Is Whiplash a Real Side Effect of an Auto Accident?

Published on November 28th, 2018

whiplash michigan car accidentMovies and television often make light of whiplash. Characters wear neck braces to try to convince people that they’re injured when their condition is actually fake. Whiplash, however, is a very real and painful injury. When you suffer whiplash in a Michigan auto accident, the result can be severe, chronic pain and ongoing medical treatment and therapy which are both financially and emotionally costly.

What Is Whiplash?

When your head and neck are suddenly and violently forced back and forth, the ligament that runs along the outside of the spine can be stretched or torn. The result is instability in the spine, and this in turn can injure other muscles in the upper back. These injuries can be the source of constant pain.

A rear-end car collision is notorious for causing whiplash. Traumatic brain injury can also result. The presence of whiplash, or a brain injury, is not always immediate. Sometimes symptoms won’t appear for a day or even longer, often due to shock and stress from the accident.

Symptoms, some of which mimic a traumatic brain injury, can include:

  • Stiff neck.
  • Neck pain, increasing in severity.
  • Headaches.
  • Limited range of neck motion.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Dizziness.

It is always important to accept medical treatment at the scene of a car crash. Even if symptoms are not present right away, an evaluation is critical. If any of these symptoms appear after the accident, see a doctor immediately. You will need medical records relating to your accident for insurance purposes and should you choose to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Diagnosing Whiplash

A doctor will order various tests when determining whether you have suffered whiplash. These can include neck x-rays, a CT scan, and an MRI. The reason for these imaging tests is to look for fractures, dislocations, soft tissue injuries, and other damages. Your doctor will also check the range of motion in your neck, pain level, limb strength, and reflexes.

Throughout these examinations, your doctor may discover other injuries that are contributing to the pain you’re experiencing and that are a direct result of the car accident in which you were involved.

Treating Whiplash

If your car accident injuries do include whiplash, the pain typically fades after a few months. Ideally, you will return to a normal range of motion quickly after undergoing treatments such as ice, heat, and flexibility exercises to strengthen muscles and fully restore natural neck movement. These can include rolling your shoulders, rotating your neck, bending your neck forward, tilting your head to each side, and focusing on posture. You may be surprised to learn that one of the worst things to do after suffering whiplash is wear a foam collar that immobilizes your neck and its ability to stretch and move.

Some people, unfortunately, even with extensive therapy and medical treatments, will live with neck and back pain for much longer. If you have been injured in a rear-end collision and you believe the driver showed negligence, contact Thurswell Law for a free consultation with a car accident lawyer to find out if you have a case. You have the right to compensation for your pain and suffering. We do not charge any fees unless you collect. Call (248) 354-2222 today to schedule your consultation.

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