If you have been hit from behind, you might be suffering from whiplash. The medical term for this injury is a cervical strain, and the level of trauma can vary. Read on and learn what to do and how to get paid afterward.
What Causes Whiplash?
Victims of whiplash suffer not only physical trauma but also from the way the injury occurs. One minute you are driving or at a red light and the next minute you are impacted by another vehicle. The level of damage can vary depending on how fast you were moving when hit. For instance, if you were sitting still and waiting for a light to turn green, the damage can be greater. However, even those driving at highway speeds can be rear-ended and suffer from whiplash injuries.
Whiplash occurs when your neck and head snap forward and back quickly and violently. Even those wearing proper restraints can suffer from whiplash since their head is not restrained. If the steering wheel airbag deploys, it might lessen the movement somewhat but usually not enough to prevent injuries. It's known as a cervical strain because it affects the spine area as it intersects with your neck. The resulting strain can cause pain that radiates down your arms, make it impossible to turn your head from side to side, and cause a wide variety of other symptoms like headaches, tingling, numbness, and more.
What Victims Should Do
Whiplash injuries can be tricky because they may not be apparent at first. Victims may not feel any discomfort at the accident scene because this kind of injury can take a few hours to show itself. If you feel any pain or discomfort, particularly after a rear-end accident, seek treatment immediately. The longer you wait, the more damage may be done.
Your doctor will order a CT scan of your neck and shoulder area to diagnose whiplash. They will probably ask you to wear a cervical collar and prescribe muscle relaxers to help with the pain. Be sure to let the doctor know that you have been in a motor vehicle accident. The emergency room or doctor will likely bill your insurance for your medical treatment. In most cases, your medical insurance will then bill the other driver.
Fault after a rear-end collision is seldom an issue. It's very rare for the victim of a rear-end collision to be found at fault for the accident. Be sure to tell your insurer when you call them how you were hit from behind.
Speak to a personal injury lawyer at your earliest convenience. There is no way of knowing at this time how serious your whiplash injury might be. Sometimes, this type of injury will cause you to miss work and create a lot of pain and suffering. You are entitled to be paid for those damages and more.
For more information, contact an injury attorney near you.