Whiplash is a common neck injury that many car accident victims experience.
This blog will talk about what exactly whiplash is and how to prove a claim. We’ll explain how a Denver car accident lawyer can help you if you sustained whiplash due to a careless driver.
What Is Whiplash?
The medical definition of whiplash is any injury caused to the neck by a forward and backward snapping motion. External forces cause your neck to make sharp, jerky movements and move out of its natural range and thus become injured.
Rather than an injury diagnosis, whiplash is the way an injury occurs. Whiplash is an event that occurs in car accidents, sporting events, and any other activities or tragedies that can have a forceful impact on a person. Whiplash also causes a vast array of injuries and symptoms.
The forceful and rapid back and force motion of the neck is called whiplash, sort of like cracking a whip. The resulting injury is damage to the soft tissues, muscles, and tendons. Whiplash generally does not cause bone breaks or fractures but can occur simultaneously with other injuries or broken bones in other areas if the crash is very severe.
So, whiplash can refer to the actual whipping motion that causes the injury and the injury itself. Think of a cracking whip; the motion of a person’s neck can be similar to that in a car crash. Whiplash causes tiny tears in the muscles and tendons of the neck and shoulder area. It most often occurs in rear-end accidents like fender benders but can happen in any type of crash.
Whiplash can cause immediate pain or present delayed symptoms down the road. Sometimes it takes days or even weeks for whiplash symptoms to show up. Even if you feel pain immediately after the accident, it may worsen. So you wouldn’t know the full extent of your injury until sometime after the accident.
The impact of a car crash can cause some serious damage. When your neck gets snapped back and forth so sharply, your body will definitely feel the strain. However, the severity of your whiplash injuries will depend on the severity of the crash. The resulting symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Weakness in the neck, shoulder, and upper back area
- Back pain
- Soreness of the neck
- Inability to move the neck
- Losing range of motion
- Tingling or numbness in the upper extremities connected to the neck
- Blurry vision
- Feeling dizzy
- Problems with memory and concentration
- Fatigue (more than usual)
The tricky thing about whiplash is that it has similar symptoms to many other medical conditions. So you will need a professional medical diagnosis to be sure your injury is from whiplash.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Whiplash
Whiplash treatment can be a lengthy process. The first thing you need is a medical diagnosis. A doctor will administer appropriate testing (such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan. If your doctor believes you have suffered whiplash injuries, they may prescribe a treatment plan including:
- Ice therapy and then heat therapy
- Gentle movement of the neck after 24 hours
- Gentle activation of the color after 24-48 hours
- Paint medication
- Chiropractic treatment
- Other physical therapy
While such treatments will help you overcome whiplash symptoms, they may also require you to miss work. An attorney might be able to help you recover lost wages and other damages.
How Do I Prove That I Have Whiplash Injuries?
If you want to prove your injuries, the biggest advantage you can give yourself is hiring strong legal counsel. Our Denver car accident lawyers have handled dozens of cases helping injury victims with whiplash and other injuries. Most importantly, we’ve helped our clients get fair compensation for their injuries.
Insurance claims always become more complicated when more cars are involved. Each case is unique, so it’s important to know a knowledgeable attorney, review the case circumstances and devise a strategic plan. An attorney will help you get some key elements sorted out to build a strong case. Here are some tips to follow from the start to help your whiplash case:
- Get medical attention right away. The sooner you get medical care, the more obvious a connection there is between the accident and your injury. If you delay treatment too long, the records might indicate that your injuries are not as bad as your claim or that they are unrelated to the accident.
- Follow your doctor’s orders exactly as prescribed. By doing so, you not only increase your recovery rate, but it shows that you took your injuries seriously. It’s important to show insurance companies that you are taking the necessary measures to heal.
- Track all your medical bills, records, appointments, medications, and anything else related to your injuries. Your medical records will serve as evidence for your case. Journaling can also help illustrate the pain and suffering you’ve endured due to your whiplash injury.
- Your attorney can help advise you on other evidence to gather for your claim. For example, you’ll want pictures of the accident scene, damage to your car, video footage, and witness testimonies. If you have pictures showing damage to the middle of your rear bumper, such evidence helps deduce that you experienced a rear-end collision and consequential whiplash injuries.
An attorney will also be able to work with other specialists to support your case. For example, medical professionals, accident reconstructionists, and forensic experts can offer their expertise to testify on your behalf.
Insurance Companies Don’t Always Play Fair
On top of Whiplash cases being challenging to prove, insurance companies are notoriously difficult to deal with. Their bottom line is to keep profit and give less money away. That means they use tactics to undermine your injuries. For example, they might claim your injury existed before the accident or that it’s not as serious as you say it is.
Don’t get discouraged or let insurance companies intimidate you out of getting the compensation you are entitled to. A professional and experienced attorney with a successful track record can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
A Denver Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Make Your Claim With Confidence
If you or someone you love is suffering from whiplash injuries, a skilled attorney can help you pursue a claim. Our legal team has a proven track record of helping car accident victims recover fair compensation.
We offer free consultations, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.