Houston Whiplash Injury

The most common reported auto accident injury in the United States is whiplash. Whiplash is a neck strain or next sprain triggered by rapid and violent movement of the neck and spine.  After experiencing this unfortunate, painful, injury, first you must focus on your own health and recovery.  Then hire the Fitts Law Firm to fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

What is a Whiplash Injury? 

Whiplash commonly occurs when the neck is subjected to forces causing it to snap back and fourth, similar to the crack of a whip.  The video below shows how the neck moves in a common whiplash situation.

Common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain and a stiff neck
  • Increased pain when moving the neck
  • Decreased range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms and limbs
  • Fatigue
  • Pain or tenderness in the neck region, including the shoulders, back and upper arms.

Whiplash can also cause the following:

  • Vision issues such as blurry vision
  • Ringing in the ears (also called tinnitus)
  • Sleep Issues such as difficulty sleeping
  • Mood issues, including irritability
  • Trigger concentration issues and memory problems
  • Cause depressive episodes and depression
  • Typical Injuries in a Rear-end Accident

How is Whiplash diagnosed?

A physician will typically perform a physical examination of the neck and they will also run imaging tests such as x-rays, CT Scans, and MRIs.  X-rays will reveal bone fractures, dislocations, and arthritis.  CT scans can show bone damage whereas  MRIs should show soft tissue injuries, spinal cord issues, and ligament damage.   Depending on the outcome of the x-ray or CT scan, it might be necessary to run all three tests to property diagnose and treat a whiplash injury.

MRIs require special machines and are expensive to administer, so in our professional experience, many ER doctors will not run the tests. If you are still having pain after being released from an, ER, an orthopedic who is experienced in treating car accident victims might use an MRI to locate the source of your pain and t identity what is injured. 

How is Whiplash Treated? 

The treatment will vary depending the severity of your injury, but doctors normally focus on pain management and control and restoring range of motion to pre-accident ranges.  Physical therapy is typically prescribed to regain range of motion.  Over the counter pain medications, such as NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, etc.) are prescribed for pain management. Other treatments or regimens to alleviate pain are prescribed such as rest, heat and cold therapy, muscle relaxers, or Lidocaine injections.

How Do Car Accidents Cause Whiplash Injuries?

Whiplash is most common in rear-end accidents, but it can also be caused by any car accident with significant impact forces to jar or whip the neck. In a typical rear-end accident, the back of the seat pushes against your back and pushes it forward as the inertia of the accident begins.  The head and neck will lag the torso going forward, then when the torso begins to forcibly travel backwards, the neck will get “whipped.” This is especially true of the car seat does not have a headrest or a head restraint.  This whipping motion can cause damage to the spine, disks, ligaments, muscles, and nerves.  Whiplash is evident when crash test dummies that is placed inside vehicles during crash test ratings. 

What Damages Can I Recover for Whiplash? 

We get this question all the time when we are helping local Houstonians after suffering from whiplash injuries. Assuming there is a responsible party for your accident other than you, you can recover the following:

  • Past and future medical treatment and corresponding bills, 
  • Past and future pain and suffering, 
  • Past and future lost wages, 
  • Past and future emotional distress.  

You will need a skilled Houston Accident attorney to advise you as to the appropriate damage options and how to maximize your damages as well as determining who might be at fault and what insurance policies might be able to compensate you for your damages.

It is important to carefully follow your medical expert’s or doctor’s recommended course of treatment.  Fallow through with all appointments and therapy sessions.  Missing these appointments will slow your medical recovery and hamper your ability to maximize the damages that are available for your claim.  In our experience, adjusters will claim that if you missed an appointment, it means you are  “not that injured” and that you have fully recovered. 

When suffering from a whiplash, medical records are crucial and used to establish your diagnosis, course of treatment and recovery from your injuries.  Your personal experiences can be as much or more important if you keep records on a daily basis. Always keep a record or a journal of your symptoms and how your life has been impacted by the injuries. Record your pain levels and note the activities that you are forced to sit out from because of your injuries.  Keeping a journal is the best way to document the impact of the injuries own your life on a day to day basis.  Today with smartphones it is easier that ever to keep a log either in writing or by video to documents your injuries and how they impacted your life.

Why all modern cars have headrests

Although headrests are great for resting your head while catching some quick sleep in your car, the real purpose of the headrest to prevent head and neck whiplash injuries.  Head restraints, however, must adjusted properly for them to work if you are in an accident.  Professionals recommend that the head restraint should be adjusted high enough to support your head and even with the top of your head.  Head restraints should be a close as possible to the back of you entire head.  

Suffering a whiplash injury is very painful and can severely disrupt your life. The Fitts Law Firm is here to help you recover compensation for your whiplash injury.

Suffering a whiplash injury is very painful and can severely disrupt your life. The Fitts Law Firm is here to help you recover compensation for your whiplash injury. Call Today 1-800-99-FITTS.

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