Whiplash is a soft tissue neck injury that often causes severe pain and requires medical treatment. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries to the neck, you may have a lot of questions about your case, like can whiplash cause permanent damage? Neck injuries should be taken seriously, especially if someone else’s negligent actions caused your injury. At Bailey, Johnson & Peck, our personal injury attorneys can help you pursue compensation for your injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney, call us today at 518-456-0082.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash injuries, or whiplash-associated disorders (WAD), can cause extensive damage to the neck muscles and spinal cord. This kind of neck injury usually happens when the neck is jerked or rolled suddenly, like during a car accident. Many people think of whiplash as a frivolous, made-up injury that people use to extort money. Whiplash can cause severe pain and inflammation in the head, neck, and shoulders. Most auto accident-related whiplash injuries happen at less than 12 miles per hour, with pain starting at only 5 miles per hour. 60% of people need long-term care after a whiplash injury and up to 10% face permanent disability.
A whiplash diagnosis usually relies on the symptoms of the injury. Neck pain is a very common whiplash symptom, but symptoms aren’t limited to the shoulder and neck. Other symptoms can point to whiplash as well. Common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Pain in the shoulders or neck
- Headaches and/or migraines
- Vision problems
Common Causes of Whiplash
Whiplash happens when the body remains stationary and the head/neck is forcefully rolled back and forth. Think of what happens to your body when you’re in your car with a seat belt on. When you stop suddenly, the seatbelt safety mechanism locks and your body stays in your seat. Your unrestrained head, on the other hand, may snap forward and backward very suddenly.
In most cases, whiplash injury occurs after an auto accident (especially rear-end auto accidents). In reality, whiplash can occur anytime your neck experiences a sudden jerking motion. Some common causes of whiplash are:
- Physical abuse
- Contact sports
- Car accident
- Amusement park rides
- Slip and fall accidents
Whiplash Diagnosis and Treatment
Whiplash can’t always be diagnosed by a physical exam or even imaging. MRIs and CT scans may be able to show structural damage to bones and ligaments, but whiplash doesn’t always appear on these scans.
Whiplash is most often marked by neck pain, but many whiplash victims report the pain occurring days after the injury. Whiplash treatment usually involves lots of rest and all the regular suggestions for pain management: heat packs, ice packs, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. People with more severe pain may benefit from prescription-strength painkillers, muscle relaxants, or numbing injections. During recovery, your doctor may prescribe physical therapy or a set of exercises to keep your neck from getting too stiff.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Whiplash?
Recovery from whiplash can range from a few weeks to a few years, depending on the severity of the injury. A minor injury may require some rest for a few days, while major injuries often have long-term or permanent effects. The symptoms of whiplash may not even appear until days after the accident. This is why it’s important to seek medical attention after any kind of accident. Proper documentation can link your injuries to the accident, which can help you recover compensation for your injuries. Patients recover from whiplash once all the symptoms disappear. Unfortunately, sometimes the symptoms simply never go away.
Long-Term Effects of Whiplash
The symptoms of whiplash can continue causing chronic pain for years after the accident. When the symptoms of whiplash persist, this is known as chronic whiplash. This long-term pain can cause disorders like PTSD and reduced quality of life. Other permanent or long-term effects of whiplash can include:
- Chronic neck pain
- Severe headaches
- Tinnitus (ringing in ears)
- Jaw pain
- Memory issues
- Chronic back pain
Can You Die From Whiplash?
Injuries to the neck and head are very serious injuries. Injuries to this area of the body can easily result in catastrophic injuries. The spinal cord is a vital part of your central nervous system. The spine protects this bundle of nerves, but it can’t protect it from everything. Severe whiplash injuries can result in death, especially if the whiplash victim does not receive appropriate medical care.
Can I Sue For a Whiplash Injury?
If your whiplash injury was caused by a negligent party, they should be held responsible for the damage they caused. Rear-end collisions and other kinds of auto accidents are the most common cause of whiplash. This injury often comes with expensive medical bills and time away from work, not to mention the damage done to your vehicle. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney at Bailey, Johnson & Peck can mean that you can recover from your injuries while we fight for compensation.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Personal injury claims can be difficult, if not impossible, to handle alone. To win a personal injury claim, you and your legal team must be able to prove the legal elements of negligence. At Bailey, Johnson & Peck, our Albany attorneys are familiar with New York personal injury law. We have the knowledge and skill necessary to fight for maximum compensation in your case. Permanent damage from a whiplash injury can cause other health complications and lead to even more losses for you and your family. Working with the personal injury lawyers at Bailey, Johnson & Peck can give you all the space and resources you need to recover.
Call the Personal Injury Lawyers at Bailey, Johnson, and Peck Today
At Bailey, Johnson & Peck, we know how devastating personal injuries can be. If someone else’s negligence caused your injury, you have legal options available. Our attorneys have been helping injured victims fight for fair compensation for over 40 years. Call us today at 518-456-0082 to schedule a free consultation with an Albany personal injury attorney at Bailey, Johnson & Peck.