To some, whiplash is a minor injury that many attorneys exaggerate by putting their clients in a foam neck brace when all they experience is some mild discomfort. As experienced car accident lawyers in Virginia Beach, however, we realize that whiplash is a devastating injury that can keep our clients out of commission for months.
If you are suffering headaches or neck pain following an accident, you could have whiplash. Please meet with an attorney at Breit Law PC to review whether you can receive compensation.
Whiplash Affects the Neck and Upper Back
Whiplash gets its name from the motion a person’s head makes when involved in a crash. Typically, the head moves back and then pushes forward—often far past the normal range of motion. The head then snaps back, like the end of a whip.
This violent back-and-forth motion strains the muscles, ligaments, and bones in the neck. Nerves in the upper back can also be affected. When whiplash is severe, soft tissue can tear and the cervical bones might fracture.
Whiplash Causes a Variety of Symptoms
No two people experience whiplash in the exact same way. However, there are some common symptoms, such as:
- Neck stiffness
- Restriction in the neck’s range of movement
- Pain in the shoulder or upper back
- Numbness in the arms and hands
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritability or depression
Realize that symptoms might take a day or two to fully manifest. Certainly, the adrenaline released during a car accident often masks any pain, so it takes 24-48 hours before a crash victim feels the full brunt of their injury.
Whiplash Can Take Months to Heal
There is no quick way to treat whiplash. Generally, victims will need to treat the injury much as they would a sprain or strain on other parts of their body, which typically includes giving the body enough time to heal. This can be an inconvenience, especially if you need to work and your doctor tells you to rest.
Your doctor might try to treat symptoms to make your life more comfortable. Prescription drugs can lessen pain and reduce swelling. Pills can help you relax at night and go to sleep. If you feel irritable or depressed, you might talk to a therapist or receive antidepressants.
Discuss your full range of symptoms with a doctor. The road to recovery for even moderate whiplash can be difficult. Someone with severe symptoms could need a year or more to feel well.
Victims Should Skip the Neck Brace
The exact treatment a car accident victim receives will depend on the severity of the injury. However, as current research suggests, immobilizing the neck with a soft foam collar is no longer the best course of treatment. Instead, patients respond better to an exercise program with a physiotherapist.
Physical therapy, massage, and stretching can speed up a patient’s recovery and make them more comfortable. Remember to always follow your doctor’s advice and seek a second opinion if you do not believe that you are improving.
Some Victims Require Surgery
Severe whiplash might injure the vertebrae in the neck and even the spinal column, which can require surgical intervention to relieve pain and compression. Surgery is rarely recommended for someone with mild or moderate whiplash, provided only the soft tissue are injured.
Surgery is not a quick cure, and patients will need many weeks of recovery. Surgery also carries some complications, such as risk of infection or bed sores.
Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer in Virginia Beach
At Breit Law, we fight for the maximum compensation our clients deserve. We realize that no injury is too “minor” if it causes pain and prevents you from returning to normal. For a free consultation, please contact us today.