Whiplash is a neck injury that commonly occurs during rear-end accidents. The impact of a rear-end collision causes a sudden forward then backward movement of your head, straining the muscles, ligaments, tissue, and nerves in the neck. Whiplash is medically known as cervical acceleration-deceleration syndrome.
Your symptoms and level of pain vary depending on the severity of your accident. Whiplash symptoms can range from headaches and muscle weakness to fatigue and depression. Learn more about whiplash below.
Symptoms of Whiplash
There are many symptoms associated with whiplash. As mentioned above, they can vary depending on the nature of your accident. It is important to note that many whiplash symptoms can take days or longer to manifest so it is important to keep an eye out for the following symptoms if you were recently involved in a car accident or a slip and fall:
- Neck pain: The pain can range from mild to severe. While neck pain is typically a sign of ligament or muscle strains, it can also be a sign of injuries to discs and nerves.
- Reduced range of motion: Loss of mobility is a common symptom of whiplash. It could be due to muscle tightening or a joint injury.
- Tingling in fingertips and muscle weakness: Muscle weakness and tingling in the fingertips is one of the symptoms most commonly associated with whiplash. The impact of the collision can compress your nerve roots, causing tingling and weakness in your arms, hands, and fingers.
- Shoulder and back pain: Muscle strains and tears associated with whiplash can lead to shoulder and upper back discomfort.
- Headaches: Nerve damage and tightened muscles often cause whiplash injury victims to report headaches.
The above are symptoms most commonly reported by whiplash victims. While we would not call them less severe, they tend to be relatively shorter-term injuries. However, some whiplash victims report symptoms for months or even years after an accident.
There are a few more long-term complaints associated with whiplash of which you should be aware.
- Irritability and depression: Many people suffering from whiplash experience emotional changes. In some cases, it may simply be cases of irritability and anxiousness. In more severe cases, accident victims can develop depression.
- Dizziness: If whiplash caused injury to the inner ear, you might experience dizziness or vertigo. In some cases, the dizziness is a symptom of a concussion which can occur when your head snaps forward and back.
- Loss of memory and concentration levels: Whiplash can also negatively affect your memory and ability to concentrate. These symptoms can manifest immediately following your accident, but it is not rare for them to begin days, or even weeks, after your accident. How long your memory and concentration loss lasts depends on the severity of your whiplash injury.
- Fatigue: Many accident victims with whiplash report sleeplessness and an overall lack of energy. Victims who report fatigue might also experience feelings of depression.
- Ringing or buzzing in the ears: This ringing or buzzing, known as tinnitus, can be constant or occur intermittently. Both brain and jaw injuries associated with whiplash can cause the ringing.
Can I Recover the Costs of Medical Treatment for Whiplash?
Yes, if another party was at-fault for your accident, you can hold him liable for your treatment costs. While we cannot tell you specifically how much you can recover in a claim, a few common factors can influence just how much you can expect to collect. Those factors are:
- Fault and liability
- Properly diagnosing your injury
- Saving documents detailing your injury
If you were rear-ended, chances are that the driver who hit you holds more fault than you do. If this is the case, then you are entitled to some form of compensation in a claim. However, under Georgia’s comparative negligence laws, your fault will decrease your settlement. But before you can recover compensation, you must also demonstrate the severity of your injuries.
Getting yourself checked out ultimately helps your claim if you choose to file one. Insurers want to limit how much they pay out, and a delay in the beginning of your treatment is one piece of evidence they could use to argue that your injuries are not that serious.
But beginning the process early takes that point away and establishes your history of diagnosis and treatment.
Call S. Burke Law For a Free Consultation
Dealing with injuries from an accident is frustrating, especially if the accident was not your fault. If you are curious to learn more about your options to recover compensation, call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838. Our consultations are free, and we never charge you a dime until you recover the compensation you need.