Many different types of accidents can result in whiplash. Car accidents, bicycle accidents and falls are just a few types of accidents that can cause a victim to suffer from whiplash, which is an injury that can occur when an individual’s head moves backward, then forward suddenly with significant force. Whiplash can be the sole injury an accident victim suffers or one of many. In either case, if the victim suffers financial damages because of an accident caused by another party’s negligence, he or she can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for these damages.
Often, chiropractors can help patients lessen and eliminate their back pain following a whiplash injury. But this is not a substitute for receiving prompt medical care after your accident. If you are involved in an accident, seek proper care and a diagnosis for your injury as soon as possible from a local emergency room or clinic.
What Causes Whiplash?
Whiplash can occur when the head is violently jerked back, then forward. Rear-end car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash, but it can occur in any situation where the victim’s head is forcefully pushed back and forth.
Whiplash can injure the spine, the muscles, the ligaments and tendons, and the bones in the neck. It can also cause the disks between the neck vertebrae to slip out of alignment, which can cause the victim to suffer severe pain.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Generally, whiplash symptoms arise within 24 hours of the accident. They can include any or all of the following:
- Neck stiffness
- Painful neck movement
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Pain or tenderness in the shoulder or upper arms
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty with concentration and memory
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty sleeping
Complications that Can Follow Whiplash
Generally, victims stop experiencing whiplash pain and other symptoms within a few months of their injuries. But sometimes, they experience long-term complications, such as chronic pain or headaches. Sometimes, this pain can be traced to injuries to the bones, ligaments, tendons or disks in the neck. In other cases, pain persists despite no medical explanation for it.
Recovering from Whiplash
Usually, whiplash victims recover completely within three months. Over-the-counter pain medication is often the main component of a whiplash recovery plan. Victims may also be recommended to apply ice or heat to their necks to dull the pain and to use stabilizing braces to keep their necks straight, facilitating their bones’ healing. In most cases, a combination of rest and over-the-counter pain medication is all a victim needs to recover from whiplash.
In some cases, a patient needs more than just rest and nonprescription medication to recover. A doctor may prescribe painkillers to aid a patient or refer him or her to a physical therapist, who can help the victim overcome pain and limited mobility through therapeutic exercises.
Some whiplash victims seek alternative medical treatments to aid their recovery. As discussed above, many seek relief from chiropractic treatment. Others use massage, acupuncture, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) or targeted electrical therapy to reduce pain. Talk to your lawyer about the possibility of seeking compensation for these costs through your personal injury claim. These treatments fall into the category of pain and suffering damages, rather than medical damages.
Seeking Compensation for Damages Related to Whiplash
You can seek compensation for the following damages through a personal injury claim:
- Your medical expenses
- Your lost wages
- Your pain and suffering damages. These include all intangible damages you experience like limited mobility and daily pain
A personal injury claim is only successful if it has enough evidence to demonstrate that the accident was caused by another party’s negligence and that the injury directly caused the victim to suffer specific financial damages.
Work with an Experienced Appleton Personal Injury Attorney
Whiplash can become a serious injury. If you are facing financial damages because of the whiplash you suffered in an accident, work with our team of experienced Appleton car accident attorneys at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC, to file a claim to pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact our firm today to set up your initial consultation in our office, during which we can answer your questions and help you determine the best way to move forward with your case. Contact our team online or call 920-202-8872.