Over 3 million people sustain whiplash injuries each year, and more than 50% of all diagnosed cases result in chronic pain. While whiplash is not a life threatening injury, it can result in disability so severe that it causes $30 billion in economic losses each year in the United States. Even though whiplash is a common injury after a car accident, whiplash claims are still met with scrutiny by insurance claims adjusters. When this occurs, accident victims need an experienced personal injury lawyer on their side to help them negotiate a fair settlement.
Whiplash is most commonly seen after a rear-end car accident when the head is forced into hyperextension. The head is only supported by the cervical vertebrae and the delicate muscles and soft tissues in the neck. As a result, it is vulnerable to injury, even in accidents that occur at low speeds. As the head whips back and forth, it leads to an abnormal motion in the neck,, which causes damage to the soft tissue that holds the cervical vertebrae together. While some whiplash injuries are relatively minor, others result in chronic symptoms and disability, as well as a lifetime of pain and suffering.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Symptoms of whiplash can take days, and sometimes even weeks, to become fully apparent. This delay only increases suspicion when accident victims try to file a claim. In addition, the severity of the symptoms vary from person to person, which makes it more difficult to diagnose. Any delay in diagnosing whiplash only increases the risk of long-term pain.
Common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness in the neck and shoulders
- Shoulder pain
- Jaw pain
- Pins and needles or tingling in extremities
- Arm pain and weakness
- Back pain
- Visual disturbances
Living with Whiplash
After an accident, whiplash symptoms may come on gradually. Accident victims may experience numbness and tingling in their extremities, stiffness in their neck and a decreased range of motion. Over time, this can result in pain, difficulty sleeping, and loss of enjoyment in life.
Living with whiplash can be difficult, especially if the injury doesn’t heal quickly. A neck brace or cervical collar may need to be worn to limit the movement of the neck and head and facilitate healing. Accident victims, especially those in physical jobs, may be unable to work while they are recovering, which often creates extreme financial burdens for families that are already struggling after an accident.
Whiplash can also cause accident victims to feel isolated and alone, which lead to depression, anxiety, and other psychological traumas. This can adversely affect personal relationships and overall quality of life for years.
Are You Suffering from Whiplash After an Accident?
Whiplash injuries can be severe, and result in permanent disability if left untreated. Unfortunately, whiplash claims are often met with criticism and scrutiny after an accident, which makes it difficult for injured accident victims to recover damages and put their lives back together again. When this occurs, it is important to retain the services of an experienced Round Rock personal injury attorney. If you are suffering from whiplash, call Elissa I. Henry today at (512) 766-4529 for a free initial consultation and review of your case.