When Injuries Happen, Know Your Rights
It all happened so fast…
There you were, driving home from work late one afternoon, minding your own business, thinking back on the day’s events and contemplating dinner just like you’ve done every other day of every other week. Except on this day, WHACK! Seemingly out of nowhere, your car is back-ended by another vehicle that, for reasons yet unknown, collided with you at the wrong time, caving in your trunk, and sending your wounded car – and you – careening into a nearby stop sign.
What to do? You’re in shock, you’re feeling a bit dizzy, your trusty Dodge is now morbidly crushed—and on top of all that, your neck hurts in a way you’ve never felt before.
It’s quite possible that your neck pain is symptomatic of whiplash, also known as Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD), a neck strain that often occurs as a result of motor vehicle accidents. Yet whiplash can occur as a result of any impact or blow that causes your head to jerk forward or backward. For example, many athletes experience neck strain in the course of playing their chosen sport. The sudden force from this action stretches and tears the muscles and tendons in your neck, causing pain that can vary from mild to intense and lasting.
In the case of motor vehicle accidents, whiplash often occurs as a result of rear-end collisions. In these cases, the impact force quickly propels your body forward. While that is happening, your head follows just an instant behind. Inertia from the collision forces your head to keep moving, while your body is caught by the seat belt. It is through this series of events that the “whip” effect occurs.
What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?
- Pain, decreased range of motion, and tightness in the neck. The muscles may feel hard or knotted
- Pain when rocking your head from side to side or backward and forward
- Pain or stiffness when moving your head to look over each shoulder
- Headaches at the base of the skull that radiate towards the forehead
- Blurred vision
- Back pain or discomfort
- Ringing in the ears (also known as tinnitus)
Delayed Pain May Mask Symptoms
Sometimes, the pain of a neck strain is immediate. In other cases, it can take several hours or days before your neck begins to hurt. This is because whiplash injuries can be deceiving to the victim. Immediately after your accident, your adrenal gland will release the hormones adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream, which mask your pain and may make you think you’re fine. Eventually though, these hormones vacate your system, at which point the pain from your neck injury becomes obvious.
What Should You Do if You Believe You Have Whiplash?
Whether your injury happened as a result of a motor vehicle accident, a sporting event or another incident, it is critical that you seek medical attention for your neck condition as soon as possible—including from paramedics, if they have arrived on the scene. As mentioned above, some whiplash/neck strain symptoms don’t become obvious to victims for quite some time—in some cases, even days. Treating your injuries must be priority number one for you. Waiting too long may cause your symptoms to get worse, may cause other medical problems, and could prevent you or your attorney from proving that your injury or injuries resulted from the accident or incident.
Additionally, you should immediately seek out a personal injury attorney with deep experience in litigating whiplash cases and schedule a consultation.
An experienced whiplash attorney will be able to collect and analyze all the relevant facts in your case and determine the best course of action. That attorney will also be able to answer the many questions that you likely have about your whiplash and your case. Some common questions include:
- When can/should I file a lawsuit? How much time do I have to file that lawsuit?
- What happens if the driver at fault does not have insurance?
- What happens if the accident was my fault?
- How much can I claim for whiplash?
- How long does whiplash normally last?
No Cost Evaluation
If you or a loved one have sustained a neck injury in a motor vehicle accident, your rights are at stake—you need to seek immediate legal advice. At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., our whiplash attorneys may be able to help you pursue compensation for the pain and suffering that you have been forced to endure. The experienced personal injury lawyers at NRS are highly knowledgeable in whiplash litigation. We fight side by side with injured victims to make sure they and their families receive compensation for negligence that caused them to be hurt. We will aggressively pursue your case and work to help you obtain the medical care and compensation you need to rebuild your life.
In the event you or a loved one has suffered a whiplash or neck injury, contact the personal injury attorneys at NRS Injury Law by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form, or call (855) GOT-HURT and speak with one of our trained staff members.