Neck injuries, like whiplash, are incredibly common in car accidents in Kentucky and nationwide. If you are in an accident and are diagnosed with whiplash, you probably have a lot of questions about what you’ll experience and how soon it’ll go away. At Golden Law Office, we hope to ease your mind and answer your questions.
Whiplash is a broad term that covers a variety of neck injuries – mostly having to do with soft tissue damage to the neck. This is common in rear-end collisions because the body will propel forward, while the neck and head stay in place – hyperextending the neck.
While whiplash is not a life-threatening injury, it can result in a prolonged period of suffering and disability. Because of this, whiplash may lead to increased medical expenses and lost wages. If you’ve experienced whiplash and are worried about your finances, you may want to consider seeking the guidance of a Lexington car accident lawyer.
Whiplash can also occur in automobile car accidents that don’t involve rear-end impacts, contact sports like football or hockey, intentional assaults, or even repetitive stress injuries at work.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Whiplash
The primary symptom of whiplash is neck or upper back pain and stiffness. The pain can start immediately, or it may develop over the course of days, weeks, or months depending on the severity of the accident. Additional symptoms vary depending on the individual and the accident. The following list contains some of the more common whiplash symptoms.
- Neck and upper back pain and stiffness
- Headaches (often starting at the base of the skull)
- Muscle spasms
- Decreased range of motion
- Tingling or numbness in arms
- Sleep Disturbances
- Blurred Vision
- Unusual burning or prickling sensations
- Jaw pain
Some individuals are at a higher risk for getting whiplash in an accident. Younger people, women, and individuals with a history of neck pain fall into that category.
After an accident, it’s important to have a doctor examine you for any possible injuries. In the event that they determine you have or will have whiplash, you make be given a support collar. If they are unsure of the extent of the injuries, you may be sent for x-rays.
After your initial whiplash diagnosis, you will most likely have return appointments to evaluate the status of your recovery.
Whiplash can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. Some individuals may experience persistent pain or discomfort for up to a year.
The whiplash pain may linger longer if the pain develops right after the accident or you experienced symptoms like memory loss.
In addition to a support collar, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatories or muscle-relaxers. They may also suggest applying heat to the area to loosen the muscles.
For severe whiplash, physical therapy may be a good idea to focus in on strengthening and loosening the damaged muscles.
In some scenarios, whiplash may be preventable. As a responsible driver, there are certain steps you can take to decrease your chances of getting whiplash in the event of an accident.
- Always wear your seatbelt, and always wear it correctly.
- Ensure your headrest is not too low – the headrest should be about two inches from the back of your head and even with the upper tips of your ears.
- Keep your seat in a comfortable, upright position.
- Drive with good posture.
- If considering buying a new vehicle, research what cars can provide you with the most neck protection.
Regardless of the type of injury, pain and suffering can be experienced after a traumatic car accident. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident and are seeking legal guidance, reach out our office today. We’re dedicated to helping you in whatever way possible.