Understanding Complex Whiplash Injuries

Every year, millions of motor vehicle accidents occur on our roadways – and 8% of these will end in a whiplash injury. Because of this, every year $29 billion is spent treating victims and paying out on their damages. Whiplash can be very minor or extremely complex depending on the circumstances, and are most common after a low-velocity, rear-end collision. Many people will enter the emergency room after an accident with decreased neck motion, pain, and tightness in the area. In less common cases, pain may occur in the back of the head, jaw, shoulder, and upper and lower back. The symptoms present from whiplash injuries can settle in a few days, or last for years.

Most whiplash injuries are treated successfully with anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications as well as muscle relaxants depending on the symptoms you are experiencing. If a patient follows this treatment, many of their symptoms will be short-lives and disappear over weeks to come. However, chronic symptoms can occur in other cases and have a very profound effect on patients. 26% of these patients cannot return to full activity and may lose out on important aspects of their life such as returning to work for up to 6 months following the injury.

Serious Whiplash Complications 

What happens if you have sustained a whiplash injury and after a year or two you are still dealing with the aftermath of the pain and stiffness of the accident? Many whiplash patients will recover quickly; however, some will experience complications that make their case a bit more fragile than the rest. This is when more imaging tests must be done to determine whether or not the patient may have sustained a far worse injury, which is why you should receive help as soon as possible to obtain the correct diagnosis and get treatment right off the bat.

For instance, you may have sustained a sprain, strain, or fracture and didn’t even know it. When ligaments are stretched beyond their elastic limits, injury may occur and different treatment may be required than those who do receive a whiplash injury treatment course. You may have even sustained a ruptured disc, where the violent movements of a whiplash injury can result. Surgery may follow for correction. Whiplash can also cause concussion, confusion, or even laceration of the brain. If the victim is unconscious after the accident, brain injury should be suspected.

Duration of the Injury 

Depending on how severe your whiplash injury is, you may receive more damages in your claim. In fact, the overall duration of the injury will impact the value of the claim. Many of the people who suffer extensively for their injuries will experience stiffness, limited mobility, tingling, numbness and more – which is why you may receive medical treatment for things like damaged cervical muscles or injured nerve roots. You may be surprised at what you find following an accident. No matter what, it is always a good idea to receive medical treatment after an injury. Call us today if you need assistance with your claim.