Whiplash is a neck injury sustained when the head whips forward and then suddenly backward. They are most often caused by motor vehicle accidents, especially when the car is hit from behind. It is known as a soft-tissue injury to the neck, but can also affect the nerves, muscles, bones, ligaments, and discs. But what do you need to know about whiplash if such an injury were sustained? (1)
You may not feel the side effects yet. After an accident, it is true that adrenaline may kick in and you will think you feel perfectly fine. Suddenly hours or days later, you may be sitting and trying to get on with your everyday life when you begin to feel the terrorizing symptoms – neck pain, headaches, severe stiffness, dizziness, or even pain in your shoulders. Even in the most minor of accidents, you may feel tempted to wave off the other driver and avoid getting their information. It is extremely vital that you always get their name, phone number, address, and insurance information as a precaution. You could have whiplash and not even know it yet.
Furthermore, after the accident, it is a good idea to see a specialist for a whiplash diagnosis, as it is so prevalent after a car accident. This is a good idea in case there are extensive injuries after all and you decide to file a claim. (2)
Immobilization may not always be the best path to recovery. A return to daily activities and early mobilization after a diagnosis may be the most beneficial paths to recovery after all, aside from what is to believed the best treatment in earlier times – immobilizing the neck and bed rest. The grade of disorder that a patient experiences heavily factors into what type of treatment they will receive. This level is on a five-grade scale from O to IV. Patients grading O, for instance, would be asymptomatic, while patients grading IV may have had serious spinal cord injury. Treatments to stand in for the ones that immobilize may be manipulative and physical therapy, which have a high rate of success. These methods can provide pain relief and keep the neck from becoming stiff in the future. (3)
In the case of a whiplash injury, make sure to document all expenses. All documentation in an accident is necessary so that you can receive compensation you deserve. This could include anything from medical bills to lost wages and insurance co-pays – you may have never expected this to come from an accident, but it is fairly common and an important thing to note. Pain and suffering damages stemming from the accident involving your whiplash injury could be calculated anywhere between one and one half to four times your damages. (2)
Whiplash injuries are documented under the Automobile Accident Minor Injury Regulations made under Section 5 of the Insurance Act. It is important to know and maintain your rights. (4) Speak to your injury attorney about what you need to do when you have sustained a whiplash injury and your current options.