Whiplash is a common injury that frequently occurs when a forward moving vehicle strikes a stationary vehicle from behind. Although these types of injuries occur daily, they are regularly misdiagnosed and mistreated. Because whiplash can’t often be “seen” and there is a general lack of knowledge about how its symptoms develop and manifest, it can be challenging for injured parties to show and to prove their damages for civil liability and insurance purposes.
Whiplash is an injury to both the skeletal structure and the surrounding soft tissue of the neck and spinal cord that occurs when the head and neck suddenly and forcefully “whip” forward and backward, usually due to an unexpected impact, like a car accident. Although generally not a life-threatening injury, it can lead to temporary or even permanent pain and disability depending on the severity of the injury and how quickly and effectively it is treated.
Common symptoms of whiplash include head, neck, and shoulder pain, stiffness, dizziness, excessive fatigue, problems with vision, jaw pain, arm pain, or back pain.
Whiplash can be challenging to show in court because it is usually not a visible injury like a broken arm or leg. The first step toward building a successful personal injury claim for any injury is knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Symptoms of whiplash often develop over time, so you may not feel any neck or other pain right after an accident. Wait until you see a doctor before you make on the record claims about your injuries or non-injuries. A medical professional will have the experience and the diagnostic ability to know if underlying injuries, like whiplash, will manifest with time after the impact.
Next, it is important to know and to recognize the symptoms of whiplash so that they can begin to be documented by your physician. It is important to consult with a medical professional as soon as you notice symptoms of whiplash so that they can document your injury. Proper documentation by a physician will lend credibility to your personal injury claim and is a vital component in the success of civil litigation.
Documentation is the crux of most civil litigation, so make sure you hang on to any piece of paper that shows or is related to your injury. Witness statements, medical records, doctor’s notes, copies of prescriptions, and receipts for pain medication may all help to show that you are suffering from whiplash.
If you are experiencing symptoms of whiplash, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney. Civil litigation takes time, and you may not receive the compensation you deserve right away. Don’t let your medical bills begin to pile up, and don’t think you have to go through this by yourself. Personal injury attorneys deal with car accident claims and whiplash injuries all the time. A trusted personal injury attorney will have the training and experience to walk you through the complexities of a civil lawsuit and will help you get the compensation you deserve.
Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC is dedicated to providing high quality, aggressive legal representation to victims of personal injury and wrongful death. Since 1984, this firm and its predecessors have had one goal in mind – to help the victims of personal injury put the pieces of their lives back together.
Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC is a Personal Injury Law Firm with offices in Paducah, KY and Murray, KY. We serve clients throughout Kentucky and Illinois.
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