You were traveling along the highway or a local street uneventfully when a driver failed to signal, yield to your car or truck, or took some other action that caused an accident. At first, you thought that you were uninjured and that the worst of the accident was some damage to the bumper of your car. You exchange insurance information and go along on your way.
Then, as the night goes on, you start to feel pain and tingling in your neck. As the night wears on, the pain and tingling continue to worsen. The pain and tingling become so severe that you start to have trouble concentrating and can’t even fathom how you’ll be able to sleep. Reluctantly, you decide to go to the hospital to get checked out even though you think that it’s “nothing.” After an array of medical tests including an x-ray and CT scan, the doctor determines that you are suffering from a severe whiplash injury and a mild to moderate traumatic brain injury.
What Does Whiplash feel Like?
The signs and symptoms of whiplash can differ for each individual affected by the condition. In many cases, the injured person may feel no symptoms of a whiplash injury for 24 hours or more following an accident or incident. However, in most cases, the sufferer of a whiplash injury will begin to express certain complaints within the first several days after the injury. He or she may complain of frequent and recurring headaches after the incident. In other individuals, neck stiffness and neck pain may also be present. Other people may experience whiplash as pain in the shoulders, pain between the shoulder blades, or low back pain. Still other people may not experience whiplash as pain but rather as a tingling, numbness, or burning in the arm or hand. Others may have an array of neurological impacts including memory issues, concentration problems, increased irritability, and sleep disturbances.
If it wasn’t already clear, the effect of whiplash can vary significantly from person to person. While some people may experience whiplash as physical pain, other people may face more neurological issues. Others people may experience both pain and neurological problems brought about by whiplash. Thus, if you are in an accident and something just doesn’t feel right, it’s always wise to seek the opinion of a medical professional as soon as possible.
What Is the Cause of Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury that can be suffered when a person’s head suddenly moves backwards and then forward abruptly and with great force. Whiplash can occur due to a variety of events and occurrences, but it is probably most commonly associated with rear-end car accidents. Other commonly reported reasons for sustaining a whiplash injury to the head or neck include:
- Suffering physical abuse such as being punched, pushed, or kicked
- Playing a contact sport like football, soccer, boxing, or MMA
- Bicycling accidents
- Horseback riding
Whiplash is an injury that occurs due to soft tissue damage in your neck and back. Soft tissue includes the muscle, ligaments, and other tissue. Sudden movement can cause a whiplash injury because tendons and ligaments can stretch and tear.
Why Is it Important to Go to the Doctor or ER After a Suspected Whiplash Injury?
To start with the more obvious reason as to why it is important to seek medical treatment following a suspected whiplash injury, your foremost concern should be your health. The fact of the matter is that a whiplash injury is frequently an injury that will resolve on its own, severe whiplash injuries frequently require medical care. Furthermore, the symptoms of whiplash injuries include symptoms associated with extremely serious injuries. For instance, whiplash has many of the same symptoms that can be sustained when a moderate to severe concussion. Furthermore, whiplash has symptoms in common with neck fractures and other serious injuries. Therefore, the most obvious reason you should seek medical attention is to get the medical attention and all-clear that you need.
However, should you suffer a whiplash injury in a car accident or in other circumstances where the injury is caused by another person’s carelessness or negligence, getting medical attention can protect your ability to sue. By getting a medical opinion immediately following the accident, there is a clear record of your injury and its extent. If the other party later tries to claim that you were not injured or suffered the full extent of damage in a subsequent incident, the medical records will protect your ability to hold the other part accountable for your life-altering injury.
Work with an Experienced Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer
If a careless, negligent, or reckless driver caused you to suffer serious, life altering injuries such as whiplash you may be able to hold them financially responsible for the costs of your injuries and other damages suffered. To schedule a free and confidential personal injury consultation with a lawyer with more than 35 years of experience call the attorneys of Reiff & Bily today at (215) 274-0072.