What are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries individuals sustain as a result of a vehicle accident. Sometimes, people tend to ignore the severity of whiplash injuries, but that is a mistake. Here, we want to discuss the symptoms of whiplash as well as the steps that individuals can take to recover compensation if they sustained these injuries as a result of a crash caused by another driver.

Whiplash Happens in an Instant but can have Long-Term Effects

Most people have heard the term “whiplash” when it comes to vehicle accident injuries. We do want to state that whiplash injuries can occur in other ways aside from car accidents, including sports injuries, slip and fall accidents, boating accidents, and more.

Whiplash injuries are caused by the rapid back and forth movement of the neck, similar to the cracking of a whip. These injuries are often caused by the rapid deceleration associated with vehicle accidents. This sudden deceleration can cause the entire upper body, neck, and head to move forward and then backward very quickly, leading to injuries to the tendons, ligaments, and muscles along the upper back,  shoulders, and neck.

When it comes to determining the symptoms of whiplash, we have to look at how an individual may feel right after the whiplash incident occurs as well as signs and symptoms of whiplash that may not appear until hours or days following the incident. 

It is not uncommon for individuals to not feel any pain right after a whiplash incident occurs. Often, the adrenaline that courses through a person’s body after experiencing an accident mask the underlying signs and symptoms of whiplash injuries. Individuals may feel some pain after an accident occurs in the neck and shoulder areas.

The hours and days following an accident could result in more severe pain if a person has experienced whiplash. Generally, the pain associated with whiplash injuries is described as relatively mild, and individuals are asked to take over-the-counter pain relievers and told to resist strenuous activity for a few weeks. However, severe cases of whiplash may require more extensive medical care for the victim. This could include stronger pain relievers prescribed by a doctor, muscle relaxers, as well as various types of rehabilitation or physical therapy that will help the individual recover.

Unfortunately, there are times when some whiplash injury victims suffer from long term effects that can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Long term pain or stiffness in the neck, shoulders, or upper back
  • Significant headaches or migraines
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty with memory or an inability to focus
  • Reduction in range of motion
  • Blurred vision or dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Numbness or weakness in the arms or legs
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

Compensation for a Whiplash Injury

Any person who has sustained a whiplash injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of someone else will likely be able to recover compensation for their losses. For example, if an individual sustained a whiplash injury in a vehicle accident caused by a drug-impaired driver, the injury victim should be able to recover compensation through the impaired driver’s insurance carrier or through a personal injury lawsuit. This can include compensation for:

  • Medical bills associated with the incident
  • Lost wages if the victim cannot work
  • Loss of quality of life damages
  • Property damage expenses
  • Pain and suffering damages

A skilled personal injury lawyer in Washington will have the resources necessary to handle your entire case on your behalf. They will investigate the incident and work diligently to recover full compensation for your losses.