Whiplash From Car Accidents: Treatment and Compensation in California
Whiplash is a painful and often debilitating injury that can occur when the head is suddenly whipped backward and then forward, often in auto accidents. The intensity of the force can cause the neck muscles and ligaments to stretch beyond their normal range of motion, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.
Whiplash is a common injury in California, with hundreds of people suffering these injuries every year. While whiplash is not typically life-threatening, it can be life-changing, sometimes requiring extensive physical therapy and thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Fortunately, whiplash victims can seek compensation from the at-fault driver. However, in most cases, they’ll need an experienced injury lawyer on their side. A skilled attorney will help victims navigate the complicated legal process and fight for the maximum possible compensation.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact our car accident injury lawyers today.
What Causes Whiplash?
Whiplash is a type of neck injury that is caused by sudden, forceful movement of the head. The sudden movement can damage the muscles, ligaments, and discs in the neck. Whiplash is most commonly seen in car or truck accidents, but it can also occur in other types of trauma, such as slips and falls, sports injuries, and physical abuse.
Signs of Whiplash From a Crash
The signs and symptoms of whiplash can take days or even weeks to appear. It’s important to see a doctor immediately after an accident to be evaluated for whiplash, even if you feel okay. In the short-term, whiplash may cause signs like:
- Neck pain
In more severe cases, there may also be bruising, numbness, and difficulty swallowing. If left untreated, whiplash can lead to long-term problems. Examples of whiplash long-term effects include:
- Chronic pain
- Reduced range of motion
- Nerve damage
It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you suspect you have whiplash. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to minimize the risk of long-term complications.
Whiplash is typically treated with one or a mix of rest, ice, heat, and pain medication. But physical therapy may also be recommended.
- Pain management of whiplash involves rest, over-the-counter and prescription medication, muscle relaxants, heat or cold, and rest.
- The doctor can also prescribe a series of movement and stretching exercises to help restore the range of motion in the neck after whiplash. These exercises may include neck rolls, shoulder shrugs, head turns, chin tucks, etc.
- The doctor may use foam collars or other devices to minimize neck movements and allow it to heal. These devices may be worn for a few days or weeks, depending on the severity of the injury.
- Physical therapy can teach you exercises to help stretch and strengthen the muscles in the neck and shoulders. They may also use massage, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation to help reduce pain and inflammation.
- In severe cases of whiplash, surgery may be necessary. Surgery is typically only recommended if the pain does not improve after several months of conservative treatment. The most common type of surgery for whiplash is a cervical fusion, which involves fusing the vertebrae in the neck.
How Long Might An Accident Victim Be Dealing with Whiplash or Any Complications?
While most whiplash injuries heal within a few weeks, some patients may experience ongoing symptoms for months or even years.
In rare cases, whiplash can cause permanent nerve damage or other serious complications.
Can whiplash symptoms show up months later?
In some cases, the symptoms of whiplash may not appear until months or even years after the initial injury. This delayed onset of symptoms is known as delayed-onset whiplash syndrome. Although the exact cause of delayed-onset whiplash syndrome is unknown, it is thought to be due to damage to the nerves and muscles in the neck. This is why it’s important to seek immediate medical care and legal counsel.
Getting Financial Compensation for Whiplash After a Car Accident
Whiplash is a debilitating condition that can significantly impact a victim’s quality of life. If you have been in a car accident and suffered from whiplash, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
First, you’ll need to seek medical attention and get an accurate diagnosis. Once you have documentation of your injuries, you can begin filing a claim. If you were not at fault for the accident, you might be able to file an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurer.
However, it is important to remember that insurance companies are businesses whose goal is to pay out as little as possible. For this reason, hiring a whiplash lawyer who can negotiate on your behalf and help you get the full compensation you deserve is often beneficial.
Victims of whiplash often need extensive medical treatment and can miss prolonged periods of work, leading to significant financial strain. A lawyer will fight for your rights and help ensure that you are fairly compensated for your damages.
Contact A Car Accident Attorney In California Today
If you have been in a car accident, don’t wait to get help. Contact a car accident injury lawyer today to discuss your case and learn more about your legal options following a whiplash diagnosis. At LA Century Law, we will fight for your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions About Whiplash in California
What is the average payout for whiplash in California?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the amount of compensation you may be entitled to will depend on your case’s specific facts and circumstances. But on average, whiplash victims in California get between $2,500 and $10,000 for mild to moderate whiplash.
How many people get whiplash per year in the US?
There are no exact figures, but it is estimated that about 2 million people in the US suffer from whiplash each year.