You never know when a car accident or another type of accident is going to occur. While you may take precautions to protect yourself in an accident, such as using a seatbelt, avoiding distractions on the road, and even leaving early to avoid traffic. Sometimes you aren’t the one to blame for an accident. One of the most common injuries that come from a car accident is whiplash injuries. You may have heard about these injuries before but aren’t sure if these injuries are the type you can file a case for.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident and how now sustained a whiplash injury do not wait. To schedule a confidential legal consultation, call our law offices right away at (479) 316-0438. You only have a limited time to file a claim following an accident, so don’t wait until it’s too late and the deadlines have already passed. Call us today to get started exploring your options.
What is Whiplash?
As stated by the International Association for the Study of Pain whiplash is defined as “an acceleration-deceleration mechanism of energy transferred to the neck usually as a result of a motor vehicle crash”. The International Association for the Study of Pain goes on to state that the impact may result in skeletal or soft-tissue injuries, which in turn can lead to a variety of clinical manifestations, including neck pain, neck stiffness, headache, dizziness, paresthesias, and cognitive difficulties such as memory loss.
Whiplash injuries can be quite complex and may include a variety of related problems, such as:
- Bone fractures – There are seven cervical vertebrae that from the bones of the neck. These bones have the important job of supporting the skull and organs in the head, such as the brain. Any injury to these bones can result in severe pain, paralysis, and even death. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons a cervical fracture usually results from form high-energy trauma, such as an automobile accident.
- Joint dysfunction – Between each of the vertebrae, there are small structures called facet joints, which help stabilize the body from falling over or overextending. These joints can be injured an cause an incredible amount of pain and discomfort. Treating these injuries can be complex and may even require surgery.
What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?
Whenever the neck is subject to a sudden or excessive hyperextension, hyperflexion, or rotation of the neck there is the possibility that a person can develop whiplash. According to the article Course and prognostic factors for neck pain in whiplash-associated disorders (WAD): results of the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008 Feb 15;33(4 Suppl):S83-92. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181643eb8. Whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) can be classified by the severity of signs and symptoms:
- Grade 0: no complaints or physical signs.
- Grade 1: indicates neck complaints but no physical signs.
- Grade 2: indicates neck complaints and musculoskeletal signs.
- Grade 3: neck complaints and neurological signs.
- Grade 4: neck complaints and fracture/dislocation:
- Most cervical spine fractures occur predominantly at two levels – at the level of C2 or at C6 or C7.
- Most fatal cervical spine injuries occur in upper cervical levels, either at the cranio-cervical junction C1, or at C2.
However the symptoms of whiplash can be quite extensive and include the following:
- Neck pain, jaw pain, paraspinal muscle tightness, and spasm. Neck pain usually develops shortly after the accident and may worsen and peak 1-2 days after the event. Neck pain may refer to the shoulder or arm.
- Interscapular and low back pain.
- Muscle spasm.
- Reduced range of movements and neck tenderness.
- A headache, fatigue, dizziness, vertigo, blurring of vision, nausea.
- Numbness in shoulders and arms. Paraesthesia and weakness in the arms and legs – depending on presence and site of any cord contusion.
- There may be retropharyngeal swelling and dysphagia.
- Insomnia, anxiety (general anxiety and/or travel anxiety when in a car) or depression.
- Leg weakness, hyperactive tendon reflexes in the legs, upgoing plantar response, and/or sphincter disturbance, suggest damage to the spinal cord.
- Arm weakness or numbness suggests injury or entrapment to the nerve roots of the cervical spine.
As you can tell the symptoms of whiplash injuries are quite extensive and may surprise you. However, anyone who has ever slept on the neck wrong knows just how pivotal the neck is to daily motion. While many of these injuries are minor and can heal on their own in time, some of these injuries are more severe. As noted above in addition to the physical injuries, whiplash injuries have been associated with increased levels of anxiety, which may hinder a person from participating in activities that they once enjoyed.
What Damages Can You Receive from a Whiplash Injury?
Although whiplash usually only causes injury to the soft tissues of the neck such as the muscles and the ligaments. A doctor may want to look closely at the injury to ensure that there are no fractures of any of the bones in the neck, in addition, a doctor may order the following tests to determine the extent of a whiplash injury:
- CT Scans
- MRI scans
The types and amounts of damages you may be entitled to are dependent upon the injury you suffered, the facts and circumstances surrounding that injury, and the damages you have experienced. Generally speaking, in a viable personal injury action, the main category of available damages are compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate you for the damages and injury you experienced. These can include:
- Your pain and suffering
- Wages lost due to injury
- Reduced future earning potential because of the injury
- Damage to property
- Hospital bills
- Bill for medical devices
- Physical therapy bills
- Depending on the circumstances other damages may be available.
Damages for personal injury and for car accidents are designed to place a person in the position they would have been in had the car accident not occurred. It has been long recognized by courts all across Arkansas that whiplash is an injury that can require a negligent or at fault party to pay.
Experienced Fayetteville Whiplash Attorney in Fayetteville
If you’ve been involved in a serious car or truck accident in Arkansas, you have enough on your mind as you recover from your injuries and You need the support of an aggressive, committed attorney who can protect your legal rights and advocate on your behalf. Fayetteville car accident attorney Ken Kieklak has nearly 20 years of experience representing crash victims and their families and is dedicated to pursuing justice for every client. When you need the assistance of an experienced and respected law firm, you can call on Ken Kieklak. We don’t receive payment unless you do.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in an auto accident, you could be entitled to significant compensation for your pain, suffering, and medical expenses. To speak confidentially about your case with an experienced auto accident lawyer, call Ken Kieklak right away at (479) 316-0438, or contact us online.