Whiplash is commonly associated with vehicle accidents, however there are other types of accidents that can cause this kind of injury as well. Whiplash occurs when a person's neck is thrown backwards and then suddenly forward, which can cause damage to both soft tissues and bone in the neck region. Depending on the severity, whiplash injuries can range from mild discomfort to serious and long-term medical conditions. These injuries are estimated to cost $30 billion a year in the U.S., with an economic toll for medical treatment, lost wages and disability.
Accidents Resulting In Whiplash Injuries
Any sudden hyper-extension or over-extension of the neck can cause a whiplash injury. Most commonly whiplash occurs in rear-end auto accidents, when the impact causes a person's head to snap back, then forward in a fast motion. However, motor vehicle accidents are just one of many ways to cause this type of injury. Other causes include:
- Falls. A sudden fall, either on or off ground, can cause a whiplash injury
- Falling object. A heavy object falling on a person's head can cause whiplash
- Sports. Boxing, karate, horseback riding, bicycle falls and many other contact sports where the head can be impacted can result in whiplash
- Acts of violence. Any hard blow to the head could cause whiplash injuries
- Car accidents. When person is suddenly struck by another vehicle, the force can put a significant impact on their neck
Symptoms Of A Whiplash Injury
A person may not know that they have a whiplash injury immediately when it happens. Often the symptoms will begin to occur 12-24 hours after the accident or blow to the head, many times worsening over several days. Common symptoms associated with whiplash include:
- Stiff, tender or sore neck
- Reduced movement in the neck
- Dizziness, vertigo and blurred vision
- Memory loss, concentration problems and irritability
- Pain in arm, hands or lower back
Medical treatment of whiplash will generally start with performing x-rays of the neck region to ensure there is not any other injuries. A neck brace or collar is often prescribed to reduce motion of the neck to allow healing. Medications may be prescribed to reduce pain, inflammation and control muscle spasms. Other medical treatments that may be recommended can include physical therapy, massage and chiropractic treatments.Chicago Accident Attorneys For Complications And Expenses Of Whiplash Injuries
Mild cases of whiplash can heal within a week or two, while many may take several weeks to a few months to heal completely. However, some people can have chronic pain that lasts for several months, even years, after the injury occurs. From mild to severe, most people with whiplash can have expenses that are a result of their injury. Damages that can be recovered when the injury was caused by negligence such as an auto or workplace accident include medical bills, lost wages, reduced earning potential and even pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney experienced in fighting for victims of whiplash injuries can ensure that all the expenses are paid, usually from the responsible party's insurance company.
Call Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today to discuss your Chicago whiplash accident case and legal options for pursuing compensation.
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