Understanding the Seriousness of Whiplash Injuries

Understanding the Seriousness of Whiplash Injuries

Even though whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries that you can suffer, you should never trivialize the severity of the injury. Many people have their lives changed from whiplash, and they are never the same again in the future. Thus, you should not think of whiplash as a minor injury; it helps to think of it as something you must take active steps to treat.

Legally, the party responsible for the accident will be the one who must pay you for your damages. However, the insurance company that represents them has no desire to pay you the total amount you deserve, making whiplash injury claims more challenging. If your whiplash injury case is easy, it just means that you did not fight hard enough for your compensation.

While some people may dismiss whiplash as a minor injury, it is essential to understand the seriousness of this condition and seek legal assistance. To give yourself the best chance at significant compensation for a whiplash injury, you should hire a Bakersfield whiplash injury attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will learn the actual value of your case and go to bat for you to get that amount in settlement negotiations. They will keep pressing the insurance company for you to get a fair settlement agreement. If not, you can file a lawsuit and fight in court to get the money you deserve.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash occurs when your head and neck snap forward while the rest of your body remains still. The term whiplash refers to the movement of your head akin to a whip’s cracking. It often occurs in slow-speed rear-end car accidents, but it can also happen in any accident when your head can have a sudden and violent movement, such as a fall. Whiplash can cause injuries beyond just your neck.

Whiplash Victims May Feel Effects Years After the Accident

One study shows how much worse whiplash injury victims fare than those who suffer “mild injuries” in car accidents. On average, whiplash injury patients are doing worse physically five years after the accident. Roughly 40 percent of people who suffered Grade 2 whiplash injuries reported being dissatisfied with their health five years after the accident. This number is greater than the 25 percent of accident victims who suffered milder injuries who reported being unhappy with their health five years later.

Whiplash Can Cause Accident Victims Chronic Pain

Chronic PainBecause rear-end car accidents are so common, roughly three million people through out the United States each year will suffer from a whiplash injury. Approximately half of these accident victims will deal with chronic pain for some amount of time after the accident. In some cases, symptoms of whiplash can go away or recede, either due to the passage of time or through physical therapy.

However, some accident victims will never be the same again. Roughly 10 percent of people who sustain whiplash injuries will suffer a permanent disability and can never get their quality of life back.

Whiplash Can Also Cause Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain injuries are another way that whiplash can lead to a permanent disability. When your head violently snaps forward, your brain can slam against the base of your skull. One injury that you can suffer is a concussion, which occurs when sudden trauma to the brain causes it to lose shape. You may temporarily lose some of the functions of your brain, and some concussions can result in lasting symptoms and harm. The trauma to your brain can lead to an even more severe permanent injury that can take the ability to perform crucial functions.

Whiplash Is More Serious Than Some Make it Out to Be

There are many myths surrounding whiplash that may lead people to believe that this injury is less serious than it is. People think that when a car strikes you from behind at a low speed, you will be unhurt. In reality, low-speed accidents are when you may suffer the most severe whiplash injuries. Your body will experience much more force than the vehicle, causing your head and neck to snap forward violently.

Then, there is another myth that your injuries may heal quickly, and some people think their bodies may return to normal with time. However, this is often not the case due to some specific injuries that whiplash causes, and you may even need one or more surgical procedures to repair the damage.

Whiplash Can Cause You Several Injuries

One of the reasons why whiplash is so tricky to lump into one category is because of the variety of injuries that you may suffer from the single violent motion of the accident. For example, whiplash can cause you the following injuries:

  • Pain when you move your neck
  • Limited range of motion in your neck and shoulders
  • Weakness in your arms and legs
  • Pain in your lower back

Whiplash injuries are serious because they affect your spinal cord, and the pressure and trauma can cause a herniated disc in your back. A herniated disc is when the gel that coats the discs protecting your spine protrudes from the disc. Herniated discs are severe injuries that can cause particular pain in your lower legs, including a painful condition called sciatica.

You may even suffer from more than one symptom of whiplash. You know that something is wrong, but you often cannot place the source of the injury, making it even more difficult for doctors to treat.

Whiplash Symptoms Often Take Days or Weeks to Materialize

Whiplash injuries may not always be apparent at the scene of the accident or even immediately afterward. Just because you may feel ok right now does not mean things will continue to stay that way. In fact, you may begin to experience some of the symptoms listed above in the days or weeks after the accident.

Seek Medical Help Right After You Begin to Experience Symptoms

You must see a doctor as soon as you begin to experience any symptoms associated with whiplash. If any of the symptoms relate to a potential brain injury, you should consider it a medical emergency because your injury may grow worse. In addition, you may be unable to get total compensation because there was something that you could have done to keep your injuries from degenerating. Always be cautious and see a doctor, and do not put it off for another day because it can cost you.

Treatment for Whiplash Injuries

The exact type of treatment that you will need depends on the type and extent of your whiplash injury. Doctors may recommend the following types of treatment for whiplash:Treatment for Whiplash

  • Pain management, such as rest and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Lidocaine or steroid injections
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  • Regenerative medicine injections

In severe cases, you may need a surgical procedure, such as a spinal fusion surgery or repair for a herniated. You may even require multiple surgical procedures if doctors cannot repair it with the first surgery.

You need to follow up on the recommendations that your doctor makes. For example, if they prescribe you any medications, take and refill them as necessary. Insurance companies are watching to see if you did everything that was within your power to take care of your health, and they may make your case harder if they think you failed to mitigate your damages.

Insurance Companies Make You Prove Every Part of Your Damages

Insurance companies certainly understand the seriousness of whiplash injuries because they see these cases all the time. They know full well that your injuries are seriously affecting you, but they will never admit it. Instead, insurance companies will try to leverage the fact that these injuries are common and use the situation to their advantage.

Whiplash injuries are often subjective in nature, meaning that your claim relies on what you are reporting as your symptoms. Insurance companies are sticklers for “objective” test results, such as MRIs and CT scans. Even if something shows up on an MRI, the insurance company may challenge the pain that you are describing or even your inability to work. You must justify and prove the extent of your injuries to receive compensation from a stubborn and penny-pinching insurance company.

Your Real Battle Comes When You Try to Negotiate a Settlement for Your Injuries

Insurance companies will almost always make you a low settlement offer when you have a

whiplash injury claim. Even though they know full well how you suffered an injury, they will do everything in their power to minimize the amount of money that they have to pay you.

Especially if you have suffered an injury in a rear-end car accident, the insurance company may be more than happy to concede liability. They know that the real battle will occur over the amount of your compensation. There is a wide range of financial outcomes, and your task is to get the best possible for yourself. You will likely have to reject settlement offers that do not come close to fairly compensating you. Be sure to prepare for a rough and intensive negotiation process where you must fight for every dollar you get from the insurance company.

You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer for a Whiplash Case

Even if you do not have to fight to prove liability, you will still need a personal injury attorney to help you secure the highest compensation for your case. You may not know that your whiplash injury compensation can significantly increase based on how your injuries have impacted you. An experienced attorney will know that because they have worked to estimate the value of your claim.

In a whiplash injury case, you may deserve the following elements of damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Embarrassment and humiliation

If you have suffered a lasting injury and you do not have full strength in your neck or limbs, you may be unable to work as you did before your accident. In addition, you may be in constant pain and discomfort daily. A personal injury attorney knows how much you may be due in a settlement check, and insurance companies are more than happy to reach an agreement directly with you because they know that they have fleeced you entirely.

It is crucial to hire an attorney right after the crash that caused you to have whiplash. Insurance companies may rush you into a settlement agreement before you know how badly you have suffered an injury or how much your case is worth. They may do several things that can compromise your legal rights, and you are vulnerable when you do not have a personal injury lawyer. Refrain from making mistakes that can cost you money.

You Can Afford to Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If money is a concern when considering hiring a lawyer, you can immediately drop that worry because your personal injury lawyer will not charge you any money to represent you. Whiplash injury lawyers only get paid if you win your case. Then, their payment comes from your settlement proceeds and not your pocket. If, for some reason, you do not win your case, you will not owe your attorney anything at all.

Personal Injury AttorneyWhen dealing with whiplash claims, it is vital to have a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who understands the intricacies of personal injury law. An experienced attorney can assess the strength of your case, gather necessary evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and guide you through the legal complexities. They will advocate for your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve, ensuring you have the best chance of a successful outcome.

Remember, whiplash is a serious condition that you should not take lightly. If you have suffered from whiplash due to someone else’s negligence, it is crucial to seek legal assistance to protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Bakersfield personal injury lawyer who can provide you with the guidance and support you need during this challenging time.

Car Accident
by Mickey Fine Law
Published on