Whiplash is one of the most misunderstood car accident injuries. Because it’s possible to get whiplash even in a very low-impact collision, many assume these injuries aren’t that serious, and that people who seek compensation for whiplash are just trying to get money for personal gain.
However, this is incorrect. While not all whiplash injuries justify a personal injury case, there are many reasons an individual might pursue a lawsuit when suffering from a whiplash injury. At Martin Jean & Jackson, our Oklahoma car accident lawyers have managed many cases where clients with whiplash desperately needed assistance with paying for large medical bills and extended specialist treatment.
In this blog post, we’ll touch on the causes and effects of whiplash – and how to navigate the difficulties of making a whiplash injury claim.
Causes and Effects of Whiplash Injuries
Whiplash, also called cervical sprain or neck hyperextension, is a soft tissue injury that almost exclusively occurs during car accidents, although it can sometimes happen during extreme sports or major falls too. When another vehicle collides with your car, the sheer force of impact reverberates inside your vehicle, causing your head to violently snap back-and-forth. This abrupt motion can sprain and tear the delicate neck tissues that hold your head in place, and cause long-term nerve and muscle damage.
Some of the telltale signs of whiplash injury include:
- Constant headaches
- Ringing sound in the ears
- Balance and equilibrium issues
- Nausea, dizziness, and vomiting
- Jaw stiffness and joint dysfunction (TMJ)
- Memory loss
- Rigid neck muscles
- Chronic pain in the head and neck
The body fills with adrenaline during a car accident, so a whiplash injury isn’t always apparent, especially if you have other catastrophic injuries to accompany it. It also manifests differently depending on the degree of the impact, and your unique medical history. If you have any existing spinal cord, neck, or back injuries, whiplash can make them far worse.
Even without an existing injury, whiplash can be quite serious, and if left undiagnosed or untreated, the chronic pain of a whiplash injury can last a lifetime. According to some estimates, 75% of whiplash injuries need at least 6 months of specialized medical attention and treatment to fully heal, with many injuries requiring even more time to recover.
Preparing for Your Whiplash Injury Claim
If you’ve sustained a whiplash injury in a car accident, you know firsthand how painful and frustrating this chronic condition can be. You’ve likely had to visit multiple specialists and chiropractors, and on top of that, deal with misunderstanding from people who don’t understand the toll this kind of injury can take on your well-being. Our Oklahoma car accident lawyers can help you navigate a personal injury claim and get the financial recovery you need to pay for ongoing medical bills and more.
Below are a few tips to help you prepare for a whiplash injury claim:
- Act quickly to pursue a claim. It is especially important that you act quickly on a whiplash injury. This means going to the doctor or ER as promptly as possible, as waiting even one day can give the insurance companies reason to cast doubt on your claim.
- Document everything. In any personal injury case, you need to keep all medical proof of your injuries, as well as your expenses incurred visiting physicians and getting tested. From ER forms to X-Rays, keep all your documents organized and handy.
- Make sure your medical professionals are reputable. Once you’ve gone to the emergency room or urgent care, schedule an appointment with your physician or specialist as soon as possible. Take the time to make sure they are reputable and will accurately perform your medical examination.
Have you suffered from whiplash or other serious injuries after a car accident? Contact Martin Jean & Jackson at as soon as possible for experienced legal counsel.