Whiplash injuries are some of the more common injuries suffered by people who have been in a car accident. Whiplash injuries are often seen in fender-bender accidents when a car has been rear-ended by another vehicle. Surprisingly, as many as a million people suffer whiplash injuries every year in such crashes.
Though these are not life threatening injuries, they can be extremely painful, and can impede a person’s ability to perform his or her daily functions. Unfortunately, these injuries tend to be often neglected which can lead to serious complications. Whiplash injuries are not visible to the naked eye, and in most cases, there is no swelling or inflammation with these injuries. In fact in most situations, the symptoms of whiplash may not be seen immediately after the injury. What’s more, doctors may not test for whiplash unless symptoms are seen, which only further delays treatment.
Whiplash injuries occur when the force of the impact causes the head and the neck to be thrown back and forth at high speeds. Injuries may involve the neck and shoulder muscles, bones, and tendons. These injuries can occur even in low-speed or low-impact accidents.
If you have recently been in a car accident, and are suffering from symptoms like pain in the neck, shoulder, stiffness or tightness in the neck, stress and strain in the neck and shoulder, fatigue, dizziness, tenderness, reduced range of motion in the shoulder, or difficulty in turning your neck, you should get these symptoms checked out by a doctor immediately. Some people may experience vertigo, trouble sleeping, blurred vision, memory loss, and other symptoms that are more symptomatic of a head injury. A severe whiplash injury or a blow to the neck could also result in a concussion, which is why it is so important to not ignore or neglect these injuries and talk to a doctor timely.
Emergency treatment of a whiplash injury can include ice packs several times a day. After a few days of icing treatment, heat packs can be administered to accelerate healing and relieve pain. Hot towels can be used, or warm baths may help. Doctors often prescribe painkillers to help patients handle the pain accompanying a whiplash injury. Ultrasound therapy is also often used to help relieve symptoms. In serious cases, doctors may recommend a neck brace or a neck collar after a whiplash injury. In 90 percent of the cases, symptoms may disappear. But in the remaining cases, the person may continue to suffer from lingering pain in the neck and shoulder area.
Recovering damages for whiplash injuries can be tricky because these injuries are not visible. The results of your diagnostic tests, including your X-rays and CT scans will be very important to demonstrate the existence of the injury. Your doctor’s summary of the injury and the manner in which it impacts your daily life like the effect it has on your ability to work or perform your daily functions as easily as before the accident, will also matter.
If you have suffered whiplash injuries in a car accident, don’t neglect these symptoms. Get medical help immediately. Talk to an Atlanta car accident lawyer at the Katz Law Firm, and discuss your eligibility for compensation for your losses.