How to Prove Whiplash
One of the most common types of injuries that are seen in personal injury accidents, especially car accidents, are cases of whiplash.
While most people think of whiplash as simply being an injury to the neck, this is actually a more complex injury than what people realize.
It can also be quite serious, which is why people need to be aware of this injury, the treatment and how to prove that whiplash is what they suffer from when filing a lawsuit against the person that is responsible.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a painful injury that comes as a result of an abrupt and forceful back and forth jerking motion.
While we often associate whiplash with the neck, it can also affect a person’s spine, the disk between the bones, ligaments, nerves in the neck and even the muscles in the neck.
Furthermore, when a person experiences whiplash, they are more likely to have a traumatic brain injury since this motion may cause the brain to move inside of the skull.
How Does Whiplash Happen?
Most commonly we think of car accidents as being the main ways in which whiplash can occur. However, that is not always the case.
There are several instances in which whiplash can occur such as if the person was involved in a sporting incident. A few other examples of where whiplash is likely to occur include:
– Physical assaults
– Rear end collisions on the road
– Shaking baby cases often result in whiplash
Any time in which the person experiences a frenzied back and forth motion can result in whiplash.
The Symptoms of Whiplash
When you think of whiplash, what type of symptoms do you think goes along with this? We most commonly think of neck pain.
Which of course is one of the main symptoms. However, other symptoms can include:
– Neck stiffness
– Loss of range of motion in the neck
– Headaches that often start at the base of the skull
– Pain or tenderness in the shoulders or the upper back
– Numbness in the arms
– Blurred vision
– Issues with sleep
– Difficulty concentrating
– Ringing in the ears
– Memory issues
Not everyone is going to show each symptom. There are going to be those who only have a few, while others may have nothing more than extreme pain in the neck.
For those who have been in an accident that they believe has resulted in whiplash, they must ensure that they are getting properly diagnosed. Too many times, a person will get the wrong diagnosis.
This can lead to them using the wrong type of treatment in order to recover. Just how is whiplash diagnosed? Most doctors will use CT scans or MRI’s in order to determine the extent of the damage in the neck.
A standard X-ray machine is often not going to show the damaged discs, muscles or ligaments.
The treatment for whiplash is a bit different now than it was years ago. Years ago, it was not uncommon for someone to be placed in a neck brace and told not to move their neck at all.
However, today, doctors are realizing that early movement can actually help the muscles and tendons to get stronger.
In the event that the bone is broken, immobilization is the only way to treat this.
The other treatment options that are being used now include:
– Physical therapy
– Heat and ice therapy
– Injections into the problem area
– Ultrasound therapy
Of course, most people are given over the counter pain relievers in order to help with the pain along with advice on how to do gentle stretches to keep their neck limber.
What is Recovery Like for Whiplash Victims?
For those who do suffer from a whiplash injury, they are going to find that recovery can take some time. There is no set time for how long this will take as each individual is different.
For minor cases of whiplash, the person will often feel better within 4 to 6 weeks as long as they follow the treatment plan set out by their doctor. In many cases, a person cannot work while they are recovering from this injury, especially if they have a physically demanding job or a job that puts a lot of pressure on the neck.
For the majority of whiplash patients, they are fully recovered within 6 to 9 months and can then continue on with their daily lives.
However, it should be noted that in about 20% of cases where whiplash is an issue, the person still experiences pain and other symptoms for years after the accident.
It can still affect their life during this time making it to where they cannot do those things that they once did.
How is a Whiplash Injury Categorized?
When a person does suffer a whiplash injury, this is going to be categorized into one of four categories. These categories are:
- WAD I: this is the most minor classification that involves neck stiffness and tenderness
- WAD II: It includes the neck stiffness and tenderness along with a decreased range of motion and point tenderness.
- WAD III: It can involve all other symptoms as those in WAD I and WAD II, but also includes symptoms that sensory deficits, weakness and decreased or absent tendon reflexes.
- WAD IV: This is the most severe classification that involves an actual fracture or dislocation of the neck.
Knowing how the injury is classified makes it easier for the person to receive treatment from their medical doctor, as well as helps a lawyer to determine what they can ask for when filing a suit on the victim’s behalf.
How to Handle Having Whiplash
Once you have been involved in an accident and you show the symptoms of having whiplash, don’t wait too long to get medical attention. In fact, once you have been involved in an accident that is known for causing whiplash, be sure to get checked out by a medical professional.
Signs of whiplash can be immediate, or they can take a few weeks to show. Either way, you must have a medical doctor that diagnoses you with this injury in order to start going through the process of filing a lawsuit, getting disability or the like.
You will also need to prove that you were doing everything on your behalf to prevent this injury from happening, such as wearing your seat belt. These are all issues that we can help you with.
Once you know that whiplash is what you suffer with, it is time to get a personal injury attorney. Here at Conte Jaswal, we have proven success in helping those victims who suffer from whiplash in getting the help and their monetary needs met when they are dealing with this type of injury.
Remember, when you suffer from whiplash this could have a dramatic result on your everyday life. It could result in more medical bills and lost wages. This is not something that anyone should have to deal with on their own, and we encourage you to seek medical attention and contact us for help!
Contact us today for a FREE Consultation.