According to the North American Spine Society, the term whiplash “describes both a mechanism of injury and the symptoms caused by that injury.” Whiplash occurs when an outside acceleration-deceleration force, such as the impact of an auto accident, violently throws the body forward and backwards. The rapid, unrestrained and involuntary movement can affect the soft tissues of the body and cause significant damage. As a car accident lawyer, I often see this type of injury.
Some clients recover relatively quickly from whiplash injuries. Unfortunately, others develop chronic pain that limits their ability to work and affects their daily lives. Whiplash symptoms do not always appear immediately, and it is not always clear if victims will be long-term sufferers or will heal quickly.
Getting an accurate diagnosis, and knowing the full extent of the injury, is important before settling a car accident claim. A whiplash victim who resolves a car accident case and later realizes he or she is going to have long-lasting effects from the injury, cannot receive any further compensation.
How Do You Know If You Have a Whiplash Injury After a Car Accident
Whiplash, a common and costly injury, most often affects victims of a rear-end collision whose bodies are jolted by the force of the impact. Symptoms typically show up within 24-48 hours after the accident. Diagnosis is difficult because the resulting damage to the neck does not always show up on X-rays. Accident victims should seek prompt medical attention if they suspect they may be suffering from whiplash.
The most common symptom of whiplash is neck pain, however, patients may also experience:
- pain in one or both arms;
- pain between the shoulder blades;
- pain in the lower back; and
- pain in the face
The North American Spine Society indicates that many people also develop whiplash associated disorders (WAD), symptoms of which include:
- arm tingling;
- heaviness in the arms;
- tinnitus (ringing in the ears);
- changes in vision;
- excessive fatigue;
- difficulty concentrating;
- memory impairment;
- sleep disorders; and
The cost of treatments for whiplash, and resulting financial loss due to whiplash related impairment, can be astronomical. According to Medicine Net, the annual economic costs of whiplash within the United States may be as high as $30 billion when factoring in the cost of medical care, missed work, and lost productivity. The bulk of these costs are incurred by patients who suffer chronic whiplash, or who develop whiplash associated disorders.
According to the North American Spine Society, the majority of people who suffer from whiplash will get better within a few weeks to a few months. However, one in three whiplash sufferers will never totally recover. Ten percent (10%) of patients who develop whiplash after a motor vehicle accident will experience ongoing, constant, severe pain as a result of the damage to their bodies. Whiplash victims will generally know within six months if they will make a full recovery, since there is generally only limited improvement after that time.
Getting Help from a Long Beach Car Accident Lawyer
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
Car accident victims who suffer from whiplash need to understand their legal right to seek full and fair compensation for damages. Some insurers deny whiplash claims because of the difficulty of getting an accurate diagnosis. Victims need to consult with a Long Beach car accident lawyer to make sure they get the money they deserve.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation and learn how I can help you receive compensation for your car accident injury. You will be under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover compensation for your losses.
You can also download my convenient glove box checklist to keep in your car so you are prepared and know how to react when a motor vehicle accident happens.
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