Whiplash can be a serious problem. It is commonly experienced after a car accident, however it can also be brought on by any impact. It is defined as a sudden forward and back movement of the head that puts strain on the neck. It’s a painful condition that can make it difficult to live and work.
Symptoms of Whiplash
If you have been involved in an accident of any kind that caused a jerking motion of the head as described above, it is best to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Also make sure you contact a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Limited range of motion
- Neck tenderness
- Neck tightness
- Hard and/or knotted muscles
- Headaches that radiate up the head from the base of the neck
Other worrisome symptoms include dizziness, excessive sleepiness, confusion, and nausea. If you identify any combination of these symptoms after an accident, find medical help quickly.
How is Whiplash Treated?
It’s extremely important to make sure you do not ignore any of the symptoms of whiplash. Not obtaining treatment can make it harder to heal and recover. The good news is that treatment for whiplash is typically easy and usually doesn’t take much time compared to other accident-related injuries.
You will probably be advised to apply a cool compress to your neck every 3 to 4 hours, usually for approximately 20 to 30 minutes at a time. This treatment usually lasts about 3 days. Your doctor may also prescribe a pain medication to help you stay comfortable while you heal.
After 3 days of a cold compress, you will likely be advised to switch to a moist heat compress. You may also be given a neck brace with additional treatments that include stretching, massage, and/or ultrasound therapy.
Can I Be Compensated for my Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash is an injury that can entitle you to compensation. The outcome and total amount paid depends on the situation and who was at fault. Payments are determined based on you predicted life path just before the injury and how much of that you missed due to the injury. Compensation can be paid to cover lost earnings, medical expenses, pain, and suffering as well as any assistance that was needed during recovery.
There are three main things you will need to provide in order to prove your whiplash claim is valid. These include:
- Proof that someone other than you was at fault for the incident and they owed you a duty of care
- Proof that the person at fault breached the duty of care
- Proof that the injury was caused by the incident
The best course of action after an injury is to act fast because there is a time limit on when you can file a claim for whiplash. The sooner you seek medical and legal help, the sooner you can heal and recover financially after an accident.
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