How Do You Know If You Have Whiplash?

Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries, especially in instances in which your vehicle is rear-ended by another vehicle. If you have suffered a whiplash injury, the person who caused your car accident may be responsible for compensating you for damages, which could include:

  • Hospital bills related to your injury.
  • Future medical bills related to your injury.
  • Lost wages.
  • Pain and suffering.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a type of neck sprain that occurs when the muscles and ligaments in the neck undergo trauma. In whiplash that is caused in a car accident, the force of the collision pushes the body forward in the vehicle. While the body is retained by the seat belt, the head is not and continues in forward motion after the body has stopped, cracking it much like a whip. This sudden, powerful movement can strain the neck, even tearing muscles and connective tissues.

While car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash, the injury can also be the result of a sports accident, a fall, or even a physical assault.

The Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash

If you were involved in a rear-end accident or any type of traffic collision and you feel neck pain, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to seek a diagnosis and treatment. The other signs and symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck stiffness.
  • Difficulty turning, lowering, or lifting your head.
  • Shoulder pain and/or stiffness.
  • Pain or tenderness in the upper back.
  • Pain or weakness in the jaw.
  • Weakness in the arms.
  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness and nausea.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Sleep disturbance and trouble sleeping.
  • Difficulty concentrating and memory problems.
  • Irritability

Be aware that some people only have some of the above symptoms. Seeing a doctor is the only way to get diagnosed and properly treated for whiplash.

Whiplash Treatment

Treatment for whiplash will heal torn or strained muscles and tendons while controlling the patient’s pain and restoring full range of motion.

First, your doctor will likely want you to engage in physical therapy and exercise in order to strengthen the neck and restore movement. These exercises may involve tilting the head, rotating the neck, and rolling your shoulders.

Secondly, your doctor will treat your pain with a range of options that depend on the discomfort you are experiencing. Some may simply need over-the-counter pain medication, while others may need prescription pain medication, muscle relaxants, or injections.

While most whiplash injuries will heal in days or weeks, some patients may experience long-term neck conditions that require ongoing treatment.

Discuss Your Whiplash Injury with a West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

It is a misconception that whiplash is not a serious injury – those suffering from whiplash often face significant medical bills as well as lost wages. These losses are the responsibility of the party that caused the injuries. To seek compensation for damages related to motor vehicle collision whiplash, we invite you to speak to a West Virginia car accident attorney at Tiano O’Dell, PLLC today.