Whiplash is one of the most common spinal injuries that people suffer, but many people do not really understand what it is or how serious it can be. Over 100,000 people in the United States suffer from whiplash injuries annually. Tremendous financial difficulty may result from caring for a whiplash injury, with medical bills including care for chronic pain that may arise, lost wages and sick leave, not to mention the months or even years of physical suffering that can occur.
While television shows and other pop culture sources have sometimes implied that whiplash is a “made-up” injury that can be used to file frivolous lawsuits, in fact whiplash is potentially a very serious medical condition. If you have suffered whiplash in a car crash or other accident, you need to speak with a whiplash attorney to discuss your options. Please call Fuicelli & Lee, P.C. at 303-355-7202 for a free case evaluation.
What Is Whiplash?
The actual name for the injury that is popularly known as whiplash is neck sprain or neck strain depending on the severity. The actual injury is damage to the soft-tissue of the cervical vertebrae (neck) which can cause symptoms from stiffness to headaches to cognitive and emotional damage.
The name whiplash probably comes from the fact that the way the injury occurs generally involves the head being whipped one direction and then another very swiftly and suddenly, like a passenger in a car that is struck from behind. The injury occurs because muscles and ligaments in the neck move beyond their normal ranges, and may result in damage to the discs between the vertebrae.
What Are the Symptoms?
Neck pain is the most obvious symptom of a sprained neck, but often there are associated symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, or shoulder or back pain. Occasionally, symptoms may even include cognitive or psychological impairment: memory loss, sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, or depression.
The symptoms of whiplash often appear sometime after the injury, sometimes several weeks later, which can make insurance companies suspect that the victim is making the symptoms up. This is part of why a whiplash lawyer is so important; they can help negotiate with your insurance company.
What Is the Prognosis?
Most people are able to recover from whiplash injuries within a few months, however at the onset there may be significant lost time at work, or loss of normal daily activities. The initial treatment typically involves prescription painkillers or muscle relaxants, and physical therapy is often the main treatment. In some cases, however, there may be residual pain for which no physical cause is found. In some cases, there can be very long-lasting effects.
What Should I Do?
With any injury, the most important thing is to take care of your physical health. Be sure to carefully follow all the advice and procedures proscribed by your doctor or physical therapist. However, with the potential for financial loss between the lost wages, sick leave, and potential for long-term pain, you also need the advice of an experienced injury attorney.
The dedicated attorneys at the law firm of Fuicelli & Lee, P.C. are committed to working with people who have had whiplash injuries to recover the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has sustained a neck sprain in an accident, Fuicelli & Lee, P.C. can evaluate the details of your case, help you determine whether there has been negligence and decide whether you should pursue a legal claim.
For a free consultation, please call (303) 355-7202 today. Our attorneys have offices in Denver, Longmont and Pueblo, and we serve the Front Range region of Colorado.