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An Indiana Car Accident Lawyer Explains: Whiplash Injury Recoveries

Jul 8, 2024 | Auto Accident

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While whiplash can occur during contact sports or on a roller coaster, most people associate the common neck injury with car accidents. Whiplash can cause anything from minor muscle stiffness to permanent spinal damage. It may interfere with your ability to work and complete everyday tasks.

If you suffered whiplash in a traffic crash, an Indiana car accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for your injuries. In the meantime, this post answers common questions about whiplash symptoms, treatments, and recovery times.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a neck strain that occurs during a sudden change of movement or direction. Your head may forcefully go forward, backward, or sideways, like a whip cracking. It can damage your bones, muscles, ligaments, and nerves. As many vehicle collision lawyers know, whiplash is a common injury in rear-end crashes.

What Are Common Symptoms of Whiplash?

Whiplash can be challenging to diagnose because there is no single test. Instead, your healthcare provider will rule out other conditions and look at your symptoms, which may include the following:

  • Neck pain
  • Pain radiating to the head, face, shoulder, or back
  • Bruising and swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness 
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness or burning in the neck, back, shoulders, or upper arms
  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems

How Serious Is Whiplash?

Whiplash encompasses a range of symptoms, some more serious than others. Medical professionals have a grading system to pinpoint whiplash severity. 

  • Grade 0: The person feels no pain and has no injury symptoms.
  • Grade 1: The person feels pain, stiffness when moving, and tenderness to the touch.
  • Grade 2: The person experiences discomfort and other Grade 1 symptoms, plus physical signs of injury like bruising, swelling, and sensitivity. 
  • Grade 3: At this level, inflammation causes neurological symptoms. These can include numbness and tingling, hoarseness or loss of voice, vertigo, and blurred vision.
  • Grade 4: The person experiences the above symptoms but more severely. This highest level of whiplash often suggests that neck vertebrae are fractured, misaligned, or shifting. 

Women and adults over age 65 often have more serious or long-term whiplash injuries. The more severe your injury, the more important it is to contact a car accident lawyer to protect your right to compensation. 

How Long Does Whiplash Recovery Take?

Motor vehicle accident lawyers know that whiplash recovery has no set timeline. The speed of healing depends on your age, other medical conditions, and the degree of injury. Healthy people with mild whiplash cases may feel better in days, while others may still have symptoms years later. 

Whiplash often resolves quickly, but severe cases can cause chronic pain and medical complications. You may experience persistent headaches, trouble sleeping, memory loss, and a limited range of motion. While rare, extreme cases may involve severe spinal injuries and permanent disability.

If your injury takes months or years to heal, it may significantly alter your life. Whiplash symptoms can impede your ability to work, engage in social activities, and participate in sports or hobbies. If this describes you, consider consulting a car wreck attorney about pursuing economic and non-economic damages

What Medical Treatment Might I Need?

Several treatments can help manage your symptoms and prevent further damage during your recovery. These may include the following:

  • Immobilization 
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Medications, including painkillers, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxers
  • Physical therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Radiofrequency (RF) nerve ablation
  • Spinal surgery

A car accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other accident-related costs. 

If you need legal help with a car crash in Indiana, contact the personal injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys. Call (317) 827-7934 today for a free consultation with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys.

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