What to Know If You Suffered Whiplash From a Car Accident

Key Points:

  • Whiplash most commonly refers to a soft tissue injury to muscles and nerves in the neck caused by rapid backward and forward movement.
  • It’s important to visit a doctor as soon after an accident as possible if you experience any neck pain, soreness or loss of mobility. A doctor’s diagnosis of a whiplash injury is crucial supporting evidence for your claim.
  • If another driver’s negligence caused an accident where you were injured, you are entitled to seek monetary compensation for any medical care required to treat your injury, lost income from time missed at work and other related expenses.

Atlanta’s congested highways and stop-and-go traffic cause many rear-end collisions. Many drivers and passengers involved in collisions on Atlanta’s busy roads sustain neck sprains or strains as a result of the sudden impact. These soft tissue injuries are commonly known as whiplash injury. A whiplash injury can cause intense pain and discomfort and limit an accident victim’s mobility and ability to work.

If you have sustained a whiplash injury in a car accident caused by another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other expenses. You should not have to pay those costs out of pocket if the accident was another driver’s fault. Let an experienced car accident attorney at The Millar Law Firm review the specific facts of your accident and explain your legal options. There is no charge for our initial consultation and we do not get paid until you do.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash occurs when the soft tissues (muscles and ligaments) and nerves of the neck are sprained and/or strained. This kind of injury is most commonly caused by the forward and backward motion of the neck in a motor vehicle accident. The overextension or rearward extension of the neck beyond its normal range of motion causes many injuries.

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How Do Car Accidents Cause Whiplash?

The impact of a motor vehicle collision, even of moderate proportion, often results in a host of injuries and most commonly, whiplash. Whiplash injuries are some of the most prevalent injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision. In fact, neck strains and sprain are the most commonly listed injuries in insurance claims in the United States, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The violent impact of an automobile collision can cause the head and torso of a motorist to move in opposite directions for a brief time, putting severe strain on the neck muscles. Upon impact from behind, an individual’s torso is thrust forward and the head lags behind the body for a split second, then accelerates forward. An accident victim’s head may be thrown forcefully backward and forward in a whip-like motion. The impact can stretch and tear ligaments and muscles in the neck, and injure bones in the upper spine and disks between the cervical vertebrae.

Whiplash injuries can occur in any type of collision, but are most prevalent in rear-end collisions and head-on collisions. Car headrests or head restraints are designed to limit the motion of the head after a sudden impact and prevent whiplash injuries. Head restraints should be adjusted so the restraint is even with the top of the vehicle occupant’s head, according to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Symptoms of Whiplash After a Georgia Car Accident

Whiplash symptoms may include—but are not limited to—neck stiffness, limited and/or loss of range of motion in the neck, headaches, and dizziness. Some people immediately feel the soreness and pain of their neck right after the collision, while others may not feel the soreness until a day or so later. If you were a passenger in a car accident and you begin to experience some of the following symptoms, take note and begin to keep a written record of them:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Headaches
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Whether you have been a driver or a passenger involved in a car crash, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of whiplash, it is imperative to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Thereafter, it is important to follow the recommendations of your medical provider on how to treat your whiplash injuries going forward.

The Importance of Getting Your Whiplash Treated

You should get yourself checked out after an accident first and foremost to protect your health. An accurate diagnosis of your injury may rule out the possibility of a neck fracture or other types of injuries. Your doctor will likely order an x-ray or CT scan to try to identify the condition causing your neck pain and rule out possible fractures, bone damage, and damage to disks.

A doctor can determine the extent of your injury and the most appropriate course of treatment. For some people with minor whiplash injuries, over-the-counter pain relief medication and rest at home may suffice. Other people may need stronger prescription medication and physical therapy. Your doctor may prescribe a foam collar to wear for limited periods of time to immobilize your neck.

A doctor’s diagnosis of a whiplash injury is crucial supporting evidence to have when presenting a claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance for reimbursement of your medical expenses and other losses related to a car accident.

You May Not Feel the Pain of a Whiplash Injury Immediately

Within 24 hours after the crash, an accident victim usually starts to experience neck stiffness, pain, and difficulty turning his or her head. However, a person who suffers a whiplash injury may not notice symptoms of the injury immediately; they may not recognize that something is wrong until hours have passed after an accident.

Car Accident Compensation for Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash injuries can result in compensation for car accident passengers. Recent trends show that in many cases, mild to moderate whiplash compensation for passengers in a car accident may range from approximately $2,500 to $10,000.00. This does not include recompense for any additional injuries suffered. When you have suffered severe whiplash, the settlement amount is likely to be higher.

Unfortunately, some insurance companies tend to low-ball car accident passengers who have sustained whiplash injuries as opposed to those who have more permanent injuries. Our team of car accident lawyers know how to maximize passenger whiplash injury claims. Our attorneys will gather your related medical records and expenses; they will help you list all other out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering and compile a demand package to send to the at-fault party’s insurance company. Contact us today to speak with one of our experienced team members to get the most compensation for your whiplash injuries.

Legal Help for Car Accident Whiplash Victims

If you sustain a whiplash injury in a car accident in Georgia and another motorist caused the accident, you are entitled to seek monetary compensation for the cost of your medical care to treat your injury, lost income from time missed from work, and other expenses. Georgia civil law holds at-fault motorists and their insurance companies responsible for the harm other motorists suffer as a result of the at-fault driver’s careless driving or disregard for safety.

You may be eligible to receive compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future costs of medical treatment and physical therapy
  • Lost income related to your injury

If you have developed neck stiffness or other whiplash symptoms after an accident, visit a doctor right away, then let an Atlanta whiplash injury lawyer review the facts of the accident. The attorneys at The Millar Law Firm have helped thousands of Georgians obtain the resources to recover after serious car accidents.

Less Worry, More Assistance

If you are concerned about how you are going to pay your medical bills and make up the income you lost when you were unable to work due to your neck injury, our neck injury attorneys may be able to help you obtain compensation.

At The Millar Law Firm, we focus on car accident cases involving serious injury and helping victims of accidents caused by other motorists’ negligence. Our car accident whiplash attorneys are available to provide immediate advice and assistance.

Call the Atlanta whiplash injury attorneys of The Millar Law Firm at 404-620-4378 or contact one online using our free case evaluation contact form.

- D. Lo
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