness and tingling to hands, arms, or legs
- Ongoing dizziness
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty with memory
- Problems with concentration
Remember long-term complications are more likely to happen if the accident was serious, if there were pre-existing medical conditions beforehand, or if medical treatment was delayed after the injury! Start your claims process immediately!
Check Your Insurance
Make sure you start your insurance claim right away! Whether you live in a no-fault state or not, you have to determine what your insurance company will cover during an accident. If the other person is at fault, you will need to know what personal injuries their policy will cover.
If you are not at fault but the other person does not have insurance coverage in place, you will have to weigh out your options. How severe your injuries are and what assets the other person has are huge factors.
If your injury is serious or the accident has other complications, then you will want to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Even in cases where your injuries are minor, there are plenty of reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer. Sometimes the nature of the accident is not straightforward, and you are not sure you can obtain the best result on your own.
Most of the time, personal injury lawyers will offer you a free consultation to discuss the case and what options you may have!
Personal injury lawyers also typically work on a contingency basis, meaning you do not pay anything until there is a judgment in your favor and the lawyer will take the agreed-upon percentage as their fees.
A personal injury lawyer can also guide you through the process of a civil lawsuit and whether or not you should file one.
Filing a civil lawsuit means that you could be financially compensated for the actions or inactions of the other person.
This is especially important if you have injuries that require long-term physical therapy and rehabilitation. Missed work can cause a huge financial strain, and benefits available through work can only help to a certain point.
After a Car Accident
There is nothing more important than your health! Make sure you have an experienced whiplash injury lawyer to help you after a car accident.
Lungin Law has the experience that can help you when you need it the most after your injury!
You can contact us online here, call 213-388-8222, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A whiplash injury has the ability to change your life completely. Let us help guide you through these next important steps in your journey!