Whiplash, also referred to as neck strain, is an injury caused by the violent, back-and-forth “whipping” of a person’s neck. While there are a few common causes of whiplash, including sports injuries, physical abuse, and rollercoasters, auto accidents are by far the most common cause.
When your car is unexpectedly hit – at high or low speed – the rapid, irregular movement it causes can injure the muscles and ligaments of your neck, leading to short- and long-term injuries.
Unfortunately, whiplash is often misdiagnosed, and the seriousness of a specific whiplash injury may not be immediately clear. Because of this, victims of whiplash often think they are fine after an accident and neglect the medical treatment they need, only for the severity of the injury to become more apparent after the fact.
Here, we want to take a look at what can happen when whiplash goes untreated and what you should know if you have been the victim of whiplash. At Patrick Daniel Law, we are fierce advocates for injured accident victims, and we are here to help you pursue justice if you were injured due to the negligence of another. Please contact our car accident lawyers for a free consultation to get started.
Whiplash can happen to anyone, old or young, but there are a few risk factors that can affect the likelihood that someone will experience whiplash. Typically, individuals who are more likely to suffer whiplash include:
The common thread with all of these groups is that their neck muscles tend to be weaker, making injury more likely after trauma to the neck.
In some cases, individuals have multiple risk factors, such as an elderly female with a history of neck injuries. If someone like this is injured in a car accident, the seriousness of the whiplash is likely to be greater.
While whiplash can often resolve in a matter of weeks with proper treatment, it can also lead to long-term, even chronic effects. These include:
For young children, the long-term consequences can be even more serious, leading to neurological impairments such as learning disabilities, seizures, and behavioral disorders.
Even for adults, severe whiplash can involve spinal damage, leading to complicated injuries to your discs and joints. Spinal injuries can cause chronic, debilitating back pain.
Like almost any injury, untreated whiplash can lead to more serious complications. If your neck is not able to fully heal or heals improperly, the chance of chronic conditions becomes much greater.
The fact of the matter is that whiplash victims don’t fully understand the extent of their injuries until they seek treatment. For some, the injury is relatively minor, calling for rest, ice, and OTC pain medication. But for others, the injury might be severe enough that surgery is required to repair the spine.
For the latter group, the consequences of not seeking treatment can be great. Not only does it increase their chances of dealing with chronic pain, but it could also lead to the injury worsening over time.
But again, the only way you can avoid these long-term consequences is if you seek medical attention for your whiplash, receive a proper diagnosis, and go on a treatment plan.
Another danger of not properly treating whiplash is that it makes it easier for the injury to happen again. Since your neck muscles aren’t able to fully heal without proper treatment, you are more susceptible to subsequent neck injuries.
If a subsequent injury happens, it can compound the effects, leading to an injury that is much worse than the initial whiplash. Not only does this mean that you might be facing a longer recovery time and more treatment, but your medical bills and rehabilitation costs are likely to be much higher.
Regardless of how safely we drive, there is still the chance that someone else will act in a careless or negligent way and cause us harm. Too often, distracted, drunk, and reckless drivers cause serious injuries to innocent drivers around them.
Unfortunately, this is often how whiplash happens, and it can put victims in a difficult position, facing pain, medical bills, time away from work, and more – all because of the other person’s negligence.
If this is the situation you find yourself in, Patrick Daniel Law is here to hold that person accountable by pursuing compensation for your damages. We are strategic, meticulous, and merciless, always fighting for the best outcome for our clients.
Please call (713) 999-6666 today for a free case review. The car accident lawyers at Patrick Daniel Law serve clients in Houston and throughout Texas.