Whiplash is a widely misunderstood injury for car accident victims. It’s often used as the punchline of a joke after a car accident, with people grabbing their necks in an exaggerated manner and yelling “Whiplash!” The truth is, though, that whiplash is a serious injury that can cause significant trauma for victims.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, don’t shoulder the medical bills and lost wages on your own. Hold the other party accountable with a personal injury claim. Call Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell at 251-847-2237 to reach their Chatom office or at 251-651-0483 to reach their Bay Minette office.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a relatively common injury after a car accident. Doctors often refer to the trauma of whiplash as cervical acceleration-deceleration. This simply means that, during a crash, the neck moves forward and back extremely quickly. This puts enormous strain on the neck itself, affecting everything from the muscles and tendons to the nerves and vertebra.
Minor and Serious Cases of Whiplash
Whiplash cases vary quite a bit in severity. Minor whiplash is very common in car crashes, even those deemed to be minor. In these cases, whiplash generally goes away after a few days or weeks of rest, quiet, and limited activity.
More severe cases of whiplash generally require medical intervention. If you’re unlucky enough to develop severe whiplash, you could be dealing with pain and ongoing side effects for years to come. There are several factors that can make you more likely to develop a serious case of whiplash, including:
- A car accident that occurs at high speeds or involves extreme amounts of force
- Substantial damage to various types of tissue on and around the neck
- Re-injury of the neck during the healing process
- Preexisting back and neck problems
How Whiplash Can Affect Your Health Long-Term
Even those with minor cases of whiplash experience some side effects. Some of the symptoms reported by car accident victims include back and neck pain, limited mobility in the neck, headaches, shoulder pain, tingling and numbness in the neck, and tinnitus.
Those with serious whiplash may experience all of the above, in addition to some temporary cognitive concerns. If you notice an increase in irritability, difficulty focusing on a task, or distractibility, your whiplash may be to blame.
If your whiplash does not resolve in a few weeks or months, it’s likely that you’ll struggle with symptoms for years to come. You may even have some residual side effects for the rest of your life. Some of the more serious symptoms of whiplash include:
- Ongoing pain in the neck, upper back, and shoulders
- Recurring headaches or migraines
- Jaw pain and locking
- Numbness and weakness in your extremities
- Poor or blurry vision
- Difficulty concentrating, sleeping, or accessing memories
- Personality changes
A surprising amount of people report long-term issues with whiplash, despite the fact that it’s often written off as a diagnosis that is used to get insurance companies to pay up after a crash. Many accident victims report ongoing headaches, poor neck mobility, or pain years after their accident.
The Importance of Medical Care
The prominence of severe whiplash shows why it is so important to seek medical care after a car accident. Until you get checked out by a doctor, you really cannot know how serious your injuries are.
If you have a bad case of whiplash or other injuries, prompt diagnosis and treatment are both keys to making a full recovery. If you wait weeks to seek treatment, not only will you have hurt your own healing process, but you will also have made it much more difficult to seek compensation from the liable party.
When you go to the doctor, get copies of all of the documentation you receive. Provide copies to your attorney if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim against the liable party.
Start Your Personal Injury Claim with Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell
The aftermath of a car accident can leave you with medical bills, limited income, and few options. With a personal injury claim, you can hold the liable party accountable for their negligence and fight for the compensation you deserve. Set up a consultation with our team now. You can reach out to us online, call our Bay Minette office at 251-651-0483, or call our Chatom office at 251-847-2237.