What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a soft tissue neck injury caused by a sudden, forceful back-and-forth movement of the head and neck. It is commonly associated with car accidents because of the way the body bounces back and forth against a seatbelt after a sudden acceleration-deceleration force. While whiplash is often a minor injury, it can be the catalyst of long-lasting health problems that take months or even years to heal.
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If you have signs of whiplash injury, we are here to help. Call the whiplash lawyers of Isaacs and Isaacs at 800-800-8888 to begin a free review of your important case. We handle a variety of whiplash injury cases including:
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Whiplash Neck Injuries Are Never Harmless
The interstate is packed as you finally travel home from a long day at work. You gauge the congestion ahead and calculate the amount of time it will add to your commute. You slow down but, unfortunately, the driver behind you isn’t paying attention and he or she slams into your car, causing your head to snap forward and back a few times against the head of your seat. Immediately, the car accident causes whiplash, which creates a strain against your intervertebral joints, discs and nerve roots and your neck begins to throb.
Yes, it’s a frustrating scenario, but It could have been much worse. Your airbag didn’t even go off! You’ll call the police, get the at-fault driver’s insurance information and be on your merry way. You feel a slight twinge in the back of your neck, but you ignore it. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured and you just want to make it home in time for dinner.
While the exact situation varies, victims of whiplash almost always have one thing in common: The whiplash injury is never as harmless as it seems.
Common Signs of Whiplash
Symptoms of whiplash injury and whiplash pain typically develop within 24 hours of an injury, but they can take even longer to surface.
Soft tissue neck injury symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Headaches (often originating at the base of the skull)
- Neck Pain: Stiffness, aches, pinching, etc.
- Loss of a range of neck motion
- Steadily increasing pain in the neck
- Tenderness or soreness in areas near the neck such as arms, upper back or shoulders
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Auto accident statistics confirm that collisions involving whiplash happen with regularity. If you are experiencing any signs of whiplash or whiplash pain, immediately consult your physician to determine the best method of treatment for your injury.
They may recommend self-care treatments such as anti-inflammatory medication, over the counter pain relievers and a cold compress. It is recommended that sufferers of whiplash ice the affected area for 24 hours only and then begin gentle, active exercises to improve mobility and muscle strength.
Other treatments can include physical therapy, antidepressants to treat nerve pain, a cervical collar or cervical traction to help support the neck. Being proactive about your symptoms and contacting a doctor is the best solution, because it may help you avoid long-term distress in the future.
How Long Does Whiplash Last?
As benign as a simple neck sprain can seem, whiplash actually correlates with a myriad of long-term health effects, such as chronic shoulder pain, neck pain and migraines.
A recent study completed by Northwestern Medicine scientists used MRI Imaging to identify a correlation between whiplash and long-term pain and disability. According to their research, while some people will recover from their whiplash injuries within a few months, as many as 25% of whiplash sufferers experience long-term effects that devolve into long-term or lifelong chronic whiplash pain.1
Migraine sufferers especially need to be careful after a car accident because 1 in 7 daily chronic headaches are due to a head or neck injury. According to a 2015 study examining the management of post-traumatic headaches as pertaining to whiplash, about 90% of whiplash patients complain about head/neck pain, dizziness, sleep problems and anxiety.2
What To Do After a Whiplash Injury
After an emergency, such as a whiplash car accident, our bodies often produce high levels of adrenaline and cortisol, hormones that prevent and dull pain so your body can operate during the emergency. It’s important to remember that even if you don’t feel any pain immediately, that doesn’t mean that you haven’t been injured.
If you’ve been in an accident, immediately report your symptoms to a medical professional. Because whiplash symptoms sometimes take time to appear, keep detailed records of doctor’s visits following your accident.
There are a few important steps to take on the scene, to prevent any misunderstandings after the accident:
- Immediately state that you may need medical attention.
- Injuries from an automobile accident can appear immediately, hours or even days after the accident. Do not say at an accident that you are not injured because at that point you may not realize the extent of damage your body may have endured.
- Record everything that happened (Tell a police officer the complete story and don’t hesitate to take supplementary pictures or write down additional records.)
- Keep all your medical records and follow your physician’s exact instructions
- Don’t sign any insurance documents before consulting your attorney
Contact a Whiplash Attorney for a Free Case Review
Over 3 million new cases of whiplash injury occur every year3-, so don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced whiplash car accident lawyer if you are experiencing head and neck pain following an accident. Our whiplash law firm understands the important whiplash definition and nuanced whiplash meaning as defined by each state and will work to secure a fair whiplash settlement or go to trial for you when needed.
The dedicated car accident attorneys at Isaacs & Isaacs Law Firm have over 346 years of collective experience and have attained over 1 billion dollars for their clients in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio alone.