When Whiplash Leaves Permanent Damage | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

One of the most common types of minor crashes is rear-end collisions. Typically, these types of crashes result in little to no damage to vehicles and only minor injuries to victims. But there are many rear-end crashes that can cause more severe injury because of the quick, back-and-forth snapping of the neck when the impact occurs. This jerking motion causes the neck’s muscles, tendons, and bones to be put under extreme stress causing a whiplash injury. Although many people think of whiplash injury as a minor one, the truth is that these injuries can actually cause long-term or permanent issues.

If you have been injured in a rear-end crash, seek medical advice immediately. Then contact a Virginia car accident attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to find out what your legal options may be.

Symptoms of Whiplash

When the crash occurs, a whiplash victim may experience immediate and intense pain, however, there are situations in which the symptoms of whiplash may be delayed for a few hours or even days. It is not uncommon for a whiplash victim to say they do not need medical treatment at the scene of the crash only to begin suffering the effects of the injury hours later. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Lack of mobility in neck and back
  • Numbness in the arms
  • Pain in the jaw, arm, neck, or shoulder
  • Ringing in ears
  • Stiffness in the neck, back, and shoulder
  • Tingling in the arms

Long-Term and Permanent Effects of Whiplash

Studies have shown that those whiplash victims who suffered immediate pain and discomfort following the crash are more than likely to still be suffering these effects a year later. In fact, more than 40 percent of whiplash victims end up suffering chronic whiplash symptoms, seriously impacting their quality of life. Many of these victims suffer from severe headaches, blurred vision, jaw pain, weakness or numbness in limbs, dizziness, pain and stiffness in the neck and back, and irritability.

Here are some factors that can contribute to whiplash leaving permanent damage:

  • Severity of the initial injury: The extent of damage caused by whiplash can vary widely. In milder cases, the symptoms may resolve within a few weeks or months with conservative treatment. However, if the initial injury is severe, it can lead to more significant and lasting damage.
  • Delayed onset of symptoms: Whiplash symptoms may not appear immediately after the accident. In some cases, symptoms can be delayed for several hours or even days. This delay can result in delayed diagnosis and treatment, potentially allowing the injury to worsen.
  • Failure to seek prompt medical care: Seeking immediate medical attention following an accident is crucial, even if you don’t experience symptoms right away. Delaying medical care can cause the injury to worsen and increase the risk of long-term damage.
  • Underlying health conditions: Pre-existing neck or spine conditions, such as degenerative disc disease or arthritis, can increase the likelihood of whiplash causing permanent damage. These conditions may make the neck more susceptible to injury.
  • Age: Older individuals may be more vulnerable to long-term complications from whiplash due to the natural aging process, which can reduce the body’s ability to heal and recover.
  • Severity of impact: The force of impact in the accident can significantly impact the likelihood of permanent damage. High-speed collisions or accidents involving multiple vehicles are more likely to result in severe whiplash injuries.
  • Inadequate or inappropriate treatment: Timely and appropriate medical care and physical therapy can play a significant role in preventing long-term damage. Failing to follow recommended treatment plans or receiving inadequate care can lead to complications.
  • Psychological Factors: The emotional and psychological impact of a traumatic accident can exacerbate physical symptoms and hinder recovery. Anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can complicate the healing process.
  • Chronic Pain: Some individuals may develop chronic pain conditions related to their whiplash injury. Conditions like chronic neck pain, headaches, or even fibromyalgia can be triggered or exacerbated by whiplash.

Let a Virginia Injury Attorney Help

If you have suffered whiplash or any other injury caused by the negligent or reckless behavior of another driver, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to discuss what your legal options may be. Victims can be compensated for medical expenses, lost income from being unable to work, pain and suffering, and emotional anguish.

If they are left with a long-term and permanent disability, they may also be entitled to financial compensation for the losses this disability has caused, including loss of future income if they are unable to work or return to their profession, future medical expenses, and the overall negative impact the injury has had on their quality of life.

Our personal injury attorneys have successfully represented many clients who were forced to deal with painful injuries and long recoveries due to another person’s negligence. Contact our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.