Virginia Attorneys for Whiplash from Auto Accidents
Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries to those inside the vehicles, and the injuries can range broadly in severity. The violent thrusting forward and back of the head and neck that occurs in most vehicle accidents can cause whiplash.
If you were diagnosed with whiplash following a car accident that was not your fault, you could pursue compensation to help you recover your financial losses and other expenses. You may also obtain compensation for other areas of your life affected by the tragedy, but you will likely need the representation of an experienced Virginia auto accident attorney for help.
Since 1986, the attorneys of CHASENBOSCOLO have helped thousands of clients throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. who have suffered from whiplash and other injuries from car accidents caused by other people.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is the injury you sustain when your neck jolts violently forward and backward. The injury occurs when the muscles and connective tissue in your neck become overly strained or damaged, and it often happens when a car is rear-ended in a crash.
Depending on the severity of the injury, you may suffer a wide range of symptoms that can include the following:
- Pain in your neck, which may radiate to the shoulders and upper back
- Stiffness in your neck or difficulty turning your head
- Tingling or numbness in your neck muscles, which can radiate into your arms and legs
- Muscle spasms
- Vertigo and dizziness
- Visual impairment
Some people who suffer from whiplash also experience excessive tiredness, or fatigue, and your injuries can lead to other conditions, such as:
- Anxiety, depression, and other mental issues
- Loss of memory
- Issues with focus and concentration
Since whiplash occurs from a rapid and violent movement of your neck, you can easily suffer whiplash in a car accident, particularly if you were rear-ended. In fact, car accidents are among the leading causes of whiplash, and more than a million people suffer whiplash in car accidents and other accidents each year across the U.S.
Around 25 percent of whiplash victims will develop long-term conditions related to their injury, and some reports place the percentage as high as 43 percent. Furthermore, 38 percent of those who suffered from whiplash still experienced symptoms, such as headaches and a stiff neck, six months or longer after the accident. The symptoms you experience may last for weeks, months, or even years, and you may never fully recover from your injuries.
Although whiplash is normally associated with high-speed accidents, you can still suffer whiplash in a low-speed crash. Even getting hit from behind by a vehicle traveling only five or ten miles an hour can create enough force to cause severe strain and damage to your neck muscles and tissue. Most whiplash injuries are relatively minor, but some can cause serious or even fatal injuries.
Symptoms May Not Manifest Right Away
Unlike some other injuries, such as a cut or broken bone, whiplash injuries may not present symptoms at the time of the accident. Sometimes, the symptoms of injuries to the soft tissue take time to develop, and you may feel fine at the accident scene only to later realize you have a severe headache, neck stiffness, and more in the days following your accident.
Regardless of how you feel at the accident scene, you should still be evaluated by a doctor or health care provider. Most importantly, your doctors can conduct tests to identify and diagnose your whiplash and offer you treatment. Furthermore, seeking medical care following your accident will provide you with documented evidence of your injury and treatment that you will need to support your claim for compensation.
How Whiplash Is Diagnosed
Your doctor will physically examine your neck and surrounding areas, and they will also likely conduct imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, to identify damage to soft tissue. The imaging tests could show minute details of your injury and provide evidence to support your whiplash diagnosis, but your doctor could diagnose whiplash through a physical exam only.
Treatment for Whiplash
Depending on the severity of your whiplash, you may need a variety of medical treatments to deal with your injury. Some of the forms of treatment you may receive include:
- Prescribed medication and over-the-counter pain medication to help reduce pain and swelling in the affected areas
- Injections of steroids, lidocaine, or other medications directly to the site of the injury
- A neck brace or other support devices designed to immobilize your neck muscles
- Physical therapy
- Specialized medical care, from a chiropractor, massage therapist, or another caregiver
- Heat and ice packs on the injured area
The prognosis for your whiplash will depend on the severity of your injury. Many patients begin to feel fine after a few days, and most patients with mild whiplash experience a full recovery in a few weeks.
However, no one can really determine how long your symptoms will last or whether your condition will lead to a serious medical condition or long-term disabling disorder. Whiplash that also affects other parts of the body can have a longer recovery period, and some people never fully regain the quality of life they once enjoyed. Older adults and those with pre-existing conditions may suffer more serious forms of whiplash in a car accident, and they may face a long road to recovery.
You might also develop other conditions from your whiplash injury, such as damaged and herniated spinal discs, permanent muscle and nerve damage, and more. Your injuries can interfere with your personal and professional lives and affect your job and your relationship with your family and friends.
Contact Us for Help
The Virginia car accident attorneys of CHASENBOSCOLO have obtained more than $750 million dollars in compensation for our clients who suffered whiplash and other injuries after a car accident, and we will fight to help you get the money you need, too. You can request a free consultation by calling us at (703) 538-1138 or by filling out our contact form.