Most people have heard of whiplash and associate the term with automobile accidents. Although whiplash has a bad reputation through its depiction in our culture, it is a very real injury. If you have been in an accident and are experiencing whiplash, your pain and discomfort could last for years. A Georgia automobile accident attorney could help you get the treatment you need and reimbursement for past expenses.
What Side Effects Are Caused By Whiplash?
Whiplash injury results from forceful movement and stretching of the spine or neck muscles, often from automobile accidents. Although the body is restrained by a seat belt, the head is free to sling forward and back. This whip-like movement causes the cervical spine (neck portion of the spine) to extend beyond its normal range of motion. The resulting injuries can affect the upper or lower cervical spine, or both, and may include:
- Damage to ligaments in the neck
- Damage to discs in the cervical spine
- Painful injury to the upper back and shoulder muscles
- Brain damage
What Are Common Whiplash Symptoms?
An accident victim may experience chronic, severe pain as a result. Symptoms of a whiplash injury include the following:
- Neck pain, stiffness, and tenderness
- Diminished range of neck movement
- Swelling and muscle spasms in the neck area
- Shoulder, upper back, and arm pain
- Jaw pain
- Headaches and ringing in the ears
- Blurred vision
- Numbness of the arms
How Can A Whiplash Injury Occur?
Car accidents are not the only source of these injuries. They can also occur in sports, on roller coasters, or with anything else involving sudden head or neck movement. An accident victim may at first only notice scrapes, bruises, and other obvious injuries. Whiplash is not always immediately detectable, and the injuries may start off as relatively mild. Hours or days later, they may develop into something excruciating, even in the absence of outward signs.
What Treatments For Whiplash Are Available?
Fortunately, it is relatively easy to diagnose whiplash with MRIs, CT scans, and other imaging tests. If you start to have whiplash symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Your physician will be able to properly diagnose the problem and recommend treatment. Depending on the severity of the injuries, your treatment could include:
- Restoring motion to your neck
- Application of ice and heat, and rest
- Over-the-counter or prescription pain relief
- Muscle relaxants
- Neck exercises
- Physical therapy
- Short term use of a foam neck collar
Who Is Liable For My Whiplash Injury?
The driver who caused the accident will be responsible for your injuries. This requires showing negligence on his or her part. Under the law, drivers owe a duty to other drivers to be reasonably careful while driving. If they breach this duty, by speeding or running a stop sign, they can cause a serious accident. When an accident victim suffers a loss such as physical injuries or medical bills, the driver is held liable.
Most likely, you will be dealing with the driver’s insurance company rather than the driver themself. Insurance companies know that whiplash symptoms frequently do not reveal themselves until well after an accident. It is for this reason that they will often seek a quick resolution of your claim, hoping to reduce their payouts. But a fast settlement may not cover future medical treatments or physical therapy. You might also not get the compensation you need for missed work and other expenses.
We Get the Results You Need for Your Automobile Accident Injuries
Don’t risk going it alone against the insurance companies. Remember, they work for corporate profits, not for your interests. They will try to get you to settle for less than your injuries are worth. Worse, they may even use tactics to try to trick you into “admitting” that you are responsible. You deserve the experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyers of Schneider Hammers. We will fight to make sure the insurance companies fairly compensate you for your injuries.