Every year, millions of people suffer from whiplash, most frequently from front- and rear-end car accidents. The head and neck are especially vulnerable to the impact of a crash. It does not take a lot of force to cause whiplash, but the resulting pain and stiffness can seem unbearable.
If you have whiplash from a recent motor vehicle accident that was not your fault, you may have cause to file a claim for damages. Compensation may be available to cover your medical costs, lost income, and other losses related to your injury.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury of head and neck structures that occurs when sudden movement forces the neck and upper spine rapidly in one direction and back again, like the cracking of a whip.
That rapid motion can overstretch and damage the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and bone of the neck or cervical spine. Although auto accidents are the leading cause of whiplash, it can happen from a fall, playing sports, and other activities.
Whiplash symptoms show up days after the initial injury. That is why it is so important to listen to your body and see your health care provider after an accident.
Signs and symptoms of whiplash include:
- Loss of range of motion in the neck.
- Pain that radiates to nearby areas.
- Numbness/tingling in the arms.
- Headaches that often start at the base of the skull.
- Pain/tenderness in the arms, upper back, or shoulders.
- Physical signs of injury, like bruising, redness, or swelling.
- Pain/muscle spasms that worsen with neck movement.
Whiplash is diagnosed through exclusion. That means the health care provider makes a diagnosis after ruling out other conditions with scans and tests.
What Are the Complications of Whiplash?
Fortunately, most people with whiplash feel better within a few weeks and do not have long-term complications. However, others go on to have pain and mobility issues for months or years after an accident.
Individuals who are older or had a previous neck or back injury have a higher risk of a poor outcome. Whiplash is more likely to be severe if the vehicle was moving at a high rate of speed before it crashed. Because there are so many variables involved, it is impossible to predict the prognosis for someone with whiplash without tests and a physical exam.
Filing a Claim for Whiplash
Even if you feel okay, you should still get medical care as soon as possible after an accident. That is because internal injuries like whiplash are not always immediately apparent, or they develop or worsen over time.
Once you have seen a health care provider, your next step should be a consultation with a car accident lawyer. Choose a firm with a record of good outcomes for personal injury recoveries. During that first meeting, you can discuss your case and learn the options available to you.
If you can pursue a claim, your lawyer will guide you through every step of the process. Economic and noneconomic damages may be possible to compensate you for all the ways whiplash has impacted your life.
West Chester Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Injured Clients Experiencing Whiplash
Justice is possible with the counsel of our West Chester car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Our award-winning team is here to help you navigate your personal injury claim for whiplash. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we assist clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.