A “whiplash” injury is a sudden, violent back-and-forth movement of the head and neck, like the cracking of a whip, causing hyperflexion and hyperextension of the cervical spine. Particularly forceful impacts can tear the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, reducing stability in the spine.
The full extent of whiplash is not always obvious immediately, but the consequences can be serious and persist for many years. For this reason, it is important to seek medical attention right away if you are involved in a car crash or other type of accident that whips the head back and forth.
The sooner you see a doctor, the sooner you can receive medical treatment. Additionally, seeing a doctor documents your whiplash injury, which can reduce the likelihood of insurers denying or minimizing your claim. Dallas back and neck injury attorneys at Reyes Browne Law Firm will use this initial report to assert that your injury is related to the accident and as severe as you claim.
Signs You May Have a Whiplash Injury
Traumatic events trigger the release of adrenaline that helps you cope with the situation. As a result, you may feel initially okay. However, once the initial release of pain-diminishing endorphins wears off, you will notice the early onset symptoms of a whiplash injury, including:
- Neck stiffness
- Back pain
- Jaw pain
- Pain in the neck and back
- Difficulty moving the head or neck
- Radiating symptoms to the shoulders, arms, and hands, including numbness and weakness
More severe cases can have a number of cognitive effects, such as:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Chronic fatigue
- Poor focus
- Memory lapses
- Bowel, bladder, sexual dysfunction
Though insurers often try to downplay whiplash as a “minor soft tissue injury,” many people do not recover for months — or even years — after the injury occurred.
A person with a whiplash injury may have trouble looking up and down or left and right. Limitations to range of motion can make it difficult to perform any work that involves bending, twisting, and lifting – leading to a loss of income. Routine daily activities like driving, cleaning, or caring for children may become difficult – resulting in disruption and loss of enjoyment in life.
The constant pain and emotional devastation can take an enormous toll on a person’s life, which is why neck injury attorneys pursue maximum compensation.
Causes of Neck Injuries
Car accidents are a major cause of whiplash. Rear-end collisions, in particular, are the most common contributor to forceful snapping of the head and neck. Speeds as low as five miles per hour have been enough to cause whiplash injury.
Other causes of Dallas neck injuries include:
- Diving accidents
- Contact sports
- Horseback riding
- Physical assault or abuse
- Construction site accidents
- Roller coaster and amusement park rides
What to Do After Sustaining a Hurt Neck in Car Accident
If you have a hurt neck in a car accident, seek medical attention. Whiplash can be difficult to diagnose, so healthcare professionals use a combination of x-rays to rule out fractures and dislocations, as well as computerized tomography scans and magnetic resonance imaging to assess soft tissue damage.
Professional treatment for whiplash may include prescription pain medication, muscle relaxants, ultrasound therapy, or lidocaine injections. Surgery may be necessary to restore alignment.
Call 911 right away if you are unable to move an arm or leg. Do not hesitate to call your doctor if you experience numbness, tingling, weakness, worsening pain, loss of bladder/bowel control, or persistent disruption to daily life.
Keeping a pain diary can be a valuable resource should you file an insurance claim or pursue a lawsuit later.
Should I File a Lawsuit for My Whiplash Injury?
Texas is a fault state, meaning that you have a legal right to sue for damages another person’s negligence, recklessness, or malice was responsible for the crash. Even if you were partly responsible for what happened, as long as you are less than 50% liable, you can still collect compensation. Texas law requires drivers to carry a minimum of $30,000 in liability coverage for each injured person, up to $60,000 per incident. That’s not a lot of liability coverage when it comes to ongoing medical expenses. Filing a lawsuit will ensure that responsible parties are held liable and that you receive enough money to take care of yourself in the months and years to come.
How Can a Dallas Back and Neck Injury Attorney Help?
Our goal at Reyes Browne is to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of money to cover your medical care, replace lost income, and help you move beyond the accident. In pursuit of this goal, we can:
- Conduct in-depth investigation of your accident and injury
- Identify all liable parties and potential sources of compensation
- Compile and review your medical records
- Calculate your losses and tap experts to help estimate future losses
- Liaison with insurers and other parties on your behalf
- Demand a full and fair settlement
- Present a strong claim for maximum compensation in court if necessary
You will receive personalized attention from your Dallas back and neck injury attorney and peace of mind knowing that you’re in good hands as you recover from your injuries. We offer free consultations and representation from an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney with no upfront costs. You will pay no legal fees unless we recover compensation for you.