September 11, 2020

Is Whiplash a Major or Minor Injury?

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries experienced after car accidents. Unfortunately, the phrase “whiplash” has come be synonymous with a low level, soft tissue injury.  While believed to be common and insignificant, whiplash can cause long-term damage that you may not notice immediately following the accident. For this reason, any degree of whiplash should be taken seriously. 

How Does Whiplash Happen?

Whiplash occurs when a car comes to an unexpected stop and the passengers’ bodies are abruptly jostled. When your head or neck is forced to move in a harsh way, you experience whiplash. It can be difficult to determine this at the time of the incident.  

It is not an injury that will often leave outward signs of its existence. In fact, you may not even feel tenderness or pain in your neck, shoulders, or back until the next day or so. However, there could be significant damage going on inside. With time, you can even lose feeling or range of motion. These parts of your body can become so inflamed that everyday tasks can become difficult. 

How Do I Know if I Have Suffered Whiplash?

Signs of whiplash include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Stiff joints
  • Headaches
  • Recurring dizzy spells
  • Neck or shoulder pain
  • Tenderness in your back
  • Loss of range of motion in your neck or shoulders
  • A growing tingling sensation in your neck or shoulders

Possible Long-Term Effects

  • Memory loss
  • Hearing impairment
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Jaw pain
  • Migraines
  • Chronic pain

Steps to Take if You Suspect Whiplash

  • Visit a Doctor: If you think you have experienced whiplash in a car accident, you need to have a medical professional evaluate your condition. This is not something to put off because the symptoms can only get worse if they are left untreated. A doctor will be able to identify the exact damage caused by whiplash. You will need evidence of this to help build your case as you work with your lawyer. The closer you schedule this appointment to the date of the accident, the stronger your argument will be that the accident caused your pain. 
  • Document Everything: In addition to any medical records, be sure to take photos of your injuries. It will be especially helpful if you take photos immediately following the accident. Also, consider taking progressive photos. For example, take pictures of your injuries every couple days to document the development of bruises or welts that may have been caused by whiplash. If you seek emotional treatment, document it. Car accidents can be traumatic and it is common for victims to go to therapy sessions to work through the experience. If you notice a pattern of irritability or depression, you may want to seek professional help. The appointments or sessions you make can become costly, and so could any possible prescriptions. Again, document all of this and hand a copy over to your lawyer immediately.
  • Contact a Trusted Lawyer: With medical bills, appointments, therapy, and lost wages due to time off, you will need plenty of compensation for these expenses. Let a professional help you navigate this path because you have already done enough on your own. A good lawyer will be able to take on the insurance company and its lawyers to get you the best possible outcome in your case. 

At Amicus Legal Group, we love helping clients and we love what we do.  For more information about our services and how we can help, give us a call today at (888) 588-1777 to schedule a no-obligation consultation about your case.