Long-Term Effects of Whiplash
Car accidents have the potential to result in a wide range of injuries, ranging from simple contusions to broken bones and brain trauma. Crashes don’t even need to happen at a particularly high rate of speed to cause injuries, either. Whiplash is one very common type of injury associated with car crashes and it’s been known to occur in crashes that happened at speeds as low as 5 to 10 miles per hour.
Whiplash is a type of neck injury that develops when a person is hit with a force that sends their head backwards, then forwards with a strong force, injuring the soft tissues in the neck by forcing them beyond their normal range of motion. Although whiplash is most commonly associated with car accidents, it can also be caused by playing contact sports, falling, physical abuse, bicycle accidents, or riding roller coasters.
If a person has whiplash, they can experience symptoms such as pain in the neck, dizziness, fatigue, a loss of range of motion in the neck, headache, or pain/numbness in the arm or shoulder. In some cases, people with whiplash might also have blurred vision, tinnitus, difficulty sleeping, or memory problems.
Like any other type of injury, whiplash can range in severity. In most cases, whiplash doesn’t result in long-term effects and symptoms begin to clear up in a matter of weeks. However, in more severe cases, symptoms can last for several months or years. When symptoms last for six months or longer, whiplash is then considered to be chronic whiplash.
Several different factors contribute to the severity of whiplash, but chronic whiplash symptoms tend to more likely to occur if you quickly developed intense symptoms after the accident, such as severe headaches and pain in the neck and shoulders. Chronic whiplash is also more likely to occur in older people, people who already had problems with neck and back pain, or people who have had whiplash before.
After a car accident, it’s not always easy to immediately tell if you’ve been seriously injured. For some types of injuries, symptoms might not show until some time after the accident. In the case of whiplash, symptoms often develop within 24 hours, but that’s not always the case. If you have even a slight reason to suspect you might have whiplash after a car crash, it’s very important to get medical attention right away. Not only does it help directly link any injuries to the accident, which will be very helpful if you choose to file a lawsuit later on, it’s important to make sure there aren’t any broken bones or tissue injuries. Do not hesitate to see a doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms like pain while moving your head or if symptoms affect your arms or shoulders.
If you suffered from whiplash or any other type of injury after a car accident, it’s important to know your rights. Contact a car accident lawyer with any questions you might have and to learn more about what your legal options are. Attorneys at Goodwin & Scieszka are experienced in helping the victims of Michigan car accidents and can help you figure out which steps to take next. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.