The Mayo Clinic indicates that whiplash is a common injury suffered by many victims of car accidents when the rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck causes damage. Victims of even minor car accidents may suffer from serious whiplash injuries. While many victims suffering from whiplash have their symptoms and injuries resolved within a few days or weeks, there are certain circumstances where a whiplash injury may result in serious harm.
Often, victims remain unable to perform daily tasks or return to work due to their whiplash injuries. If you suffered whiplash as the result of a car accident, learn how a Washington DC whiplash accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC at 800-959-1444 can help.
Understanding the Severity of Whiplash
Whiplash is misunderstood as a minor injury that always heals quickly. While it is true that many victims suffering from whiplash do have their symptoms resolve over time, in other cases, whiplash may develop chronic neck and back pain and life-long challenges. Whiplash occurs when the head moves forward while the body remains stable in the same place.
Open Access Emergency Medicine (OAEM) indicates that the official diagnosis is Whiplash Associated Disorder, and occurs when the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the neck suffer tears or sprains as a result of a sharp, snapping movement that often occurs as a result of a car accident. Whiplash can cause substantial pain and suffering that may remain permanently for some victims.
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Symptoms of Whiplash
Whiplash often occurs as a result of rear-end car accidents. The impact that results when a vehicle forcefully crashes into the vehicle in front of them (typically, a vehicle at rest), causes the neck and head to violently snap back and forth. This sharp, intense movement can cause permanent damage to the neck and spine. Additionally, many whiplash victims also suffer from traumatic brain injuries, as the accident may have had enough force and impact to cause brain trauma.
A victim of a car accident must seek immediate medical attention, as many symptoms of whiplash do not present themselves immediately following a car accident. Stress, anxiety, or shock often cause a victim to have their systems override any sensation of pain resulting from injuries such as whiplash. As hours or days pass following the accident, the victim may notice the following possible symptoms of whiplash:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Jaw pain
- Impaired vision
- Back pain
- Limited range of motion in the neck, head, or spine
- Muscle spasms
- Tenderness or stiffness
- Ear ringing
- Mood swings
- Pain that worsens when the victim moves
- Difficulty concentrating (“brain fog”)
If you or a loved one notice any of these symptoms following a car accident, seek medical attention immediately. Additionally, it is important to note that if you were already seen by a healthcare provider after the car accident, but later develop any of these symptoms, or if your symptoms worsen in any way, you should return to a physician or healthcare provider in order to obtain a re-evaluation of your symptoms. Find out how a Washington DC whiplash accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you receive compensation for your injuries resulting from a car accident, including whiplash injuries. Call today for your free consultation with a member of our team.
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Treatments for Whiplash
All cases of whiplash will have different treatments depending on their severity. Your healthcare provider will help you understand the different options available for your unique situation. In many cases, diagnostic tests including an MRI or CT scan may occur to determine if there is any serious damage or the extent of your whiplash injuries. Again, as previously mentioned, many cases of whiplash also include traumatic brain injuries. Therefore, it remains critical for every person that suffers injuries related to a car accident to seek medical treatment.
If you do receive a diagnosis of whiplash, you may need to wear a neck brace to ensure that your body heals properly from the trauma. Additionally, you may need to have physical therapy to learn specific stretches as you heal. Chiropractic therapy is also often used for those who have whiplash injuries. If you suffer from any kind of pain, a healthcare provider will likely prescribe you pain medications to lessen your pain. You may be able to be compensated for the medical expenses incurred from this type of accident.
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Duration of Whiplash Injuries
Many victims of car accidents that suffer whiplash injuries typically begin to feel better within a few weeks if they receive proper medical treatment. However, during that time, the victim may not have been able to return to work due to their injuries, resulting in lost wages. Additionally, there are some cases of whiplash where the victim suffers life-long symptoms that impact their daily life. In these cases, a victim may have head, neck, spine, shoulder, and arm pain that can last years.
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Filing a Claim for Compensation as a Whiplash Injury Victim
If you suffered injuries in a car accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you likely know that the insurance company of the negligent party will want information and documentation regarding your injuries and losses before they pay any settlement claim. If you are in the process of negotiating with an insurance company regarding your whiplash injury, or other losses resulting from the car accident, make sure to consider the following:
- Never allow the insurance company to record your conversation. Anything you say can be ultimately used to lower your settlement offer.
- Never allow an insurance company to obtain your full medical history. An insurance company only has the legal right to request medical records relating directly to your accident. If you allow an insurance company to view your entire medical history, they may find a pre-existing condition that they claim was the cause of your injury instead of the accident.
- Never tell an insurance company that you are feeling better or that you are feeling fine following an accident even in casual conversation.
- Never accept the first settlement that an insurance company provides, as many insurance companies will purposefully offer an amount that does not fully cover injuries and losses and hope that a victim will take the first settlement offer.
Washington, DC Statute of Limitations on Car Accidents
If you were in an accident caused by another driver and suffered whiplash as a result, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical expenses, time from work, and pain and suffering. According to the statute of limitations in Code §12-301 you only have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver.
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC our attorneys are here to ensure all pertinent documents are filed in a timely manner with the court while you focus on healing. Call to speak to a member of our team today at 800-959-1444 for a free case evaluation. Do not delay your chance to pursue the compensation you deserve.
An Attorney Can Offer Legal Support
Negotiating with insurance companies can prove challenging and legally complex. If you suffered whiplash as the result of a car accident, learn how a Washington DC whiplash accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC at 800-959-1444 can help negotiate with insurance companies, help you receive the compensation you deserve, and ensure your legal rights remain protected.
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