You have likely heard of whiplash, maybe have even experienced it yourself. Most people associate it with pain in the neck following a rear-end collision. The truth is, it can be so much more than that.
In many car accident cases, whiplash is a common injury. Most people only experience minor symptoms that eventually go away on their own. There are some Maryland residents who feel that they are never going to recover, though. If that describes you, know that you may seek compensation for any resulting losses this seemingly minor injury has caused you.
Whiplash occurs when the neck moves backward then forward rapidly -- the same movement a whip makes when cracked. Commonly seen symptoms of whiplash are:
- Pain in the neck
- Neck stiffness
Most people recover from whiplash injuries in a matter of weeks, though they may require pain medication, muscle relaxants and specialized exercises to help them get through the recovery process. More complex treatment may be necessary if any of the following symptoms are also present:
- Memory problems
- Numbness in arms
There are several other possible signs and symptoms of whiplash. Most of them develop within a day of a car accident occurring, though some may take days or weeks to appear. No matter when symptoms do present themselves, one should seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
How bad can it get?
As previously stated, most people recover from whiplash relatively fast; however, there are those who do not. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you experienced sudden onset symptoms that were quite intense, you are more likely to experience chronic pain. This is pain lasting for months or even years following injury onset. Individuals with the following risk factors are also more likely to experience chronic pain from a whiplash injury:
- Existing neck problems
- Existing back problem
- Previous whiplash injury
The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you may achieve physical relief. However, there are no guarantees that medical treatment will forever rid you of the pain.
Compensation may be possible
If your whiplash injury occurred in a rear-end collision that was primarily the fault of the other driver's negligence, you may seek compensation for your losses through legal means. The state of Maryland allows victims to pursue a personal injury claim in civil court in an effort to recover any documented economic and non-economic losses.