Pain the neck, shoulders, head or the base of the skull, which occurs after a motor vehicle accident is most often called whiplash. The term "whiplash" can be somewhat confusing, because while it describes the mechanism of injury, it also is the symptom caused by a car accident. When your head suddenly "whips" in one direction, then violently recoils in the other direction, whiplash results. Whiplash is most often due to motor vehicle accidents in which you are struck from behind, but can also occur when a car stops abruptly after hitting a stationary object or can occur in a side impact as well.
While most patients recover from a whiplash accident in a few months at most, some 15-20% of accident victims develop chronic pain, which cannot be trivialized. Once this chronic pain sets in, only 70% of those people who experience it have recovered at the end of one year, and only 82% at the end of two years. This is a very long time to suffer pain, day in and day out. As well as neck pain, other symptoms closely associated with whiplash include sleep problems, poor concentration and memory, blurry vision, ringing in the ears, fatigue and weakness. What many people may not fully understand about whiplash injuries is that significant pain and structural damage can occur at crashes of relatively low velocity and that many times it is nearly impossible to determine the exact cause of the pain.
Whiplash and the Legal System
Many people feel that claiming a whiplash injury is simply a way to make some "easy money," but nothing could be further from the truth. Imagine if one moment you are just fine--you are living your life, working, enjoying your family--then suddenly, through no fault of your own, you are in constant pain, day in and day out. In addition to your chronic pain, you are facing mountains of medical bills, loss of income from your job, and probably a significant amount of emotional pain as a result of the accident as well. Doctors find that the early symptoms of pain in whiplash victims can go far beyond neck pain, and that whiplash should be viewed as a systemic illness with long term detrimental effects on both mental and physical functioning.
Get Legal Help
If you have been the victim of an automobile accident which caused you to suffer the injuries and pain associated with whiplash, you need an experienced advocate in your corner. A skilled personal injury attorney will be able to take care of the legal side of your accident while you focus on healing and getting back to your life. A long-term disability should be compensated, and your attorney will make sure you get the best settlement possible.