Whiplash can cause permanent damage and serious injuries if it is severe enough. Also known as cervical acceleration-deceleration injuries (CAD), they are very common in auto accidents. Depending on how powerful the crash was, a whiplash injury can even lead to permanent disability that will require near-constant treatment for both pain and mobility issues. Even a minor whiplash injury can lead to serious bodily harm if left untreated for long enough. It is best to seek medical care immediately after a car accident to make sure there are no underlying conditions that may impede your recovery.
Sometimes these injuries may take days, weeks, or even months to appear. When you are dealing with an area as sensitive as the head and neck area, there is no time to waste. Whiplash occurs when a great outside force acts upon your body. It is most commonly associated with auto accidents, although faulty roller coasters and train crashes can have the same effect. As the energy of the cars collides, your body takes some of the energy, tossing you forward and causing serious injuries. Whiplash typically takes place when the victim has their seatbelt on, as an unintended side effect of full-body safety.
The injury occurs when your body goes from a resting to an accelerated position in a split second, throwing your muscles, ligaments, and tendons violently forward, then back to their original position Sometimes this jolt is repeated several times over the course of the impact and subsequent skidding of the cars. The neck and head violently lunge forward and backward very quickly, resulting in very painful and potentially lifelong injuries.
The Symptoms of Whiplash
Symptoms of whiplash can include pain and mobility, hearing, vision, and memory issues, among other conditions. A whiplash injury will primarily affect your upper body, such as your head and your neck. Especially if you have fastened your seatbelt to secure your body, your head will be unnaturally thrown about by the ensuing force, resulting in painful conditions. Some of these symptoms include:
- Pain in the shoulders or neck.
- Stiffness of the neck and difficulty moving.
- Having trouble remembering things, due to a TBI from the accident.
- Not being able to sleep, experiencing restlessness, or having a disrupted sleep cycle.
- Blurry vision or difficulty focusing.
- Headaches or migraines.
- Feelings of dizziness or vertigo.
- And more.
Typically, these symptoms will appear in less than a day, but everyone’s body is different. If it is a deep muscle bruise, for example, it may appear on a different timeframe than an injury to your frontal lobe. The severity of the condition will really be the deciding factor in how long it will affect you. If it is a minor case of whiplash, your body may naturally heal itself in short order. If there are real issues with integral parts of your body like your bones or brain, these can cause lifelong suffering.
Permanent or Long-Lasting Whiplash Effects
These symptoms may include lifelong stiffness, chronic pain, dizziness, tingling or weakness in the arms, back conditions, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. The more severe the impact was, the longer the injuries may linger. Even if you do not think the crash caused any injuries, the motion of jerking your head and neck back and forth can cause small changes in your body’s makeup.
Mood changes like irritability have also been reported with these types of injuries, even though the body may remain virtually unharmed. When you are dealing with an injury that takes place anywhere near the brain, the injuries can be catastrophic, forever altering who you are, what you like, and your overall impulse controls. As the upper body contains some of the most vital elements of human survival, you should take a whiplash injury seriously.
Even if you were lucky enough not to escape with any injuries to the head or neck, a serious back injury—like a slipped or herniated disk—can haunt you forever, potentially resulting in surgery and mobility issues down the line. It is so important to seek immediate medical care after you have been involved in an accident, even if it is simply precautionary. Once you’ve been checked out by a medical professional, a personal injury or auto accident attorney can help you understand your legal options.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Your Corner
Here at the Morris Bart law firm, our lawyers will fight for your right to compensation when you have suffered injuries in an auto accident. Even if you are not sure who was truly at fault, we would love to speak with you so we can do everything in our power to get your life back on track. To find out more about how we can help you get compensated for any permanent damage from whiplash, call today at (800) 537-8185 for your free consultation.