While whiplash is often portrayed as a joke on television, in real life, the injury and its effects can be very serious. Unless you've experienced it, you may not understand just how serious and debilitating injuries from whiplash can be. In this article, we'll discuss frequently asked questions about whiplash, including the potential long-term effects, symptoms, and more.
If you've been in an accident and suffered from whiplash, you may be entitled to compensatory recovery to help you get your life back on track. Don't underestimate the seriousness of the effects of whiplash. Call or text our whiplash lawyers in Arizona today at 602-345-1818 to schedule a free case evaluation. You may also complete this online form, and our legal team will reach out to you to set up your free initial appointment.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is common in vehicle accidents. It refers to the soft-tissue injuries that typically result from a rapid back-and-forth neck motion that can happen during impact. Whiplash often affects soft tissue, meaning muscles and tendons, and it does not usually result in fractures to the bone. However, whiplash can also injure joints, discs, and nerves. This swift back-and-forth motion typically results in sprains and strains primarily in the neck, but the arms, shoulders, and back can also be injured as a result of whiplash. Whiplash severity varies from patient to patient.
How Common Is Whiplash After a Car Accident?
Whiplash is one of the most frequently reported injuries in auto accidents. It's most common in rear-end accidents, but it does happen in other types of auto accidents, as well.
What Are Other Causes of Whiplash?
While whiplash is common in motor-vehicle accidents, it can also happen with other types of incidents, including:
- Slip and falls
- Boating accidents
- Construction accidents
- Assault and battery
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bus accidents
- ATC accidents
How Do I Know It's Whiplash?
Whiplash is often a condition that shows up hours or days after an accident. As such, you should get checked out immediately after the collision and go back to the doctor if necessary. Some symptoms of whiplash that you may notice include:
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Loss of neck motion or pain when moving
- Tingling or numb arms
- Pain in back, arms, or shoulders
- Ringing in ears
- Difficulty sleeping
- Blurred vision
- Memory issues
- Difficulty focusing
As stated, whiplash injuries can cause long-term issues and complications. These long-term issues can also exacerbate pre-existing conditions. Some complications from whiplash include continued severe neck pain, discomfort that spreads to arms, and headaches. If you think you have whiplash after an accident, see a doctor, and call a car accident lawyer today to discuss your case.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Whiplash?
While some symptoms will subside within a few days or weeks, some whiplash sufferers may have to deal with long-term effects. Some of the long-term symptoms associated with whiplash include:
- Chronic pain and stiffness of the neck and shoulders
- Consistent episodes of dizziness
- Intermittent or constant ringing in the ears
- Jaw stiffness and pain
- Chronic back pain
- Blurred vision
- Severe, chronic headaches or migraines
- Numbness, weakness, or sensory symptoms in the hands, arms, or legs
- Consistent difficulty concentrating
- Memory issues
- Personality changes
Timely treatment greatly assists in diminishing long-term issues and complications. Seeing a doctor directly after your accident is highly advisable, especially because whiplash and other symptoms may not show up for hours or even days after the accident. Avoiding a medical examination after the accident could potentially contribute to more chronic issues with whiplash. Additionally, victims may more frequently experience long-term symptoms if they:
- Are in a severe accident
- Aggravate or reinjure the injury as it's healing
- Had previously injured the neck, shoulders, or back; aggravated a pre-existing injury
- Have a serious inflammation response due to the injuries sustained
Getting checked out by a medical professional is extremely important. Not only can it save you from the pain of long-term symptoms and complications, it can also help you prove your case so that you can get on the road to physical and financial recovery.
What Does Whiplash Treatment Look Like?
Treatment for whiplash sufferers varies depending on the severity of the injuries. According to The National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, typically, whiplash treatment will include pain medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and a cervical collar, which may be worn from 2 - 3 weeks. Range-of-motion exercises and physical therapy may also be used to rehabilitate the victim.
Note that the expenses resulting from whiplash treatment may be reimbursable through a personal injury claim, depending on the facts of your case. Consult a whiplash lawyer in Arizona as soon as possible to learn about your potential legal options.
How Can I Prove Whiplash?
Despite how common whiplash is, it can be difficult to prove in a personal injury claim. One reason is that insurance adjusters know that claimants are likely to claim whiplash after a car accident, and adjusters are attentive to potential fraud in this area. Additionally, whiplash doesn't show up on Xrays and other scans the way other injuries might. Lastly, swelling, inflammation, and other effects of whiplash may take time to develop following an accident, which makes adjusters question if the injuries were related to the accident associated with the claim. These reasons make legitimate whiplash claims more difficult to prove, however, there are some things claimants can do to solidify a whiplash claim, including:
- Receiving swift medical attention post-accident
- Following the doctor's directions
- Making and attending follow-up appointments
- Documenting vehicle damage with photographs, videos, car repair receipts, etc
- Keeping up with medical reports and doctor's notes
- Following specified treatment plans
- Consulting a whiplash lawyer
Because whiplash can be difficult to prove, it's advisable to consult a whiplash lawyer in Arizona. A lawyer can help you collect the necessary information and evidence needed to facilitate your recovery.
Schedule a Free Case Review with Us
If you've been hurt in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, don't delay! Call or text our whiplash lawyers in Arizona today to set up your free case review and consultation. Immediate action will ensure that no crucial evidence is missed. We will make every effort to get you the compensation you need and deserve so that you can go back to living your life.
Note that this blog is intended to provide general information to a general audience only. It is NOT intended to be a substitute for legal advice or medical advice. We advise that you speak with a professional to discuss your whiplash case.