If you’ve been injured in a car accident, a slip and fall, or any other type of accident, your doctor may have told you that you have whiplash. But what is whiplash, and what can you do to treat it so you feel better?
Here’s what you need to know.
What is Whiplash After a Car Accident or Another Type of Accident?
Whiplash is actually fairly common. It happens when there’s a forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of a person’s neck. It’s often caused by car accidents, falls and other types of accidents, and it can be incredibly painful.
The most common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Neck pain that worsens with movement
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Headaches, which often start at the base of the skull
- Pain or tenderness in the shoulders, upper back or arms
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
- Ringing in the ears*
- Blurred vision*
- Difficulty concentrating*
- Memory problems*
*These symptoms can also be signs of another type of injury – specifically, a traumatic brain injury. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
Related: Rear-ended by a semi truck: Settlements and awards
How Whiplash Works
You can get a whiplash injury if your head keeps moving when your body stops (or vice-versa). That motion – kind-of like the cracking of a whip – can injure the bones in your spine, the disks between your bones, and your ligaments, muscles, nerves and other tissues.
How Long Does it Take to Recover From Whiplash After a Car Accident or Other Accident?
Most people who suffer from whiplash get better in a few weeks. Some people don’t even seem to have lasting effects from it. However, other people take several months to recover – and in some cases, the damage whiplash causes can last indefinitely. Your doctor will be able to guide you through the recovery process, regardless of how long it takes.
People are more likely to suffer from chronic pain after whiplash if their first symptoms were intense, started rapidly and involved severe neck pain, very limited range of motion, and pain that spreads to the arms. Additionally, people who have had whiplash before, who are older, or who have existing lower back or neck pain are more likely to suffer long-term effects from whiplash. Finally, a high-speed injury is more likely to cause more severe whiplash, which can take longer to recover from than whiplash in a slip and fall or low-speed car crash.
Can You Sue for Whiplash After a Car Accident or Another Type of Accident?
If your injuries were caused because of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you could be entitled to financial compensation. It may be a good idea for you to talk to an attorney about your situation – that way, you’ll know whether you might have a case.
What if You Can Sue for Whiplash After an Accident?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney will most likely try to negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve. Often, cases like these settle out of court. That means the at-fault party’s insurance company offers the victim a sum of money that’s fair enough to cover his or her medical bills, lost wages and other expenses.
However, in some cases, insurance companies fight tooth-and-nail to avoid making a payout. When that happens, personal injury attorneys often advise their clients to file a formal lawsuit. If you must file a formal lawsuit, your case will go before a judge – and possibly even a jury – who will make a final decision on what type of compensation (if any) you’re entitled to receive. You could be awarded compensatory damages as a way to make up for your expenses, and the court might elect to award you punitive damages, as well.
Related: Punitive Damages vs. Compensatory Damages
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Whiplash After a Car Accident or Another Type of Accident?
If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury in a car crash, slip and fall, or any other type of accident, we may be able to help you get the financial compensation you deserve. Call us right away at 818-230-8380 or fill out the form below to schedule your free consultation with an attorney. We’ll be happy to visit you at home or in the hospital so you don’t have to be out and about with your injury.