The value of a whiplash injury claim depends in large part on the severity of the injury. Although it is often considered a “minor” injury, whiplash can lead to a variety of symptoms—from chronic pain to neurological impairments.
Whiplash is painful, complex, and frequently misunderstood. It often occurs in car accidents when a rapid jerking motion results in damage to the soft tissue, ligaments, and/or bones surrounding the neck and upper back.
We’ve written before about the average payout for whiplash injuries. Now we’re going to examine how whiplash is diagnosed, what the grades of the injury are, what treatment may entail, and your legal options if you were hurt through the fault of another.
Patrick Daniel Law serves personal injury victims in Houston and throughout Texas. If you were injured in a car crash or other incident caused by someone else’s negligence, we encourage you to (a) seek medical attention promptly so whiplash and any other injuries can be diagnosed and (b) consult an attorney as soon as possible.
Find out what your whiplash injury claim may be worth. Call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 today for a FREE case review.
There is no definitive test for whiplash. Instead, diagnosis is usually a process of elimination. Doctors will rule out other possibilities until whiplash is determined to be the most likely diagnosis. While imaging such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans may not show that whiplash has occurred, they can help eliminate other possible conditions.
Sometimes a whiplash injury affects more than the soft tissue. Imaging tests may reveal damage to the discs and vertebrae, both of which should also be treated as soon as possible.
To help grade and better understand the severity of whiplash injuries, experts created The Quebec Classification Of Whiplash-Associated Disorders. On this scale, a whiplash injury is classified from Grades 0–4 according to the symptoms:
Treatment for whiplash generally falls into two categories: pain management and aiding the healing process. Whiplash injuries can be severe. As such, pain management—especially in the early stages of recovery—is critical.
Getting the tissue, ligaments, and vertebrae to properly heal can call for a variety of treatments, some of which can be very expensive. Depending on the grade of whiplash a patient has suffered and how he or she responds, whiplash treatments may include:
While this hopefully gives you a better sense of the range of treatment options available, you should always rely on expert guidance from your doctor to establish a treatment plan for managing your pain and healing the underlying cause of the pain.
It is not uncommon for people who suffer whiplash to experience chronic pain and other ongoing problems. Extensive—and costly—treatment may be required, and your ability to work may be affected as well.
You should not have to shoulder the burden of these costs yourself if someone else is responsible. If you suffered whiplash through no fault of your own (such as in a rear-end collision), an accident lawyer can pursue a whiplash injury claim on your behalf.
Compensation you may be entitled to for a whiplash injury includes:
It is crucial to document all aspects of your diagnosis, treatment, and any bills you receive. This documentation will serve as the basis for your whiplash injury claim.
You will also need to establish that the other party is at fault for your injuries. This may require photos and other evidence from the scene, eyewitness testimony, and more.
Insurance companies often dispute claims involving whiplash. Because the injury is difficult to diagnose, settlement offers tend to be low. To make matters worse, accident victims are often unaware of the compensation they may be due.
At Patrick Daniel Law, we recognize the significant effects a whiplash injury can have. We will meticulously and strategically build a strong whiplash injury claim on your behalf and fight mercilessly for a fair settlement or, if necessary, an award at trial.