What Is Whiplash?

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Whiplash is a type of neck strain injury that commonly occurs in car accidents. It can cause temporary disabilities as well as long-term complications, including chronic pain. Whiplash could require weeks of medical treatments and time spent away from work, resulting in lost wages. It can also cause substantial pain and suffering. If you sustained whiplash in a car accident or another type of incident in Omaha, you could be eligible for compensation from the person or entity that caused your injury. Whiplash is a coverable injury in most insurance claims.

Common Causes and Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash is the strain of the neck tendons, ligaments or muscles (and sometimes damage to bones), usually from a rapid forward and backward movement of the head and neck. Whiplash is most common in a rear-end vehicle collision when the victim’s head and neck were stationary at the time of impact. Whiplash can also occur during contact sports or from physical abuse or assault. Some victims feel whiplash symptoms immediately, while others do not notice them until hours or even days after the incident.

• Inability to move the head or neck
• Pain or soreness when moving the neck
• Stiffness or lack of mobility in the neck or back
• Pain or tingling in the arms
• Headaches from the base of the skull
• Fatigue
• Dizziness or blurred vision
• Memory problems
• Trouble concentrating
• Irritability or depression

Any of these symptoms could point to a whiplash injury. If you notice potential signs of whiplash, see a doctor right away. Typical treatments for whiplash include ice to reduce swelling, painkillers, massage, physical therapy, at-home exercises, rest and a temporary neck brace. Prompt treatment for physical as well as emotional symptoms of whiplash could help you recover from the injury sooner.

Recovering for a Whiplash Injury

Once you receive medical care for your whiplash injury, focus on your financial recovery. If someone else caused or contributed to your whiplash injury, that person could owe you compensation for your damages. You may be eligible for money for your past and future medical bills, lost wages, temporary disability costs, medications, legal fees, pain and suffering, and more. Bringing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party could help you afford your injury and have peace of mind while you heal.

1. Identify the defendant. First, recognize the party that caused your whiplash injury. This could be another driver, a negligent sports coach, a product manufacturer or a criminal. If you are not sure who or what caused your injury, speak to an attorney.

2. Value your damages. Place a monetary value on your damages so you know how much to demand. Calculate your economic damages using receipts, bills and paystubs. Estimate your noneconomic damages based on the severity of your whiplash.

3. Call an insurance company. Contact the insurance company of the at-fault party and file an initial claim. Your claim should name the defendant, describe the accident and list how much money you are demanding. It should also come with evidentiary support.

4. Negotiate a fair settlement. Insurance companies often try to take advantage of claimants to save money. If an insurer tries to offer less than you believe your whiplash case is worth, negotiate with the claims adjuster for a fairer amount.

5. Contact an attorney. If you suffered a serious whiplash injury that will cause chronic pain or long-term disability, or if you cannot get an insurance company to treat your claim fairly, contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance.

Most people fully recover from whiplash injuries. In some circumstances, however, you may find that whiplash interferes with your ability to move, work and enjoy your life for months or years to come. Regardless of the details of your specific situation, a lawyer in Omaha can help. You can learn more about whiplash injuries and related personal injury cases by contacting an Omaha car accident attorney.