Whiplash is the injury that can occur when the head is jerked forward, then rapidly snapped backward. It can be extremely painful for the victim and cause him or her to suffer complications like chronic headaches. When whiplash occurs because of a preventable accident, the victim can seek compensation for his or her related financial damages through a personal injury claim.
If you are involved in any type of accident, it is important that you seek appropriate medical care as soon as possible after the accident. This way, you can receive an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment. The sooner you receive medical treatment for your injury, the better your chance of making a relatively easy, quick recovery. Seeking treatment in a timely manner also increases the likelihood of your personal injury claim resulting in an appropriate settlement because if you wait a while after the accident to seek medical care, the other party’s insurance provider may assume that you were not hurt badly and offer you a minimal settlement amount.
Which Accidents Can Cause Whiplash Injuries?
Generally, whiplash is associated with car accidents, particularly rear end car accidents. But it can occur in any type of accident where the victim’s head is rapidly jerked forward and back, such as a pedestrian accident or a fall.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Common whiplash symptoms include:
- Stiffness in the neck;
- Headache; and
- Neck pain.
Sometimes, victims experience additional symptoms like irritability, ringing in the ears, and difficulty with concentration and memory. Numbness or weakness in the arms and pain in the shoulders or arms can indicate more severe trauma. Individuals with these symptoms should seek immediate medical care.
What are the Complications of a Whiplash Injury?
Initially, the vertebrae, muscles, discs between the vertebrae, and tendons and ligaments in the neck can be stretched, broken, and fall out of place. These can all cause the victim to suffer severe pain and can potentially require surgery to correct.
Long-term complications of whiplash include chronic pain, particularly in the neck, and headaches. Complications following whiplash are rare. Typically, whiplash symptoms subside within a few weeks.
What Should I Do if I Suffer a Whiplash Injury?
Seek medical attention as soon as possible to receive a diagnosis. In many cases, the only treatment for whiplash is to alleviate your pain with ice, heat, and over-the-counter medication. If you have severe pain at the site of your injury, your doctor may prescribe painkillers or muscle relaxants. In some cases, doctors also prescribe foam collars to hold patients’ heads straight, aiding the neck as the patient recovers.
Physical therapy is also a common component of a whiplash recovery plan. This involves exercises guided by a physical therapist to help the victim regain strength and range of motion in the affected area of his or her body. It can also involve relaxation techniques to aid in pain reduction and recovery.
Some whiplash victims find relief through chiropractic care, massage, or acupuncture. Talk to your doctor about incorporating one or more of these therapies into your recovery. He or she can provide advice and potentially refer you to an appropriate therapist.
If you are considering filing a personal injury claim, you will need to start working with a car accident attorney in Wisconsin as soon as you can and have your claim filed within three years of the date of your injury. Your lawyer can help you obtain the evidence you need to support your claim, such as expert testimonies or a digital reconstruction of your accident, and organize the evidence to reach its maximum potential with your claim. Other evidence can include photographs you took at the scene of the accident and documentation showing your medical bills and lost wages. After your claim is filed, your lawyer can negotiate with the other party’s insurance provider on your behalf to help you reach a fair compensation package to cover your damages related to the injury. While your claim is pending, focus on your physical recovery by following your doctor’s instructions and getting a sufficient amount of rest.
Work with an Experienced Appleton Personal Injury Attorney
If you are suffering from whiplash after being involved in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you have the right to seek monetary compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more, contact our team of experienced Appleton whiplash injury lawyers at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to set up your initial consultation in our Neenah, Wisconsin office.