You often see whiplash injury in comic portrayals of personal injury lawyers and plaintiffs. The greedy lawyer, for instance, is shown giving his client a foam collar to put around his neck before they go into the courtroom. The suggestion is that the injury is often faked.
However, if you or a loved one has suffered whiplash injury due to a workplace incident, car accident, or slip and fall, you know there is nothing funny or fake about the pain and other complications you may be experiencing.
Make no mistake: Whiplash is a serious injury. If you have suffered whiplash due to the negligence of another, you need to get medical treatment and legal representation right away.
Contact the Law Offices of David E. Gordon. Our law firm is led by a Board Certified civil trial specialist who will take the time to review how your whiplash injury occurred and explain your options for seeking a financial recovery. We serve whiplash injury victims in Memphis and throughout Tennessee.
Call or reach us online today to schedule a free consultation.
Why Do Whiplash Injuries Occur?
Whiplash is a type of neck injury. It can involve damage to nerves, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissue in the cervical spine. This is why the injury is often called a cervical strain or neck strain.
The injury occurs when a force causes one’s body to violently move in one direction while the neck and head stay in place or move in the opposite direction. The motion is whip-like, which is where whiplash gets its name.
As Spine-Health.com points out, victims of rear-end collisions often suffer whiplash injuries. This is because, without awareness of the impact before it occurs, the cervical spine’s “inherent stabilization response” fails to kick in.
However, whiplash can occur in many other situations. For instance, it may result from striking against or being struck by an object in the workplace. It could also result from the sudden, awkward motion of one’s body when slipping and falling.
A person’s posture, physical shape and gender can all factor into the severity of the injury as well as whether the person has previously suffered neck injury or has gone through degenerative changes in the cervical spine.
What Are Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash?
Unlike other types of injuries you may suffer in a car or other type of accident, you may not realize right away that you have suffered whiplash injury.
As the Mayo Clinic notes, it may take 24 hours or slightly longer for signs and symptoms to appear. For this reason, you should pay close attention to your physical condition after an accident.
According to the Mayo Clinic and other sources, whiplash signs and symptoms that you should be on the lookout for include:
- Stiffness and pain in your neck, shoulders and arms
- Loss of neck motion range (and pain when you move it)
- Headaches, dizziness and fatigue
- Numbness and tingling sensation in your arms and hands
- Sleep difficulties
- Memory and concentration problems.
The best thing to do after you have been in an accident is to get medical help right away. Go to the emergency room or see your family doctor. You should then follow up with a doctor’s visit if you notice any of the changes pointed out above.
How Is Whiplash Diagnosed and Treated?
When you see a doctor about suspected whiplash, make sure to tell the doctor what happened to you. It will help the doctor to give you the right series of tests.
The Mayo Clinic reports that a doctor typically will check different areas of the neck, head and arms for pain. The doctor also will ask you to move and do a few simple tasks to gauge whether your injury has impacted your range of motion, reflexes and strength.
Additionally, you may be asked to go through a series of tests that are aimed at ruling out other reasons for neck pain you may be experiencing such as arthritis or a fracture. These tests include X-rays, MRIs and CT scans.
If you are diagnosed with whiplash injury, you will likely be ordered to:
- Get sufficient rest
- Apply alternating heat and ice to the neck
- Take over-the-counter or prescribed pain medication.
Depending on the severity of your pain, you may also be prescribed muscle relaxants or given a lidocaine injection.
Doctors do not often order a whiplash injury victim to wear a foam collar – in contrast to popular belief – but it may be good to wear one and limit neck movement during the initial recovery period or when you sleep at night.
In the long-term, you should also do stretching and movement exercises to get back your range of motion in the neck and build up strength.
Do You Have a Whiplash Injury Claim?
As our law firm has seen, whiplash can have a significant physical, emotional and financial impact on victims. If the injury leads to chronic pain, it can be highly expensive to treat.
Additionally, a person suffering from whiplash may be unable to work for an extended period of time or may be unable to return to previous job. Depression and anxiety can readily result from being faced with such an experience.
If you suffered whiplash due to the careless or reckless acts of another, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses through a personal injury claim.
Attorney David E. Gordon can assess your case to determine whether another party could be found to be “at fault” for your injury and held liable. Examples of fault would be:
- A negligent driver causing a crash such as a rear-end collision
- A careless property owner failing to fix a dangerous condition or warn visitors
- A non-employer at a construction site causing the injury through a careless act.
In addition to a personal injury claim, you have other options available to you, including workers’ compensation benefits and Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Contact a Memphis Whiplash Injury Attorney
David E. Gordon is an experienced Memphis personal injury lawyer who understands how painful and disrupting a whiplash injury can be for victims and their families. His goal is to seek all benefits and compensation available for you if you have suffered whiplash through no fault of your own.
Call today or reach our law firm online to learn more in a free consultation.
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