The seriousness of whiplash is only fully understood by those who have experienced it. At times scoffed at in movies and television, victims of whiplash have undergone a rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head, which puts the equivalent of hundreds of pounds of strain on the neck muscles and ligaments. Whiplash is the tearing of these muscles and violent stretching and even tearing of the neck ligaments.
If whiplash is severe enough, it will cause a broken neck and potentially a severed spinal cord resulting in paralysis. Whiplash is no laughing matter, and your injuries need to be attended to by a doctor. Whiplash may come on days after the crash, so even if you initially believed that you were uninjured, it may be time to go to the hospital or urgent care center today. Not only will this result in a proper diagnosis and correct treatment, but it will document the severity of your injuries for the legal record.
Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash
According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are common signs and symptoms of whiplash:
- Neck pain;
- Neck stiffness or inability to turn the neck;
- Difficulty looking up or down;
- Pain in the shoulders or upper back;
- Pain in the upper arms; and
- Pain or stiffness that continues to get worse.
How Long Will My Neck and Head Hurt?
Sadly, between 25 and 40 percent of whiplash victims do not make a full recovery, according to neurosurgeon.com. For these individuals, the damage done to their soft tissues cannot be repaired by their bodies, time, or modern medicine. It is difficult to say how long your symptoms will last, though your treating physician should be able to give you a rough estimate for best and worst case scenarios.
Typically, mild to moderate whiplash will recede in a few weeks to a month. In more serious cases, or when the victim is elderly or has a history of back and neck injuries, whiplash may not go away for months, after which prolonged physical therapy is necessary. Up to nearly half of whiplash victims never recover. Contributing factors for whiplash in Kansas City auto collisions include the following:
- Speed of collision;
- Type of collision (or direction the neck was jolted);
- Whether a headrest was properly adjusted for the occupant;
- Design of the seat and headrest;
- Airbag usage and model;
- Age and health of victim;
- History of previous injuries or weakness;
- Swift and proper diagnosis; and
- Whether physical therapy, neck brace, and other treatments were used in time.
You Deserve Compensation for Your Serious Whiplash Injury
Whiplash is an expensive injury. It causes immense pain and suffering, keeps you from working, may limit your ability to perform daily activities or exercise, reduces your enjoyment in life, and more. Our Kansas City whiplashes personal injury attorneys here at the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm will help you receive the compensation you need from the negligent driver who caused the crash.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.