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Whiplash is a soft-tissue neck injury that is caused due to a sudden jerk to the head. The most common cause of such an injury is sudden acceleration and deceleration of a motor vehicle directly affecting the cervical spine. If a moving vehicle is hit by another vehicle from behind, even if the speed of the former vehicle is as low as 8 kilometers per hour, then the ones seated in the car can suffer from whiplash injury. Although assumed to be minor and hard to detect by way of medical scans or x-rays, whiplash can actually have severe long-term impacts and can lead to serious complications later as time passes. Note below a few facts about the whiplash injury:
- A whiplash injury is most common in rear-end collisions of vehicles. Any sudden movement of the head can also cause this injury. Apart from road accidents, physical abuse, horseback riding, sports such as karate or football, slip, and fall, a heavy blow to the head with a heavy object and amusement rides can also cause whiplash.
- Some of the symptoms of chronic whiplash include jaw pain, dizziness, severe headaches, weariness, the stiffness of the neck, stiff shoulders, anxiety during traveling, vision problems, back pain, vertigo, tinnitus and memory problems among many others. Some of these symptoms may last forever.
- Whiplash is sometimes also called cervical sprain (refers to torn or stretched ligament) or cervical strain (refers to torn or stretched muscle).
- In some cases, the injured may not feel the pain instantly. But with the passage of days or weeks, the symptoms might begin to show up.
- In cases of post-injury backaches, headaches, post-trauma stress, and failure to wear seat belts the recovery can drastically slow down.
- Whiplash can be treated with painkillers, therapies and other medications. Some alternate methods of treatment include acupuncture, massages, chiropractic sessions, and electronic nerve treatments.
As this injury progresses slowly with significant long-term impact, most victims don’t realize that they deserve compensation. So, it is highly recommended that if you at all suspect a whiplash, see your doctor within 3 days to get the right and timely treatment. Once you are diagnosed, contact your personal injury lawyer right away to determine your economic loss and the amount of compensation you can fight for in the court of law.
The compensation for whiplash includes four elements. Compensation for economic damages (loss of income, damages to your vehicle, if involved, travel expenses, and medical bills), damages that are not quantifiable such as loss of sense of enjoyment of life and relationships, compensatory damages to purely compensate the injuries and punitive damages that are meant to punish the defendant for the acct of irresponsibility or misconduct.
How whiplash impacts your compensation claim?
The effects of whiplash are not visible to the eyes. It is for the injured to feel it. As mentioned above, the symptoms or the after-effects of whiplash may not be detected as soon as the accident has happened, but once the impact starts setting in, they can turn out to be really severe and painful. Even though you can’t stand for long in the court to provide your testimony owing to the physical disabilities that the accident has caused, your case can be weakened by the opponent lawyer in many ways. The chances are that the defendant’s lawyers may simply argue that the pain is not a result of the accident or that the impact is minor. Given the fact that the severity of whiplash is hard to measure, fighting for compensation that the injured rightly deserves gets even more difficult. The compensation amount can get affected by a number of factors. This includes the severity of the injuries, the time that you take to recover, the type of treatment you are undergoing and the extent of the same, and the kind of activities from your daily life that you are unable to perform.
There are cases when through mediation or arbitration, the injured is offered a settlement amount for your medical bills. But it is important to fight for the amount that you rightly deserve for each and every element of damage that you had to bear. This is when an experienced lawyer plays an important lawyer. A lawyer can assist you in a number of ways such as:
- Documenting the injuries and maintaining a diary of its impact on your daily routine life.
- Maintaining a log of all the expenses you have to bear and likely to bear in the future.
- Gathering medical records.
- Further strengthening of medical tests and reports by taking second opinions of medical experts.
- Calculating the impact of the injury on the loss of your ability to earn.
- Journaling the recovery process.
If you or anyone you know had been through an accident that has impacted your head, do not think twice to appoint personal injury lawyer now!