In America, more than two million people suffer whiplash every year, according to the Rush University Medical Center. Although whiplash often does not leave outward physical marks, it may be agonizing and seriously interfere with daily life. Car accidents—particularly rear-end car accidents—are a major cause of whiplash. Whiplash is a type of personal injury that may result from a car accident. You may be entitled to financial compensation if you have sustained accident-related whiplash. Simon Hyde Legal is experienced with personal injury law. The informed attorneys at Simon Hyde Legal know how to help whiplash-injury victims recover compensation. To request a free consultation, contact Simon Hyde Legal at (484) 886-4271 or send us a message online.  

What is whiplash? 

Whiplash is a neck injury. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines whiplash as a soft tissue neck injury. Other terms for whiplash include a neck sprain or neck strain. Whiplash often results from trauma, such as accidents, in which your neck jostles back and forth. 

Whiplash can be excruciatingly painful and can worsen your quality of life. Whiplash results in persistent neck pain. The pain typically worsens when your neck moves, and whiplash often makes it difficult to move your neck. Your neck may be stiff, and you may experience muscle spasms. Whiplash also causes pain in the shoulders, arms, upper back, and lower back. Unfortunately, whiplash may also be associated with blurred vision and ringing in your ears after the accident.

Further, whiplash may make it harder for you to concentrate and remember things. It may make it difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep, as you may suffer sleep disturbances, insomnia, and tiredness. Finally, whiplash may lead to mood disturbances, such as irritability. 

How is whiplash treated?

If you have whiplash, your doctor may prescribe medicine, give you a cervical collar, recommend physical therapy, and instruct you to relieve pain and muscle tension with heat. First, medicines your doctor might prescribe include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antidepressants, and muscle relaxants. Second, if your doctor gives you a cervical collar, you may need to wear it for several weeks. Third, you may also need to see a physical therapist for whiplash. Physical therapy may include exercises, stretches, and neck traction. If your healthcare provider recommends neck traction, you may need to wear a neck traction device. Finally, you may apply heat to your neck to relieve the pain associated with whiplash. 

How long does whiplash last?

Whiplash may last for several months, impacting your life significantly. Indeed, you may find it more difficult to perform daily activities when you have whiplash. Although most cases of whiplash resolve in a few months, some people may experience whiplash for longer durations. Indeed, whiplash may continue to cause pain for years after the accident. Sometimes, whiplash victims may experience recurring neck pain and headaches after most of their pain has subsided. 

Who is at risk for whiplash? 

All people may experience whiplash. However, older adults and people with neck arthritis may experience more severe whiplash. Older adults may have less flexibility and strength in their necks, making the vigorous back and forth movement that causes whiplash more harmful.  

What are the most common whiplash accidents?

There are several causes of whiplash. One prominent cause of whiplash is car accidents. Whiplash often occurs when a car shoots forward and stops suddenly, such as in rear-end car accidents. In fact, rear-end car accidents are the primary cause of whiplash among car accidents. When a car hits another car from the back, the force of the collision may harm people in the front car. If a driver struck you from behind in a car accident, you might have experienced vigorous shaking of your neck, resulting in whiplash.   

Although rear-end car accidents are a major cause of whiplash, whiplash can result from any injury that causes your neck to move back and forth quickly and forcefully. Sports injuries are the second cause of whiplash. Suppose a ball strikes a field hockey player in the face. In that case, the great force of the ball may cause the player’s neck to snap back and forward. Consequently, the player may suffer injuries, such as whiplash. The third cause of whiplash is physical abuse. A physical assault may result in whiplash. Suppose an individual suffers blows to the head during an attack, causing their neck to move back and forth rapidly and forcefully. In that case, the individual may experience whiplash.  

What can you do if you experience whiplash? 

If you experience whiplash, you may wish to seek medical care and may consider contacting a personal injury attorney. Because whiplash may not leave visible physical marks, some people may not realize they need to see a doctor for their neck pain until several days after the accident. You may see a healthcare provider to obtain treatment if you suspect you have whiplash after an accident. As whiplash can be incredibly painful and can worsen your quality of life, it’s in your best interest to see a neck doctor to help you recover. However, medical treatment is often expensive. 

Consider speaking with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to pursue financial compensation for your whiplash injury. Simon Hyde Legal has experience with personal injury cases and can help you become whole again following your whiplash injury. A Simon Hyde Legal personal injury attorney may use documentation of your injury to bolster your claim. You should collect medical documentation of your injury, medical reports, charts, X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to establish your injury. 

Can you make an insurance claim for whiplash? 

If you suffered whiplash from an accident, you might wish to make an insurance claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies may attempt to deny your claim. Remember, no matter how severe your injury is, insurance agencies can be reluctant to pay you. If you go alone to consult with an insurance agent, you may feel intimidated and pressured into settling for a lower amount than what you deserve or are entitled to recoup from the insurance company.  

Was the other driver responsible for your whiplash?

If you have whiplash because of a car accident, you may wonder if the other driver was responsible for your injury, entitling you to compensation. You may hold the other driver responsible for your accident if you demonstrate that the other driver was negligent. To establish negligence, you and your attorney must show: 

  • The other driver had a duty to use reasonable care on the road. 
  • When the driver struck you, the driver breached this duty of care. 
  • You suffered whiplash.  
  • The other driver caused your whiplash. 

Although proving negligence may seem straightforward, it is often challenging. The defendant will take measures to disprove your claim, the severity of your injuries, and how much they should pay you. Most likely, they will bring witnesses of their own to contradict your story of how the accident happened. 

Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyers 

If you have experienced whiplash or other injuries because of an auto accident, you might be legally entitled to compensation. Consider speaking with a personal injury attorney to learn more about your rights and options. The personal injury attorneys at Simon Hyde Legal understand the law and know how to advocate the rights of car accident victims who suffered whiplash. Call Simon Hyde Legal at (484) 886-4271 or send us a message online to request a free consultation.