Whiplash due to car accident

Learn About Whiplash and Your Legal Options From Our Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney

Whiplash is often one of those injuries that car accident victims either don’t notice or ignore while dealing with the immediate aftermath of their accident. Many don’t seek treatment until their pain worsens, increasing the likelihood of complications or longer healing time. It’s important to seek immediate medical attention, but if you’re noticing signs of whiplash days after an accident, it’s not too late. 

And once you get the medical attention you need, Spetsas Buist can help with the rest. We know that medical bills can pile up, and your injuries may lead to a loss of the income you need to pay those bills if you have to miss work. But you may have legal rights to compensation if the other party involved in the accident was primarily at fault. We’ll help you understand whiplash and your legal options.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when someone experiences forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of their neck. Some compare the movement to the crack of the whip, hence the name “whiplash.”

Whiplash can occur in car accidents (most commonly rear-end crashes), sports accidents, physical abuse, falls, and more. It is sometimes called a neck sprain or strain, but those are more generic terms that can include other types of neck injuries.

Most people heal within a few weeks if they receive the medical treatment they need and keep up with prescribed pain medication and exercise. Some patients, however, suffer from long-term neck pain and other complications.

Common Symptoms and Signs You May Have Whiplash

Symptoms of whiplash do not always appear in the immediate aftermath of an accident or other event; sometimes, symptoms only appear days later. The most common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Stiff, painful neck
  • Pain that worsens with movement of the neck
  • Loss of neck range of motion
  • Headaches (often around the base of the skull)
  • Pain or tenderness in the shoulder, upper back, or arms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness.

Some patients experience additional symptoms, including:

  • Tinnitus (or ringing sounds in the ears)
  • Blurred vision
  • Insomnia
  • Crankiness, depression, or other significant mood changes
  • Trouble focusing
  • Difficulty with memory.

There are five “levels” of whiplash: WAD 0, WAD I, WAD II, WAD III, and WAD IV. WAD 0 includes no symptoms, while WAD VI cases are more severe and involve fractures or dislocations.

Whiplash Treatment Options

Your doctor may prescribe any of the following treatments, depending on the severity of your whiplash:

  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic treatments
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) or other pain medication
  • Massage therapy
  • Stretching
  • Strengthening exercises
  • A neck brace
  • Injections (like an epidural) to block pain impulses and allow healing of the tissue

How Car Accidents May Cause Whiplash

It’s estimated that 85% of car accident-related neck injuries are caused by rear-end collisions. This is because of the direction of impact; when hit from behind, a vehicle and the people inside it are thrown forcefully in one direction and then back the other way. Essentially, inertia causes a body to keep moving forward, even when a car has stopped suddenly, and it must move back in the other direction if it comes up against the stopped inner surfaces of the car. 

When the neck’s soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) are pushed beyond their normal range of motion, they may experience stretching or spraining, leading to the pain and discomfort associated with whiplash and other neck injuries.

Potential Long-Term Effects of Whiplash

Possible long-term whiplash symptoms include:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Emotional changes and mood disorders
  • Sleep disruption
  • Chronic neck and shoulder pain or stiffness
  • Continued bouts of dizziness
  • Jaw pain
  • Continued memory problems
  • Upper or lower back pain
  • Numbness or weakness in the hands, arms, or legs

Your Legal Options if You Have Suffered From Whiplash Caused by a Car Accident

Whether you’ve suffered whiplash as a result of a rear-end collision or another crash, it’s important to seek help from a qualified attorney to protect your legal rights. You may have rights to compensation, and an experienced attorney can help you understand the complexities of your case, the role of comparative negligence, and how each factor impacts the settlement amount you’re due.

Your Compensation Options

The amount you may be awarded will be determined based on the damages you have suffered. This includes:

How a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You After Suffering From Whiplash

At Spetsas Buist, we want to ease your burden and get you back to your normal life. Our clients’ testimonials speak for themselves: “Nick and the team will go above and beyond for their clients.” Let us help you protect your legal rights after whiplash – schedule a free consultation today!

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