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Many types of accidents can result in neck injuries like whiplash, though car crashes and slip and falls are the most common culprits. Neck injuries can range from minor cases of muscle sprain to catastrophic events like cervical dislocation with spinal cord damage.
Whatever your situation, our Ohio whiplash lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick will explain your legal options. Our highly experienced legal team can guide you through the legal process of seeking compensation after a serious injury accident, including calculating your economic damages like medical costs and lost income and your noneconomic damages like pain and suffering.
Call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to learn more.
Any sudden forceful impact that causes the rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip can result in whiplash. While frequently seen in rear-end car accidents, some other common incidents where whiplash can occur are:
Accidents that affect your upper body often result in upper back, neck, and head injuries. If you were injured in a slip and fall, car accident, or another type of incident, then you may have suffered a neck injury such as:
There are seven cervical vertebrae in your neck, all of which can be damaged during a serious accident. Vertebrae can experience all types of fractures, from a relatively minor hairline fracture to being broken into multiple pieces.
The exact placement and type of break dictate the necessary treatment, which may include surgery.
It is possible for one or more of the vertebrae in your neck to move out of place. This can be very painful and makes your spine unstable.
A dislocation is often paired with one or more fractured vertebrae or stretched or torn tendons. If the bone slides and then returns to its place, rest and stability may be all you need to heal. However, if the bone slides out of place and stays there, surgery may be necessary.
A severe cervical dislocation can result in damage to or a severing of your spinal cord.
Between your vertebrae are discs. The outer portion of these is a fibrous material surrounding a jelly-like center. When a disc slips out of place, you may need surgery or physical therapy to correct it.
When the jelly-like center of the disc squeezes out through a crack in the outside fiber, this is known as a herniated disc. This can cause extreme pain, nerve damage, and muscle weakness and require surgery to correct.
There are many muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your neck, all of which can be overly stretched or torn during an accident. When the ligaments in your neck are stretched or torn, this is a sprain. Ligaments are the type of tissue that holds bones together at a joint.
When the muscles or tendons in your neck are stretched or torn, this is strain. Tendons connect bones to muscles. The symptoms of these types of injuries can be similar, however, treatments vary dramatically.
If a muscle, tendon, or ligament is torn, this may require surgery to repair and then physical therapy. Meanwhile, a pulled muscle might just need a great deal of rest.
Numerous nerves run through your neck, many of which travel down your back or arms. Movements within or damage to your vertebrae, discs, and muscles can pinch or irritate a nerve.
This damages the nerve and can lead to pain, tingling, a burning sensation, muscle weakness, and a loss of feeling. The longer a pinched nerve goes undiagnosed and untreated, the more damage the nerve sustains and the longer it will take to heal.
Signs and symptoms of whiplash usually develop within days of the injury, and may according to the Mayo Clinic include:
Some people also have:
It used to be thought that whiplash occurred because the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck were stretched and bent beyond their natural limitations.
Now physicians realize this injury occurs because these tissues are rapidly stretched and bent beyond their limitations. This makes sense since whiplash is the result of a person’s head being thrust forward, backward, and/or sideways very suddenly.
Whiplash can result in both minor and catastrophic injuries, primarily including neck strains and sprains. It often accompanies slipped or herniated discs, cervical dislocation, fractures and mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries. It can also result in temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), which is pain, clicking, and popping noises in the jaw, which must be addressed otherwise it can lead to more serious complications.
Whiplash is often discussed as if it is a minor injury after a fender bender. However, whiplash is serious and commonly coincides with injuries that require surgery.
If you are lucky enough to avoid needing surgery to repair a serious injury, you will still need to be careful and follow a recovery routine. You can expect to need pain management – which may require wearing a collar for a brief period – chiropractic care, massage therapy, physical therapy and more for weeks, months, or even years. Chiropractic care will usually be essential to treating your whiplash and preventing future problems.
Keep in mind that even minor cases of whiplash take up to nine months to heal and there is the possibility that you will feel the injury’s effects for years afterward. You may suffer neck pain, headaches, and muscle weakness for a great deal of time.
If you are filing a claim for compensation for a neck injury like whiplash, do not rush into a calculation of your damages. You and your attorneys should work closely with your doctors and medical experts to determine the likely impact of whiplash on your life, including months or years down the road.
To establish liability, prove negligence, and ultimately have a successful whiplash claim or personal injury lawsuit you must show:
For instance, if you were diagnosed with whiplash after a rear-end car crash, you and your lawyer will need to prove that the other driver had a duty to follow the traffic laws, they breached this duty by driving too close, and your whiplash was caused by the collision. Finally, you’ll have to demonstrate that you suffered financial and other harm in connection to your injuries. This could be your medical bills, inability to work, or pain and suffering.
Depending on the severity and other factors involved, you may be able to recover compensation for the economic and non-economic damages associated with whiplash. Whether from a car crash or another negligent act, you may be entitled to your:
Whiplash cases are complex. The severity of your injury and the circumstances around what caused it will significantly affect how your case moves forward. In addition, the insurance company will usually try to diminish your experiences and downplay the seriousness of your whiplash injury.
A skilled lawyer can illustrate what you endured and how suffering whiplash impacted your life, making the harm apparent to a judge or jury. Your attorney will work with your physicians and medical experts to delve into the consequences of this injury on your life, from your inability to work or enjoy life like you did before the accident.
At KNR our whiplash attorneys will:
If you suffered any type of neck injury in an accident, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer from Kisling, Nestico & Redick today. We can explain the most common options for recovering compensation: an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. We will guide you through this legal process, always protecting your rights and aggressively seeking the compensation you deserve.
Call 1-800-HURT-NOW today to schedule a free initial consultation.