Health

Have you suffered a whiplash injury after a car accident?

It’s a stressful time to deal with after any car accident. Apart from dealing with insurance companies and compensating for car damage, the worst part is the medical issues that one has to face. Many people suffer through immense pain and terrible injuries after a car accident and are unable to think of who to call to get medical help immediately. In case of a car accident, injury doctors should be consulted without a delay

Whiplash injuries make up about 60% of all body injury claims. According to insurance companies, nearly one-third of them are absolutely fabricated! No wonder that insurance companies, along with society at large, have begun to disregard these injuries by underestimating the compensation for suffering victims.

As a matter of fact, almost 70% of people that meet road accidents experience whiplash injuries. The only issue is that the whiplash injuries (which occur around the neck and shoulders) are neither easily diagnosed nor show any visible signs for instance bruising, inflammation, or swelling.

Additionally, people don’t always experience symptoms immediately after a traumatic incident. Nonetheless, whiplash injuries can often lead to prolonged and even devastating complications. Read on to find out more about whiplash car accident injuries, the indications or symptoms, and treatment and recovery from the injuries.

What is a whiplash injury?

“Whiplash” is a broader term for a wide range of neck injuries that occurs due to strain on the soft tissues, muscles, and nerves. The sudden backward and forward or sideways motion of the neck that takes place in a rear-end collision or side collision results in the hyperextension and hyperflexion of the neck muscles.

In the worst case scenario, whiplash can affect the vertebrae and discs and in the neck region and the spine. More so, even at a moderate speed, rear-end collisions can lead to serious vertebral fractures or worse, permanent spine damage.

What are the noticeable symptoms of whiplash injuries?

Immediately after a traumatic experience, adrenaline and cortisol hormones are released in the body to lower pain sensitivity. These whiplash injuries rarely cause pain instantly following the accident. But, soon as this hormone effect goes away, patients start to feel the real intensity of the pain.

If a soft tissue injury without any bone damage occurs, swelling or bruising appears in 12 to 24 hours, whereas other symptoms can take approximately 1 to 2 days 24 to develop.

Common symptoms include:

  • Soreness in the neck or shoulders
  • Radiating pain that begins from the neck all the way to the arms
  • Pain that becomes worse with next or shoulders movement
  • Discomfort due to neck and jaw stiffness
  • Partial or complete loss of neck movement
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Continuous headaches
  • Tingling feeling or numbness in the hands
  • Tinnitus
  • Blurry vision or other instabilities
  • Confusion
  • Memory shortfalls
  • Cognitive damage
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Mental and physical exhaustion
  • Piercing pain in the neck muscles and arms
  • Attitude or behavioral ups and downs
  • Anxiety, depression, and irritability

Is a slow speed whiplash injury a fact or merely a fraud?

Sufferers of a whiplash car accident injury are blamed for overstating their pain since they often endure the neck damage in low-speed crashes and let it heal on its own in time. There’s a common misunderstanding that the insurance companies have announced that only those car accidents where the vehicles are massively and visibly damaged cause injuries to the passengers.

In a majority of rear-end collisions, the vehicles’ bumpers tend to absorb the shock of the impact. Despite the fact that the vehicles may get a few scratches or dents, however, you can’t really say the same for the passengers.

Even at 5 mph, a small vehicle (less than 2000lbs) can apply a force of 4.5g, whereas a large vehicle (nearly 18,000lbs) can exert nearly 7.5g. And if the vehicle’s speed is 10 mph, the force exerted escalates to 5.5 g and 8.2 g. While, at 15 mph, the vehicle tends to exert a force of 6 g (small car) and 15 g (big car). It is worth mentioning here that even a force as less as 3 g can result in a whiplash injury.

What to do immediately after an Accident?

Call an Ambulance right away! After an accident occurs, it can be difficult to tell if injuries are severe or not, even if there are no visible signs. If there is police available at the scene, they can also help decide if an ambulance is needed to treat any emergency situation. You should never try to drive yourself to the emergency room. If there is not an ambulance available, it is important to have another person drive you instead.

What are the factors that impact the seriousness of a whiplash injury?

It has been observed that women and children are at the highest risk of facing a dreadful neck strain? The reason being? They have thinner necks compared to men. Likewise, those who have experienced a neck or back injury in the past are more vulnerable to suffering due to a whiplash injury in a car accident.

Apart from this, some other factors that impact and determine the seriousness of these whiplash injuries include:

  • How the body jerked. Usually rapid backward and forward movement causes more damage compared to sideways movement.
  • Direct hit to the head if hit against the window
  • The speed of the vehicles
  • seat belts (whether worn or not)
  • Availability of airbags
  • The position of the headrest and car seat
  • Design of the seat
  • Victim’s age

Another thing to keep in mind is that a whiplash injury might not directly or indirectly cause obvious signs of an injury and distress. However, in case the injury is not treated instantly, the swelling and inflammation can apply further pressure on the bones and nerves, causing the damage to worsen and cause a long-term impairment. A thorough diagnosis and treatment by an accident injury doctor will save from any short-term or long-term damage from whiplash injuries.

Why Should You Consult An Accident Injury Doctor Immediately?

Quick Treatment

It is highly important to see an accident injury doctor as soon as the event occurs. These specialized doctors can be of immediate help after an accident. In addition, getting instant treatment prevents any injuries from getting worse, which also keeps any medical bills from going up in the future.

Thorough Experience

It’s a wrong practice to ignore a whiplash injury after a car accident and let it heal on its own. These accident injury doctors come with years of experience dealing with thousands of car accidents patients before. They have the skills required to deal with specific injuries that are very common in car accidents. Immediate treatment will help you get the best care possible.

Documentation

To maintain legal paperwork and medical history, every bit of information of the accident and treatment needs to be recorded. An accident injury doctor will prepare notes of all of the injuries that the victim has suffered with the necessary treatment provided. Some injury doctors also provide an attorney referral if in case of need.

Billing

An injury doctor can straightaway bill the insurance company so that the victim doesn’t have to go through the hassle of paying out of their own pocket for treatment and also from those trips to the insurance company later for compensation.

 

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