How Serious is Whiplash?
One of the most common injuries seen in car accidents is whiplash. And while sometimes whiplash is dismissed as a minor injury, in reality, whiplash is a serious condition that needs to be treated as soon as possible. Even minor whiplash cases can have symptoms lasting up to 3 months. Severe cases can result in traumatic brain injury and lifelong complications.
If you’ve been a victim of an accident that resulted in a whiplash injury, it is important to know what to expect and how to get what you need to recover.
What Exactly is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a common injury that usually occurs in rear-end collisions and other car accidents. About 2 million people become victims of whiplash each year.
Whiplash happens when the victim has their head forcibly propelled backward into extension. The head then bounces forward. Not only can this damage your brain, but it can affect your neck and spine.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Victims of whiplash can have a variety of signs and symptoms, including:
- Neck stiffness
- Memory loss
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Sensitivity to light, sounds, and other sensory stimuli
- Depression or anxiety
- Mood swings
- Inability to concentrate
When your brain is violently propelled against the skull, you may experience some or all of these symptoms. Treating them can require months or even years of extensive care.
If left untreated, whiplash can have lasting effects such as:
- Limited range of motion
- Chronic pain in the neck or back
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Severe headaches
- Permanent memory issues
- Weakness in limbs
- Nerve damage
- Muscle spasms
Studies have shown that up to 50% of people with whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) experience symptoms a year after their initial accident. This statistic may be surprising, but it demonstrates how prevalent whiplash complications can be and why it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately.
Treatments for Whiplash
When recovering from whiplash, there are multiple treatment options you can pursue. Many cases require pain management tactics, such as:
- Over-the-counter pain medicine
- Moderate rest immediately after the accident
- Applying cold or warm compresses to the pain site
- At-home exercises to increase mobility
- Alternative medicine, such as acupuncture or chiropractic adjustments
Severe cases require more intensive care. Treatment for chronic or severe whiplash includes:
- Prescription drugs to manage pain
- Muscle relaxants
- Physical therapy
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Lidocaine injections
Can Whiplash Go Away on its Own?
For many people, mild cases of whiplash resolve within a few months. However, overlooking a potential whiplash injury can cause even a mild case to worsen and have serious consequences on your health.
Don’t Ignore Whiplash Symptoms
What makes whiplash so dangerous is that you might not even know you are suffering from it. It can take symptoms a while to develop. You might attribute them to something unrelated, like an awkward sleeping position or improper hydration. Whiplash is not as obvious as other external injuries, making it easier to ignore. Ignoring it, however, can lead to serious long-term damage to the brain.
After a car accident, be sure to visit your doctor. Just because you feel fine doesn’t mean you are. You might not notice the subtle signs of whiplash. A healthcare professional can more accurately determine the extent of your injuries and help you prevent further damage.
Compensation for a Whiplash Injury
When you have seen a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan, you should contact a dedicated personal injury lawyer. They will assess your case and determine the compensation you may be owed. From there, your lawyer can help file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit based on the circumstances.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms and damages, you could be entitled to whiplash compensation for losses such as:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Earning Capacity
- Physical Pain
- Mental Anguish
- Physical Limitations
- Pain & Suffering
Speak to a Lawyer about your Whiplash Injury
If you’re dealing with whiplash, your top priority should be recovering, not trying to deal with legal matters. A Texas personal injury lawyer from Begum Law Group Injury Lawyers can investigate, compile your medical and insurance documents, and pursue full compensation for your losses because you deserve to recover. For a free case review, contact us or call (866) 435-5219.