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Whiplash and Neck Injuries

Auto, Truck, Equipment and Worker’s Comp Accidents

The forces of an accident can be severe and can damage the delicate muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the neck. Due to the nature of these injuries, the full extent of damage is not always fully apparent after a crash. However, in the hours and days following the accident, victims may begin to experience pain, stiffness, and numbness in their neck and extremities. When this occurs, it is important to seek medical help immediately.

Neck injuries, such as whiplash, can result in a lifetime of pain and disability if they are not treated promptly. Even with good medical care, some injured accident victims will develop chronic neck pain and impairment. As such, it is important to contact an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer immediately after your accident. Your lawyer will be able to protect your rights to full and complete compensation, no matter how serious your injuries may be.

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What is Whiplash?

Whiplash from Auto AccidentEach year, more than two million Americans suffer from a whiplash injury. Whiplash is a non-medical term used to describe a wide range of neck symptoms and injuries. Whiplash is a type of neck injury that involves damage to the bone structures and soft tissues in the neck. It typically occurs after a rear-end accident.

When a driver or passenger is involved in a rear-end accident, their head and neck may whip back and forth violently. This motion can damage the delicate structures in the neck and cause serious injury. The whip-like motion over-stretches the joints, muscles, and ligaments in the neck. The result is a painful and debilitating injury that could last a lifetime.

While the majority of whiplash injuries will resolve fully with the right medical treatment, 25 percent of all accident victims will suffer from long-term pain and disability that last for months or even years. Whiplash-associated disorders from car accidents affect more than four million Americans every year. These injuries damage their quality of life and cost an estimated $30 billion in medical and rehabilitative care every year.

Common Causes of Whiplash

Since it does not take a lot of force to cause a whiplash injury, there are numerous causes. Even accidents that occur at low speeds can cause whiplash. However, the most common causes of whiplash and neck injuries include:

Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash

Signs and symptoms of whiplash can often take hours or even days to become apparent. That is because the adrenaline after an accident often masks the true extent of the injury. Whiplash victims may experience one or many of the following symptoms:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Increased pain with movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches
  • Tenderness or pain in the back or upper extremities
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms and fingertips
  • Fatigue

Some people also have:

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble with memory
  • Depression and anxiety

Diagnosis and Treatment of Whiplash

When you visit the doctor, they will ask you about your event and the symptoms you are experiencing. Your doctor will then perform a complete examination of your head and neck. This examination will help them determine the range of motion in your neck and shoulders, the degree of motion that results in pain, and the location of tenderness in your neck and upper body.

With whiplash, imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRIs, do not always show any abnormal changes. However, your doctor may order these tests to rule out other conditions that may be contributing to your neck pain.

Unfortunately, since many imaging tests do not show abnormal changes, your doctor will need to make a diagnosis of whiplash based on clinical findings and the examination. As such, insurance companies are usually skeptical of a whiplash diagnosis and may deny these claims without cause.

Compensation for Whiplash Injuries

The amount of compensation you can obtain after a whiplash injury depends largely on the extent of your injury and the long-term effects you face. Many whiplash injuries will fully resolve with medical treatment. However, some whiplash injuries can turn into chronic conditions.

It is difficult to know how each person will recover after a whiplash injury, so your car accident lawyer will need to work with your doctor closely to determine the full extent of your injury and any long-term complications you may face.

The “at fault” driver’s insurance company is responsible for the damages they caused. This means you are eligible to seek compensation to help pay for:

  •  Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Long-term care
  •  Disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings

What to Do If You Think You Have Whiplash

If you believe that you have suffered whiplash after a car accident, the steps you take can have a significant impact on your health and your ability to file a claim. After a whiplash injury, it is important to take the following steps:

  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • Remain calm
  • Gather “at fault” driver’s contact information
  • Follow all doctor’s orders precisely
  • Attend all doctor and therapy appointments
  • Gather evidence of injury and car accident
  • Request copy of police report
  • Contact an experienced car accident attorney immediately
  • Do not sign any settlement with the insurance company

Unfortunately, insurance companies are often skeptical of whiplash claims. Even when you do everything right, they still deny whiplash claims more frequently. As such, the most important things you can do after a car accident is to seek medical help and contact an attorney. Your attorney will be able to ensure that you do not miss any deadlines for filing your claim. In addition, your lawyer will be able to gather the evidence needed to build a strong case that is designed to obtain maximum compensation. When insurance companies are skeptical, you need an attorney fighting aggressively in your corner.

Our Experience Matters

At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, our Arkansas whiplash lawyers have the experience and resources needed to tackle these complex cases. Our track record of success speaks for itself, and we are vigorous legal advocates for our injured clients. We have helped numerous injured accident victims in Arkansas and Tennessee obtain the money they needed to put their lives together again after a serious accident. We know that whiplash injury victims often fight an uphill battle when it comes to collecting compensation for whiplash. That’s why we work tirelessly 24/7 to help them in their quest for justice

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If you’ve sustained a whiplash injury you may not obtain the money you need to tackle all of your long-term injuries and complications without the help of an experienced and whiplash lawyer. Our whiplash attorneys fight aggressively for your future. We are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with insurance companies. And we win.

With six offices conveniently located throughout Arkansas and Tennessee—Little Rock, Fayetteville, Conway, Hot Springs, Bryant, and Memphis—our lawyers are there whenever you need us.

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