What is a Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash is an injury that results when the soft tissues of your neck stretch beyond their normal range of motion. This usually occurs when there is an abrupt and powerful back and forth motion of the neck.
Because of this, motor vehicle accident is one of the most common causes of whiplash injuries. Other causes of Whiplash injury are sports accident, injuries at amusement park rides, physical injury, or trauma.
Common Whiplash Injuries Symptoms
The symptoms of Whiplash Injuries normally appear within the first 24 hours after the incident happened. There are cases, however, when the symptoms may develop a few days after the accident happen.
The common symptoms of whiplash injury are the following:
Ligament sprains and muscles strains are the usual reasons why one experiences neck pain as a result of a whiplash. Other causes are injuries to the bones, discs, nerves, or joint.
The pain resulting from whiplash injury may range from mild to severe pain. The pain may be felt on one spot or on a general area. It could also be felt radiating from the shoulders down to the arm and the hand.
Neck stiffness or reduced range of motion of the neck
The neck area may experience a reduction in mobility due to pain, tightening of the muscles, or other mechanical problems with a joint.
After the accident, the symptoms of the stiff neck may take several hours to appear. At most instances, the stiffness and pain worsen a day after the accident.
The muscles in the neck, the nerve, or the joint of the cervical spine when strained and irritated, can cause headaches.
Shoulder and/or upper back pain
The pain felt in the upper back and shoulders can also be a result of a whiplash when the muscles or ligaments of the neck are torn or strained.
Radiating tingling, weakness, or numbness
There are cases when one of the neck’s spinal nerve roots becomes inflamed or compressed after a whiplash. This can result in cervical radiculopathy and the symptoms of weakness, tingling, and/or numbness usually radiates down to the shoulder, the arm, hand, and fingers.
Cervical radiculopathy is typically felt only on one side of the body, although there are rare cases when both sides of the body are affected.
These symptoms can occur in either one or two or more at the same time. The healing can also vary depending on what kind is it and how extreme it is.
Treatment and Medications
Most people who experience whiplash injury gets better after a few weeks by following a treatment plan which includes medications and other physical therapies and exercises. However, for some who have felt chronic pain and long-lasting complications, treatment and medications may vary.
Because of the medications, therapies and other treatments that have to be undergone by one who has experienced whiplash injury, more and more people are looking for means to ease the expenses and help in their continuous medical treatment.
According to the website of whiplash prevention organization, whiplash injury accounts for more than 65% of all bodily claims every year. In Canada alone, the injuries resulting from whiplash accounts to over 2 million insurance claims each year.
What Is The Worth of Your Whiplash Settlement?
On average, most insurance companies do not consider whiplash accident as serious. Although this may be the case, you can still be entitled to compensation through an injury settlement.
How Are Whiplash Settlements Evaluated?
There are a lot of factors that come into play when evaluating a whiplash case for the purpose of determining the injury settlement. One of the prime considerations is the examination of the medical treatment and therapy that has been provided to the patient right after the accident. Included in this are the emergency room treatment, follow-up check-ups with a primary care doctor, and physical therapies. In few isolated cases, occupational therapy may also be covered in post-whiplash treatment.
In case your whiplash injury disabled you to work, you may also be qualified to claim compensation for lost wages. The person responsible for the accident could also compensate you for the cost of your medical treatment, physical pain and suffering you have experienced, and the emotional distress that comes along with the injury.
Can You Claim Compensation From Insurance Companies?
The insurance company that represents the person who caused the crash usually pays these costs. Unfortunately, claiming damages and compensation by reason of whiplash injury that was caused is a bit harder to prove. Because the injuries that were caused in the soft tissues do not always show up on imaging tests or X-rays, the as insurance companies frequently treat whiplash claims with suspicion.
Resorting To Legal Help
Claiming from insurance companies is not your last resort. You may also seek legal help from a lawyer that will help you seek compensation for damages. These lawyers can help you to negotiate with the insurer of the party at fault. In most cases, they will also initiate the settlement proceedings before a lawsuit will be filed.
If no settlement outside of court has been made, you can file a lawsuit for a personal injury. A lawyer will be with you in every step of your claim. They will help you understand your rights and what are the steps that you can do to move forward to help you be fairly compensated for your losses.
If you are one of those who have been the victim of a whiplash injury, always be reminded that you have the right to be compensated and you have the legal help to resort to.