Whiplash affects thousands of people every year, forcing them to take time off work, miss social events, and spend time resting and recovering instead of carrying on with their normal activities. Whiplash can vanish in a week if the victim lucky, or it can be a lingering injury for month after month. There is no cure for whiplash or even a good fix, such as a cast for a broken arm. As a soft tissue injury, whiplash is something that very slowly gets better, on its own time. Unfortunately, a severe case of whiplash might force the patient to wear a neck brace or collar for an extended period of time, which weakens and destabilizes the neck muscles. Complications such as weakness, immobility, and pain can wreak havoc on people’s lives, career, and ability to care for their family. According to a 2006 study, it was found that 37 percent of the study group that had chronic neck pain were originally injured in a motor vehicle crash. Whiplash is an injury that sometimes never goes away. If you or a loved one has or currently is suffering from whiplash, contact an experienced Columbus car accident attorney at once.
What Is Whiplash?
The average person’s head weighs 11 pounds. That is a lot of weight for a group of muscles to support, especially when it is on a long lever such as a head on a neck. Imagine always carrying even an additional two pounds in your hands and think of the extra work that would require your muscles to do. The neck is a very strong group of muscles but when extreme conditions are put upon it, such as the incredibly deceleration of hitting another vehicle from behind, the force of the head rocketing forward is too much for the neck muscles to deal with without becoming injured. Whiplash can be defined as the violent acceleration or deceleration of the head, causing soft tissue damage to the neck muscles.
Whiplash May Show Up Hours or Days Later
Some soft tissue injuries don’t surface until well after the time of injury. The accompanying adrenaline and endorphins released during the shock of an auto accident can further prolong any signs or symptoms of whiplash. This is why it is vital to always report the accident to the authorities, gather witness testimony of the crash, and exchange contact and insurance information with all other parties involved. If you notice any of the signs listed below, you may require medical attention, which will also be used in the evidence compiled by your attorney to attribute liability to the negligent party.
- Neck pain;
- Jaw pain;
- Low back pain;
- Ringing ears;
- Difficulty swallowing;
- Tingling in the arms or shoulders;
- Blurry vision;
- Tight or immobile neck;
- Pain during head rotation or other neck/head movement; and
- Headaches at the base of the skull.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, whiplash can usually be diagnosed without CT scans or an MRI, and such methods are not necessary for your doctor to diagnose you with it. And, because the damage is generally to soft tissue such as muscle, ligaments, and discs, an X-ray will generally not show damage. Instead, your doctor will likely diagnose with a thorough physical exam and set up the treatment procedures accordingly. However, serious cases of whiplash can fracture the spine, which is why receiving a diagnosis from a health professional is vital.
If you or a loved one were injured in an auto collision, contact one of our experienced Columbus, Ohio car accident attorneys today at the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers .