Whiplash: A Silent Injury After Car Accidents
Auto accidents and trucking accidents are the most common causes of whiplash. But these injuries can also happen in contact sports, such as football and rugby. Whiplash is pain resulting from a violent thrusting of the head backward, called hyperextension, and forward, known as hyperflexion. This thrusting causes neck damage. The injury may be worse if the head is turned to one side at the time of the hyperextension or hyperflexion. Whiplash often leads to other injuries, such as those of intervertebral joints, ligaments and discs.
A personal injury lawyer phoenix will use his or her experience to ensure you receive the highest possible compensation for your specific injuries and other damages, leading to quick settlement when possible.
There are a multitude of symptoms that can indicate whiplash. Some of these are long lasting and others can range widely from one patient to another. Some of the symptoms include:
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Shoulder pain
- Shoulder stiffness
- Jaw pain
- Arm weakness
- Arm pain
- Vision problems
- Ear ringing
- Back pain
More severe cases of whiplash can lead to even more symptoms and medical problems that may include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Drug dependency on pain relieving medications
How Whiplash Injuries Manifest
Whiplash is frequently the result of rear-end auto collisions. After the accident, the victim may not feel any real pain at all. It is usually in coming days, weeks or months after the accident that these types of injuries appear. Pain from whiplash can also come and go, first appearing after the accident, then subsiding, returning later.
After an auto accident of any kind, particularly one involving a rear-end crash, you should seek medical treatment to determine whether you have injuries. You should not avoid medical examination after an accident based on the fact that you are not in pain, as whiplash and other injuries may not be painful for days after the accident, later becoming a problem of pain and swelling. Visiting a doctor or emergency room after an auto accident frequently involves the following tests:
- Orthopedic exams
- Chiropractic tests
- Range of motion exams
- Muscle strength tests
- Diagnostic ultrasound
When whiplash appears, it is often treated through chiropractic care, as soft tissue injuries tend to be treated. Chiropractic techniques have been designed to reduce swelling, rehabilitate injured tissues and relieve pain of injured areas of the body. Through chiropractic care, you may regain functioning of the injured part.
For your auto accident and personal injury claim involving whiplash, you need an experienced car accident lawyer phoenix with a solid reputation of standing up against insurance companies.
Always Go to the Hospital after an Accident
After an auto accident of any kind, it is always important that you go to the emergency department of a hospital for evaluation. You may feel perfectly fine immediately following the accident. But this is likely due in part to your adrenaline surging in the shock and chaos of the accident’s occurrence. When your adrenaline returns to normal, your injuries may start to hurt. This can sometimes take hours or even several days to happen, with whiplash often manifesting a day or more after the wreck.
After an auto accident, you should go to the hospital for the following reasons:
- Many injuries, including some of the most life-threatening ones, seem minor or nonexistent for the first hours after the accident
- Lasting damage caused by the wreck to your neck tissue, ligaments, muscles and soft discs of the spine are common, even when you do not feel these at first
- Back injury, commonly accompanying whiplash, can develop pain over time and is a long lasting injury that can affect you for the rest of your life
- Having received medical treatment after the wreck will provide the written proof you need to provide validity to your car accident claim
Not going to the hospital after an auto accident will cause problems for your personal injury case, should you decide to file a legal claim against the at-fault driver. The first question their insurance company will ask you is, “Did you go to the hospital.” Even if you go to the ER or see a doctor and no injuries are initially found, pain or symptoms can still manifest later after the accident. Going to the doctor – regardless of outcome of that examination – will provide proof of the injury being linked to the accident or as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident, not due to something that occurred prior.
Whiplash is just one injury that can occur in an auto accident. It can be a difficult one to bear, as it affects every aspect of your daily life. Not being able to move your neck freely and without pain can cause the following issues:
- Disrupted sleep
- Inability to drive
- Trouble caring for young children
- Inability to work comfortably at a desk
- Inability to work in any field
- Diminished appetite due to associated pain of eating
- Pain pill dependence
- Other problems