What is a Whiplash injury?
3/11/2014 2:22 PM
Many people get whiplash injuries from car accidents. A whiplash injury is also called a cervical sprain, a cervical strain, a neck sprain, or a neck strain. A whiplash injury is basically a combination of symptoms that occur from damage to the neck. In a whiplash injury, the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots in the neck may become damaged.
What happens in a car accident and why people get whiplash injuries?
Whiplash is caused from an abrupt forward and backward jerking motion of someone’s head. Essentially, the force caused from an impact in a car accident causes someone’s head to abruptly jerk forward and then back (sometimes to the right then left or left to the right or even back then forward). Whiplash injuries can be extremely painful.
Common symptoms of a whiplash injury
What are the symptoms of a whiplash injury?
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Pain or numbness in the arms or hands
- Low back pain
- Sleep disturbance
- Pain in shoulders or in between shoulder blades
What to do if you have been in a car accident and your neck hurts?
It is important to get medical treatment as soon as possible if your neck or back hurt after a car accident. Insurance adjusters are trained to evaluate claims, and one of the things they look for is how long it takes a personal injury victim to go to the doctor. If you are thinking about pursuing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you should go to the doctor sooner rather than later to strengthen your injury claim. Adjusters and even juries can find it hard to believe that someone is hurt if they wait too long after a car accident to get medical treatment. By going to the doctor, you essentially prove that you are hurt. There are many factors that determine the value of a personal injury claim. For a better discussion, please read my blog entry “What is my personal injury claim worth in Georgia?”
I, John Hurst, a personal injury attorney in Smyrna, Georgia, have significant experience representing people who have suffered whiplash injuries. Many times people go the emergency room after a car accident and get diagnosed with a cervical strain or cervical sprain. The ER doctor prescribes pain medication and instructs the injured driver or passenger to follow up with a physician in three to five days if symptoms persist.
Even after going to the emergency room, it is important to continue to get medical treatment. Most medical providers, including chiropractors, treat whiplash injuries conservatively, meaning physical therapy and rehab first. However, if your pain and especially numbness persist, you could have more severe injuries such as a herniated disc or bulging disc. Furthermore, if you are injured, you should get the treatment you need for your body to heal. This also proves how hurt you are to the at-fault driver’s insurance company or a jury, which increases the value of your personal injury claim. If you don’t have insurance, my office knows medical providers that will not charge you anything up front and will treat you on a lien basis. What this means is that you will have to pay them back later from the settlement (or verdict) with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
My firm, the Law Offices of John W. Hurst, P.C., represents people injured in car accidents in Smyrna, Vinings, Marietta, Mableton, Decatur, and other cities throughout the state of Georgia. We have significant experience in handling car accident cases and know how to get the job done. Please call or contact us today if you are interested in learning more about your legal rights.