If you have been in a car accident, it’s imperative that you take aggressive steps to protect your health, and that means seeking out care from an emergency room. Do that right after the accident. Then, if you feel any additional pain or discomfort in the days to come, visit the ER again.
At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, we often see people suffer whiplash after a car accident that leaves them with debilitating injuries because they did not get care soon enough.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash occurs when there is a sudden amount of force against the brain. The brain sits within the skull, with a bit of room between the bone and tissues.
In a car accident, the rapid forward movement of the force of the strike and the propelling motion, along with the recoil backward, cause the brain itself to strike against the skull, causing damage. This also causes a massive stretching of the muscles in the neck, which helps support the head.
This type of neck injury is brought on by that fast back-and-forth movement that occurs when a person is rear-ended. It’s called whiplash to describe the movement, which is much like a whip being cracked. The damage ranges from mild to severe, but it’s not something to ignore.
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Is Whiplash Common?
Whiplash is a common condition when you consider how often it occurs. While no accurate data exists to understand fully how many people have any type of neck injury, including neck strains or sprains, after a car accident, ScienceDirect studies show that there are likely to be 869,000 crash-related cervical spine injuries in the U.S. every year.
Considering this, it may seem that you don’t have to take any action to treat the condition, but that’s simply not the case. Though most people will recover within a few weeks, there may be some complications from this condition. In other cases, you may suffer financial losses while you’re healing.
Getting treatment from your doctor for whiplash is the best way to minimize the risk of further damage. It’s also the best way for you to heal properly.
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Possible Complications from Whiplash
Though many people will recover within a few weeks, some may have complications from whiplash. Some people have lasting injuries and effects that make concentrating and working difficult. Others suffer from the development of chronic pain, which can result in debilitating pain that limits the quality of life.
Some people may experience the following:
- Limited range of motion in their neck
- Pain that seems to spread down their arm
- Severe neck pain that makes it difficult to sleep
If you are older or have had whiplash in the past, your chances of developing more complicated care needs are higher. Also, if you’ve been involved in a serious car accident involving a high-speed crash, your risks of more severe and long-lasting injuries are higher, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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What Can Treatment for Whiplash Do for You?
If you have any pain or soreness after a car accident, contact your doctor or head to the emergency room. You should seek out care for whiplash if you have symptoms such as:
- Neck stiffness or pain
- Headaches often at the base of the skull
- Pain that seems to worsen when you move your head
- Loss of range of motion of the neck
- Extreme fatigue
- Tingling or numbness in one or both arms
- Blurred vision
- Tenderness or pain in the upper back or shoulder
In these cases, your doctor will provide X-rays and other diagnostic tests to ensure the injuries do not require further care. Often, your doctor will provide steps to reduce the pain and discomfort you feel. You may also benefit from physical therapy if you have ongoing discomfort or limitations on your range of motion.
Do not engage in physical therapy on your own. Instead, seek out your doctor’s advice.
There are situations where you may need to immobilize the neck for a period of a few days. During this time, wearing a foam collar may be recommended. You may also be able to engage in some forms of alternative medication to speed healing and recovery, such as chiropractic care, massage, or acupuncture.
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Do You Need an Attorney After a Car Accident with Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury that requires medical care for many people. As a result, you may end up incurring significant medical costs after such an accident. If someone else caused your injuries, it’s best to seek out the help and guidance of an attorney who can help you obtain the compensation owed to you.
With the help of an attorney, you’ll gain insight and support for what you are facing. That includes help securing compensation for the losses you have incurred, such as:
- Emergency medical care
- Ongoing treatment and doctor’s appointments
- Medications and medical supplies needed
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation support
- Care for alternative treatments related to your condition
More so, you may be owed compensation for other losses you have, including missed time at work, pain, and suffering. Having a car accident attorney available to you can help secure the compassionate support you need when you are facing these difficult injuries. If someone else caused your injury, you need an attorney to ensure you receive compensation for your losses.
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At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, we work with clients facing a wide range of complications from car accidents, including whiplash. Let us offer our 40 years of experience as a way to help you ensure you get the compensation owed to you. Contact us now for immediate help and a free consultation.