Whiplash is very real, and it can be painful and debilitating. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury to the neck (cervical spine) caused by a sudden motion, usually by force, which causes movement beyond the normal range of motion. It strains or tears the neck muscles and it is commonly sustained during an impact from a motor vehicle crash, usually a rear-end impact. Did you know that the property damage to your car is not relative to the severity of a neck injury? A seat belted occupant of a car can sustain whiplash during impact going only 5 mph.
Symptoms of whiplash can vary from person to person, but it typically causes people to experience tenderness in the neck, which can often radiate to the shoulders; swelling; muscular spasms; nerve irritation; limited range of motion; headaches; and jaw pain. In more severe cases, you may experience vision problems; ringing in the ear(s); irritability; the inability to sleep; and memory issues.
You may not experience any symptoms of whiplash immediately after a car crash. Symptoms can appear within hours or days post impact. The body typically releases stress hormones, specifically adrenaline and cortisol, after a car crash. These hormones can initially mask the symptoms of whiplash.
Diagnostic imaging, such as an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI, can reveal any soft tissue damage or inflammation to the cervical spine.
Once you have been diagnosed with whiplash, your medical provider may prescribe one or more types of treatment. Treatments vary and may include anti-inflammatory medications; ice/heat therapy; physical therapy; chiropractic therapy; acupuncture; and/or trigger-point injections. Your medial provider may also require you to wear a neck collar to stabilize the neck. These treatments are not mutually exclusive, and may be prescribed in tandem with one another.
In addition to the pain you may be experiencing, your injuries can be life altering. Your injuries may prevent you from working, playing with your children, or taking care of your household obligations, such as taking the trash out and mowing the lawn. You may also not be able to enjoy the same hobbies you did prior to the car crash, such as playing sports, crafting, or exercising.
Suffering a cervical spine injury is not only a strain on your neck, but it can also cause long-term or permanent financial strain for you and your family.
File a police report. A police report establishes the facts of the crash and provides documentation of the same. In this day and age, almost everyone carries a cell phone equipped with a camera. Take pictures!
The insurance company will look for any reason to devalue your claim, or deny it all together. They will scrutinize your claim and look for any indication that your claim may not have merit. For instance, any gaps in medical treatment may infer that your injuries are not as serious as you reported. DO NOT give the insurance company the opportunity to deny you the compensation you deserve.
Each state imposes a time limit in which to file a claim for personal injury. In North Carolina, you have three years from the date you sustained your injury to file a lawsuit in the civil court system. Failure to file a claim within the time limitations may forever preclude you from filing a lawsuit. Do not delay in seeking legal advise regarding your injuries and potential claim. You may have more to lose than time.
Please contact us to discuss your claim. You will speak directly with an attorney who can answer your questions. We can schedule an appointment that works with you obligations and doctor's appointments.