Whiplash injuries from car accidents: Medical and legal ramifications

Car accidents

Car accidents can lead to various injuries, from whiplash to brain injury. Many car accidents result in minor injuries, but others may be life-threatening or cause permanent conditions, having devastating effects on the victim, as well as the family. In New Jersey, when a person is driving or is a passenger in a car and is involved in an accident which is caused by another person's negligent or careless conduct, they are entitled to sue the responsible party for resulting damages.

Whiplash: Medical ramifications

Whiplash, one of the most common automobile accident injuries, is a back or neck injury occurring during rear-end car collisions, when the head suddenly moves forward and backward-similar to what happens when someone cracks a whip. These back-and-forth motions push your ligaments and muscles beyond the normal motion range.

Injuries caused by whiplash can turn out to be either mild or severe. Most whiplash symptoms are displayed within 24 hours following the injury and include:

  • Fatigue.
  • Neck stiffness and pain.
  • Dizziness and blurred vision.
  • Headaches, usually at the skull base.

Some persons also experience:

  • Irritability and sleep disturbances.
  • Difficulty in concentrating.
  • Memory problems.
  • Ear ringing.

Most people usually recover from whiplash within days or a few weeks. However, some people develop chronic pain following a whiplash injury.

Treatment for whiplash may normally begin with over-the-counter pain medications and ice which is applied to the muscles of the neck. If pain persists, however, physical therapy and prescription medications may be the next steps. Experts recommend that a doctor be contacted if the pain starts spreading to the arms or shoulders; moving the head becomes painful; or the person experiences weakness, tingling or numbness in the arms.

The nature and length of any treatment may depend on the severity of the injury, which is turn may depend on the following:

  • The vehicles' size and speed.
  • The use (or nonuse) of seat belts.
  • The head rest's height.
  • The injured person's age, and the presence (or absence) of preexisting medical conditions.

Whiplash: Legal ramifications

New Jersey victims of car accidents may suffer physically or emotionally following a crash, and they may also have severe financial burdens for their medical treatment and lost income, especially if they do not have insurance coverage. If you are involved in a car accident and suffer from what you believe are whiplash symptoms, you should immediately contact the appropriate medical experts to diagnose your condition and the appropriate treatment therefore. You should then contact an experienced personal injury attorney, to investigate the facts of your situation and determine whether the other parties involved in the accident caused your injuries through their negligence and whether, therefore, you may file a lawsuit against them and hold them accountable, thereby obtaining the compensation which you are entitled to.