There are a ton of misconceptions about whiplash. With Hollywood depictions to stand-up jokes, numerous individuals imagine that whiplash is a minor injury that is misrepresented to make a bigger claim after an accident. In reality, whiplash and other severe soft tissue injuries can be debilitating to your life.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a type of soft tissue injury. Whiplash frequently occurs in rear-end collisions where the power of impact makes the head viciously “whip” forward and backward. Whiplash could likewise be the aftereffect of a sports injury, a blow to the head, or a slip and fall. This whipping motion harms the vertebrae, muscles, and ligaments in the neck. The medical term for whiplash is a neck strain, neck sprain. They may also use the terms hyperextension or hyperflexion depending on the injury. The reality of whiplash could cause symptoms for months, years, or even lifelong.
Symptoms of Whiplash
The symptoms of whiplash, as traumatic injuries, might not show up until well after the accident. You may think you are alright after a car accident or other event, only to notice symptoms several hours or days later. Typically, there is swelling or pain around the neck; however, it won’t be until the following couple of days that you will see the more noteworthy symptoms.
If you have been in an auto accident or another physical incident such as a fall or physical attack, you should watch for the following symptoms:
- Limited range of motion
- Tight or stiff neck
- Blurred vision
- Dull and aching pain
- Dizziness, vertigo, and loss of fine motor skills
- Memory issues and difficulty concentrating
- Back or shoulder pain
If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention quickly for diagnosis and treatment before your injury worsens.
Proof of Whiplash
One of the reasons whiplash has gained the reputation of a “fake injury” is because of the difficulty to prove the injury. Since Whiplash affects soft tissues in the neck, the injuries do not show up on an X-ray. Injuries to connective tissues, nerves, and muscle joints are difficult to diagnose. While an MRI may give evidence of injury, MRIs are expensive, and specialists are reluctant to arrange them. Most medical professionals make the diagnosis based on the patient’s involvement in an accident in combination with observable symptoms. Insurance companies like to attack these diagnoses, stating they are based on symptomatic assumptions instead of fact. But most medical diagnoses are based on symptoms that are observed with the naked eye to avoid unnecessary medical costs and physical discomfort.
Insurance agencies are especially prone to claim that a whiplash injury is fabricated when the injury victim reports no neck pain or stiffness in the prompt aftermath of the accident. Luckily, medical investigations affirm that the delayed onset of pain and different symptoms from whiplash is normal. Medical experts agree, as a rule, symptoms tend to not show up for 12 to 48 hours. Also, it isn’t uncommon for the onset of symptoms to be delayed for a few days after the impact.
Pain regularly reaches its highest level of severity 72 hours after the injury happens. Yet, every patient is unique. Some may experience peak levels of agony sooner or later that may continue or resurface in months or years to follow.
Other Soft Tissue Injuries
While whiplash may be most commonly known, it is not the only soft tissue injury. In fact, many of The Most Common Car Accident Injuries include various soft tissue injuries. A soft tissue injury damages the connective tissue of different parts of the body. Connective tissue includes muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Essentially, you can find connective tissues wherever the body bends. Wrists, knees, ankles, shoulders, and backs are just as susceptible to injury as necks.
The sudden impact of a car accident causes soft tissue to stretch, and even tear in severe cases. These injuries should not be taken lightly. Many require braces or even surgery to rectify.
Whiplash or Other Soft Tissue Injury Claims
If another driver is at fault for your collision, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against that person. You also have the right to fight your insurance company if they denied your insurance claim. As the injured party, you might be entitled to compensation. Compensation is not necessarily limited to reimbursement for medical bills.
Personal injury compensation may also include:
- Travel expenses (to attend your GP or hospital, for instance)
- Medical expenses and treatment costs (for example, physical therapy sessions or painkillers)
- Care and assistance if the injuries required a friend or relative to give noteworthy assistance in your day by day life
- Loss of earnings if you had to use vacation days, did not receive full sick pay, or you lost a bonus because of your nonattendance
- Pain and suffering
It is important to document all of your symptoms, including when they arose, their severity, and how long they have lasted. Sufferers should also keep track of all medical expenses, the number of work absences, a loved one’s work absences to care for you, and so on.
Pursuing a Whiplash Claim
Apart from the negative reputation of a whiplash injury, the law knows how serious a soft tissue injury can be. Science confirms that the car victims who experience neck pain in the days following even a minor rear-end impact have authentic injuries. Despite the misinformation spread by insurance agencies, whiplash injuries are real. Automobile crash victims who experience the ill effects of soft tissue injuries deserve compensation.
Do not “bite the bullet” when others are responsible for your pain and injuries. Do not rely on insurance companies to fairly resolve your claim! The law in North Carolina calls for fair compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. At Fisher Stark, our experienced trial attorneys can advise you or represent you on your personal injury or insurance claim.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and you live in Buncombe County or anywhere in Western North Carolina, contact the Asheville car accident attorneys at Fisher Stark today.