What Exactly Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury that occurs when the body is subject to sudden force. It may occur with or without broken bones. If you’re in an accident, it’s important to understand what whiplash is.

If you bring an injury claim, you may deserve compensation for whiplash and other injuries.



So, What Exactly Is Whiplash?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, whiplash is physical injury to the muscles, discs, nerves and tendons in the neck. Whiplash occurs when the neck is subjected to more sudden, physical force than it is meant to withstand. The components of the neck are pulled even if bones are not broken. Whiplash is a physical injury that results in neck pain, soreness throughout the body and other physical symptoms.

Victim of whiplash

How Do You Know If You Have Whiplash?

You know if you have whiplash by examining the symptoms of whiplash including neck pain, shoulder pain and stiffness. The symptoms of whiplash can also be common symptoms of other injuries, so it’s important to rule out other causes of injury. Diagnostic tools to know if you have whiplash include x-rays, MRIs, CT scans and patient interviews.

Symptoms Of Whiplash From Rear-End Collision

Here are some of the symptoms of whiplash from a rear-end collision:

  • Ringing in ears
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Stiffness
  • Vision irregularities
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping and feeling tired
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Low back pain
  • Arm/hand radiating pain and stiffness
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Instability of the neck
  • Memory trouble
  • Mood changes and irritability

Symptoms manifest differently for each person. You may not have many of the various signs of whiplash. These symptoms can also be signs of other injuries, so it’s important to consider all relevant factors and possible injuries when investigating whiplash.

Related: Determining Fault in a Rear-End Collision

Whiplash Treatment

The best treatment for whiplash is ice and rest. Treatment should be a combination of rest and slow return of movement over time.

Of course, the best treatment for whiplash is treatment that is customized to your unique injuries that is based on your physical therapist’s recommendations. There are a variety of treatment techniques, and the best treatment for you is specific to your injuries and symptoms.

So with a combination of rest, physical therapy and medication. Determining the right whiplash treatment depends on its severity and what other injuries you have simultaneously. Here are some possible types of whiplash treatment:

  • Ice
  • Neck collar
  • Slow return to movement
  • Stretching
  • Physical therapy
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen)
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Chiropractic
  • Rest

Recovery from whiplash takes time. You need to stabilize your body and give yourself time to heal. Remember, when you feel pain, your body is trying to tell you something. Find ways to rest your neck from sudden movement and gradually return to activity.

Woman being treated for whiplash

How Long Does Whiplash Last For?

The National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says that whiplash lasts for a few weeks to a few months. In severe cases, it might last several months. Of course, treating the symptoms properly may reduce recovery time. For most people, whiplash lasts for a period of weeks or months with symptoms lingering longer for some patients.

When you’re hurt in an accident, identifying whiplash is important to your recovery. Whiplash affects the spine, muscles, discs, nerves and tendons in the neck. When you’re in a car accident, your body is subjected to a sudden jolt. Your body is quickly thrown forward or sideways.

The neck is fragile. It’s not meant to withstand the speed of vehicles traveling down the road. The victim may suffer a strain of the various parts of the neck. Muscles can be severely strained, and ligaments and nerves can be torn.

All of this damage can result in pain for the victim.

Related: What To Do If Car Accident Injuries Don’t Show Up Immediately

Can Whiplash Be Part Of A Personal Injury Case?

Yes. A victim of whiplash may claim compensation for their damages. Damages can include medical devices like a neck brace. They can also include lost work. Whiplash is a physical injury that can be a part of a personal injury case.

To receive compensation for whiplash after a personal injury accident, you must prove that you suffered whiplash in the accident. Often, whiplash appears without broken bones, so gathering the evidence to document the injury is important. Fortunately, X-rays, MRIs and CT scans can be helpful in gathering this evidence.

In addition, a doctor’s evaluation and discussion of your symptoms can also serve as documentation of your injuries.

In order to make sure that you receive fair compensation for whiplash after a personal injury accident, it’s important to see a medical professional as soon as possible. You need to show that the injury is a result of the accident. Having testimony from a doctor or advanced-care nurse is very important to building your case. It’s important to have qualified medical professionals examine all of your injuries including whiplash.

Once you have a diagnosis of whiplash, it’s important to follow your doctor’s treatment plan. If they tell you to rest, you need to rest. If they tell you to take time off work or attend physical therapy, you need to do these things. It’s also important to document that you did those things. Proving that you’re following your doctor’s care plans is critical to making sure that you get the maximum possible compensation.

How Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help

Our attorneys for whiplash injuries can help you with all of the following key steps in your case:

  • Including whiplash in your complaint for compensation along with other damages
  • Referrals to medical professionals to document and treat your injuries
  • Securing of medical treatment now
  • Ensuring that care providers include key information in their medical evaluations
  • Appropriately valuing the amount of compensation that you can claim in damages
  • Settlement negotiations; go to trial
  • Collection of judgment

If you have whiplash or other injuries stemming from a personal injury accident, we invite you to call our legal team today for your free consultation. Your meeting with our legal team is confidential, and we answer all of your questions about your rights and what you might receive if you bring a claim. Call or message us today.

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