Whiplash usually goes away in a few days. However, depending on the severity of your injury and your body’s propensity to heal itself, your recovery time could be longer – weeks or even months.
If you have not done so already, you should see a doctor about your whiplash injury. Your doctor can give you a more accurate recovery timeframe and prescribe medication, exercises, or rehabilitation to help your whiplash heal more quickly.
You should also consider speaking with an attorney about your whiplash injury, especially if it happened in a car accident. You may be eligible for compensation from the at-fault driver who hit you. This money can pay your medical bills and compensate you for the pain, discomfort, and suffering you have endured because of your whiplash injury.
Definition of Whiplash
Whiplash is the common term for a neck sprain or strain caused by the sudden jerking of the neck backward and forward. It gets its name from the motion of the head rolling back first and then snapping quickly forward, or vice versa.
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Causes of Whiplash
There are a lot of ways to get whiplash, but most involve a strike from behind in one way or the other. A sudden impact from the rear will often cause your head and neck to respond in the “whip” motion described above. That is why you see so many cases of whiplash resulting from rear-end car accidents. If the impact occurs unexpectedly, not giving you time to brace yourself, whiplash is even more likely.
Minor cases of whiplash may not need any treatment other than rest. If your injury is more severe, your doctor may prescribe exercises to strengthen your neck muscles, which should help stabilize the injured ligaments and tendons. Only in rare cases is surgery necessary to treat whiplash.
Even if your injury is minor and does not require medication or surgery, you still may be eligible for compensation from the responsible party or parties.
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When to Worry about Whiplash
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the vast majority of whiplash cases are minor. As long as you do what your doctor tells you, the injury should heal on its own within a few days or weeks.
As you heal, monitor your symptoms and get help if you experience a dramatic increase in pain, stiffness, vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vision problems, or other worrying symptoms. Your doctor will also tell you if they see any reasons for concern, such as the injury is taking longer to heal than expected.
What You Can Get for a Whiplash Injury
If you suffered whiplash or other physical injuries in a car accident, you may be able to recover financial compensation from the at-fault party. For example, the negligent party’s insurance company may have to pay for your:
- Pain and suffering, or the physical discomfort and distress your injuries have caused
- Disability, or the inability to move the way you did before (in whiplash cases, disability may involve reduced range of motion in the neck)
- Disfigurement or scarring caused by cuts, burns, abrasions, or other injuries
You can also seek compensation for psychological injuries such as:
- Trauma, or the mental toll of the accident, up to and including mental illnesses stemming from your physical symptoms or memories of the accident
- Loss of consortium, or the strain in your relationship with loved ones caused by the accident and/or your injuries
- Reduced quality of life, or the pain of knowing that you will always need help with certain tasks or that you will never be as pain-free and independent as you once were
Finally, you may request compensation for the monetary losses and expenses associated with the accident. These may include:
- Medical costs, or the money you spent and expect to spend to treat your whiplash and other injuries
- Loss of income, or the wages you could not earn while waiting to recover from your injuries
- Loss of employment, or the job you lost (or the jobs you can no longer apply for) due to injury-related limitations
How to Calculate Whiplash Damages
To recover damages like those described above, you can hire a car accident lawyer to help you negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. First, however, you need to figure out how much your injuries are worth and prove that you qualify to receive them.
There are several ways that a lawyer can help strengthen your case. For example, they can:
- Use legal formulas, state law, and previous experience to determine the financial worth of your injuries
- Collect evidence from audiovisual footage, police reports, medical records, and more to demonstrate the extent of your damages
- Speak to eyewitnesses and experts with relevant areas of expertise to confirm your version of how the accident occurred – and who caused it
Knowing the true worth of your whiplash injury is vital to receiving a fair settlement or jury award. The at-fault party’s insurance company may try to undervalue your suit to save themselves money. Educating yourself about your rights and enlisting the help of a personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Today
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you recover the compensation you deserve from the party or parties who caused your whiplash injury, as well as their insurance companies. We fight for the rights of injured victims and never charge attorney’s fees until our clients get paid.
Let us put our knowledge, resources, and winning track record to work for you. We can help schedule your doctor’s appointments and help get your vehicle repaired. We offer a free, no-obligation case evaluation and are eager to get to work as soon as possible. Call a team member today at 1-800-747-3733.
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