Often portrayed on TV as an exaggerated injury requiring a thick neck brace, whiplash is actually very real. The diagnosis can be a bit vague because the specific symptoms, location, and duration vary from person to person. Whiplash can cause long-term discomfort and pain that affect a person’s quality of life and can even result in permanent problems if not correctly treated. Its complexities make it unpopular with insurance companies who have spent millions of dollars trying to downplay the effects of whiplash and convince people it’s not worth fussing about.
KY whiplash lawyer Billy Johnson believes that those who have been harmed by the reckless or careless behavior of others deserve to be compensated. Greedy insurance companies have no right to demean your legitimate injury or deny payment. The financial damages available in a whiplash claim can include physical therapy, medical bills, lost income due to time away from work, impaired capacity to do future work, and emotional distress. If you sustained a whiplash injury due to someone else’s negligent behavior, you should speak with a Pike County injury attorney about filing a claim.
Whiplash is a common vehicle accident injury. Upon impact, the head is thrown forward then immediately whipped back, often causing immediate damage to parts of the spine, neck and head. Most commonly, the whiplash motion causes injury to the nerve roots and dura, intervertebral discs, cervical vertebrae, intervertebral ligaments, capsule of the facet joints, anterior and posterior longitudinal ligaments, extensor and flexor spinal muscles, and the brain. This is a very delicate body area that has a lot of interdependent parts.
Doctors are constantly learning more about whiplash and its potential long-term effects. The angle at which you’re hit, how hard you’re hit, the location of your headrest, and a variety of other factors can affect which parts of your neck, spine, or head are injured and how severely. The most commonly reported symptoms are:
- Cervicalgia (very localized neck pain)
- Loss of range of motion in neck
- Neck pain that aches and radiates
- General neck stiffness and tenderness
- Pain in and around the scapula (shoulder blade)
- Muscle spasms in the neck
- Loss of balance
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty swallowing
- Disturbed sleep and nightmares
- Post-traumatic depression
- Difficulty with cognition.
Insurance companies usually don’t want to pay up, and because whiplash has the potential to occur in most any car accident, it’s no wonder they try to convince people that whiplash is no big deal. What they don’t tell you is that you don’t need to be going very fast at all for it to happen. In fact, collisions at less than 10 miles per hour can generate force significant enough to injure the neck. This means you may have gotten whiplash even if your car wasn’t hit hard enough to cause any damage. As for symptoms, delayed onset is normal; they can continue for 6 months or more; and some unfortunate people never fully recover.
If you don’t seek medical attention soon after a traffic accident, the chance of being able to seek damages declines. Insurance companies are banking on that. It’s wise to either head to the emergency room immediately following an accident or to at least visit your primary care physician within a few days to get checked out. Be aware that how a person physically feels immediately after an accident doesn’t always accurately reflect injuries. The body’s defense mechanisms can make you almost numb from the shock of impact. Medical professionals can look for signs and symptoms of injury. The sooner you get treatment, the less likely you’ll be to sustain long-term discomfort, and the more likely you’ll be to have the law on your side if you decide to seek compensation. Chronic pain caused by someone else’s negligence behind the wheel is not something anyone should have to live with.
If you have suffered a whiplash injury as the result of an accident, you need an experienced attorney to effectively represent your interests. At the Johnson Law Firm, our Pikeville whiplash lawyers handle personal injury cases in Eastern Kentucky and statewide. Our founder, Billy Johnson, has made it his life’s work to help people throughout Kentucky and is a proven advocate with over 15 years of experience. It’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after you are injured in an accident, because any delay can cause critical evidence to be lost and make it harder to prove fault. You need your own investigative team working to secure the evidence needed to prove your claim. To get our team started immediately on your behalf, contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review. Fill out this evaluation form or give us a call at 606-433-0682.