Whiplash injuries are commonly associated with auto accidents, but whiplash and other kinds of neck trauma or damage could stem from various types of accidents. For instance, they could occur in a sports accident, a slip and fall accident, or even a workplace accident.
Even babies and toddlers could develop whiplash due to shaken baby syndrome. Some people also experience whiplash injuries from violent acts or crimes. Regardless of how the whiplash injury occurred, however, the effects could range from mild pain and discomfort to severe and permanent medical issues that might not show up right away.
This is why you must seek medical attention as soon as you suspect that you have sustained a whiplash injury after an accident and obtain emergency care if you’re experiencing serious symptoms. Likewise, even if the doctor determines that you only suffered mild symptoms, do not hesitate to go back to your doctor if your symptoms suddenly change or your symptoms worsen or persist.
If you or a family member has suffered a whiplash injury from an accident or incident due to someone else’s negligence or intentional act, the Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers are ready to help. Our top Bowling Green whiplash injury attorneys will fight for your legal right to receive fair and proper compensation for your whiplash injury.
What’s In This Guide:
- What is a Whiplash Injury?
- What Causes Whiplash?
- Symptoms of Whiplash Injury
- Whiplash Can Cause Brain Injuries or Memory Loss
- Treatments for Whiplash Injury
- Can I Seek Damages for My Whiplash Injury?
What is a Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash is basically a neck injury that happens when the head gets whipped side to side or back and forth with force and results in neck sprain or strain. It entails the extreme and abrupt flexion and extension of the neck that happens when your body suddenly moves while your head actually remains fixed.
When your head gets whipped abruptly, various vertebra or neck bones, nerves, ligaments, and muscles could be damaged or stretched. This neck injury typically results in immediate pain and neck stiffness.
The force of impact and speed at which an accident occurred, like a fall or vehicle crash, usually influences the severity of a whiplash injury. But the injured victim’s physique, posture, and height, as well as the weight and size of the object that struck the victim, could likewise influence the severity and exact nature of the injury.
For instance, infants and smaller kids, whose necks are very delicate and whose heads are still disproportionately heavy to their bodies, have an increased risk of developing a severe whiplash injury.
Many individuals mistakenly think that whiplash is not that serious and is easily treated. But just like other serious soft tissue injuries, whiplash could significantly impact the injured victim’s quality of life and overall health.
What Causes Whiplash?
Any activity that could cause the neck to flex or bend abruptly from side to side or back to front could cause whiplash. Although it’s usually associated with motor vehicle accidents, particularly rear-end and broadside crashes, whiplash, and other neck injuries could arise from different kinds of accidents. Whiplash could even occur if you were wearing a seatbelt during the accident. However, using this safety item greatly minimizes the risk of experiencing more severe injuries in a crash.
Whiplash could likewise happen during sports, especially contact sports like football, soccer, or basketball. Falling objects, particularly heavy objects that fall directly on the head, could cause whiplash. Additionally, any act of violence in which the head gets struck by something or otherwise injured could lead to whiplash.
It’s also immensely crucial to note that whiplash could be severe in babies and smaller kids since their neck structures are not as strong and developed as in older kids and adults. They run the risk of developing long-term whiplash complications, especially if the injury occurred due to shaken baby syndrome.
Complications of shaken baby syndrome could include delayed learning and permanent nerve damage because of brain trauma that could arise along with the sudden and/or repeated whipping motion.
Symptoms of Whiplash Injury
Whiplash symptoms could vary slightly from one individual to another individual. More severe symptoms might manifest immediately, while other symptoms might appear within 24 hours of the accident.
Common whiplash symptoms in smaller kids and adults typically include:
- Blurred vision
- Neck and/or shoulder muscle spasms
- Loss of or severely reduced range of motion (ROM) in the neck
- Tingling and/or numbness in the neck, shoulder, and/or arms
- Stiffness and pain in the neck, shoulders, and/or upper back. Pain might get worse with neck movement.
- Tinnitus or ringing in your ears
In babies or toddlers, whiplash symptoms could include:
- Breathing difficulties
- A bulge on the head’s soft spot, which is on the top part of the head
- Inability to suck or disinterest in feeding
- Extreme fussiness or irritability
- Excessive drowsiness or difficulty waking up the baby
- Unequal sizes of the pupils
It’s immensely vital to note that any symptom that could be linked to a whiplash injury in babies and toddlers must be considered life-threatening, and therefore, an emergency. Calling 911 for emergency help is recommended.
For adults and older kids who have suffered a whiplash injury, be on the lookout for these potentially fatal symptoms of a damaged vertebra:
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of sensation in the neck and/or below the chest
- Inability to breathe or difficulty breathing
- Loss of movement of the toes or fingers and other symptoms of paralysis
Whiplash Can Cause Brain Injuries or Memory Loss
Whiplash injuries could sometimes affect how the brain functions. Pain could change how people process emotions and/or information. It’s also possible for an injured victim to develop cognitive problems, such as difficulty with thinking or memory, after a whiplash injury. These issues could result from a traumatic brain injury or other issues related to stress. They might appear shortly or might not appear until several hours or days following the whiplash injury.
Individuals who suffer a whiplash injury might also develop long-term issues if the injury is left untreated or isn’t treated properly. These potential long-term issues could include:
- Chronic neck, shoulder, and/or upper back pain
- Issues with neck mobility and range of motion
- Misaligned cervical vertebrae
- Degenerative disc disease
- Frequent nausea and dizziness
- Chronic headaches
- Temporary or permanent memory loss
- Issues with concentration and focus
A whiplash injury in babies and toddlers could result in lifelong complications from traumatic brain injury. These could include:
- Physical and/or learning disabilities
- Behavioral disorders
- Chronic seizures
- Speech, hearing, or visual impairment
- Cerebral palsy
This is why a professional medical assessment and diagnosis as soon as possible following the whiplash injury and following all the recommended treatments can help prevent long-term complications of whiplash.
Treatments for Whiplash Injury
The treatment for whiplash may differ slightly based on the extent and specific type of the injury. For example, mild neck sprains or strains with some muscle soreness usually respond well to OTC medicines and some rest. On the other hand, more severe whiplash injuries, like those involving a broken spinal disc, might need surgical intervention. Common treatments for whiplash could include:
- Heat or ice pack therapy to the affected areas
- Support devices, like a neck brace or collar for supporting and comforting sore neck muscles
- OTC pain medications for alleviating headaches and/or muscle/ligament pain
- Prescription medications, such as muscle relaxants to address spasms or steroid injections to address inflammation
- Physical therapy, which usually involves stretches and exercises for safely and slowly strengthening sore neck muscles and promoting flexibility and range of motion
- Surgery for repairing fractured or ruptured vertebrae
- Alternative therapies, including chiropractic techniques or massage, can help injured victims focus on promoting wellness and healing by addressing the mind and body connection.
Some injured victims may experience lingering discomfort, pain, and/or cognitive problems for months to years following a whiplash injury. The primary goal of whiplash treatment is to minimize pain, improve the neck’s mobility and range of motion, and prevent complications such as more serious brain and neck damage.
Can I Seek Damages for My Whiplash Injury?
Yes, you can certainly seek damages for the losses you incurred due to the accident that caused your whiplash injury. These damages typically include medical expenses related to the whiplash injury, lost earnings, property damage, and pain and suffering damages, including reduced quality of life, mental anguish, emotional distress, PTSD, depression, and loss of companionship.
In less serious whiplash injuries that resulted in minor symptoms that resolved quickly, injured victims can usually receive compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company without too much trouble. In more severe whiplash cases, however, injured victims might need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the individual or entity that caused the accident.
If the injured victim or plaintiff can prove the damages they’re seeking from the at-fault party or defendant, the court will award them damages according to the following factors:
- The severity and exact nature of your whiplash injury and related complications
- Whether you have any pre-existing injuries before the accident
- How the whiplash injury has impacted your daily activities and quality of life
- The state’s injury laws
In most cases, testimony from expert medical witnesses might be required to determine a fair compensation amount for the injured victim. For example, if the expert witness determines that the injuries and their impact on the victim’s life are particularly serious, the damages award will reflect the nature and extent of the whiplash injuries.
Additionally, the court might likewise award damages for future lost earning capacity or future lost earnings if the whiplash injuries prevent you from working or generating income in the future.
Learn What Our Reputed Bowling Green Whiplash Injury Attorney Can Do For You
Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the accident and your whiplash injuries, it could be challenging to establish a strong case for compensation. You must also ready yourself for the possibility that the at-fault party’s insurance provider will downplay your injuries, reduce your compensation, or deny your claim altogether.
To effectively fight back against an insurance provider that has all the necessary resources to dispute your claim, you must have a solid case to pursue compensation that you truly deserve. Our experienced Bowling Green whiplash injury attorney can determine all the damages you’re entitled to under the law, file a lawsuit if necessary, and provide legal representation in court proceedings.
Your attorney can likewise ensure that your interest and legal rights will be protected every step of the way. Reach out to the Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers to discuss your case and your legal options for recovering compensation. Call us at 866-988-1285 or fill out our online form to schedule your free case review with our Bowling Green accident attorney today.