When you think about the typical injuries a victim suffers in a car accident, broken bones, contusions, scrapes, cuts, and other types of obvious trauma come to mind. However, one of the most common injuries traffic accident victims suffer, whiplash, is actually not so visible.
Referred to in the medical world as cervical sprain, cervical strain, or hyperextension, whiplash is a unique injury that often occurs in auto collisions. It is caused when an impact forces the head forward and then backward violently, and though you may not be able to see the harm externally, it can be quite serious. Here is what you need to know if you have been in a Baltimore County, MD car accident and may have suffered a whiplash injury.
Overview of Whiplash Injuries
In medical terms, whiplash is an injury to the vertebrae, muscles, and tendons in the neck. An extremely violent impact can even cause stretching or tearing of the connective tissues that support the spine, particularly the cervical spine of the neck and upper back. A thorough examination from a physician is necessary to diagnose whiplash and rule out other types of injuries. The exam may include x-rays, CT scans, and other tests to determine the specifics.
Medical Conditions Caused by Whiplash
A victim suffering from whiplash may experience pain ranging from mild discomfort to more severe throbbing. There may also be decreased range of motion, tightness, and muscle tenderness. Headaches at the base of the skull, shooting upwards toward the forehead, are also common. Other medical conditions include:
- Issues with equilibrium;
- Loss of balance;
- Mid- and lower back pain;
- Difficulty with concentration; and,
- Memory loss.
You may not experience the pain or discomfort of whiplash right after a car accident because it is a soft tissue injury. Some victims report not having symptoms for several hours or days after the impact.
What to do if You Have Experienced Whiplash in a Car Accident
Regardless of when you begin to feel the effects of a whiplash injury, your first priority should be to seek medical treatment and follow your doctor’s orders for recovery. As soon as you are physically able, consult with a personal injury lawyer about your circumstances. You may have a right to compensation from the responsible party in your car accident, but time is of the essence in these types of cases. An attorney can assist you with the next steps, including filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, negotiating settlement, and potentially filing a lawsuit.
A lawyer with extensive experience in car accident cases, specifically those involving whiplash injuries, can help you seek the compensation you deserve under Maryland law. It can be a challenge proving this and other types of soft tissue injuries due to the lack of visible trauma, but the medical conditions caused by whiplash are just as severe. For more information on whiplash injuries as a result of an auto accident, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman. We are happy to answer your questions over the phone, or we can schedule a free case evaluation for you at our Owings Mills, MD office.
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