Whiplash involves internal damage that doesn’t always show up in a photograph, but it can still drastically hinder your ability to function. Whiplash may potentially strain muscles, tear ligaments, injure nerves, and even damage bones. Although frequently trivialized in popular media, serious whiplash cases often require long-term therapy and come with outrageous medical bills.
Whiplash Injury Causes and Repercussions
Whiplash occurs when an accident victim’s head is forcefully pushed in one direction and then suddenly whipped back the other way. This violent back and forth movement of the head and neck is frequently suffered in rear-end vehicle collisions, but that isn’t the only way this injury is sustained. You can experience whiplash during a variety of accidents, including:
- Car crash
- Intentional physical abuse
- Motorcycle collision
- SEPTA vehicle incident
- Slip and fall
- Sports injury
- Commercial truck accident
Unfortunately, whiplash injuries don’t typically include any sort of outward, visible symptoms like a cut or bruise. The "invisible" nature of whiplash drives home the importance of seeking medical attention quickly after any SEPTA accident, car crash, or slip and fall. You may be more hurt than you first realize, and it’s critical to start documenting the injury and its effect on your life as soon as possible.
Rear-end collisions at lower speeds may only involve a few weeks of recovery, but in more severe cases you can suffer long-term repercussions, often involving chronic pain that interferes with your daily life. Whiplash may result in symptoms such as:
- Constant fatigue
- Difficulty moving the neck and reduced movement range
- Cognitive difficulties, particularly with concentration
- Emotional issues like irritability or depression
- Frequent dizziness
- Inability to sleep
- Numbness or a constant tingling sensation in arms or neck
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, and back
- Soreness or stiffness
- Tinnitus (frequent ringing sound in the ears)
- Vision issues like blurred sight
Steps to Take After a Philadelphia Accident Causes Whiplash
Obviously, those symptoms can make normal, everyday activities difficult and may even prevent you from returning to work after the accident. That’s why you shouldn’t try to handle the legal side of the recovery process on your own. Instead, contact a skilled personal injury attorney who has experience in whiplash cases so you can keep your focus on your physical and mental health.
It’s important to talk to a lawyer regardless of your physical condition prior to the accident. Even if you already experienced whiplash in the past or suffer from other physical ailments that put you at increased risk for whiplash, the negligent party still had a basic duty of care to prevent your injury. When a reckless driver or at-fault business owner fails to uphold that duty, they could legally owe you damages.
A whiplash attorney will take care of communications with insurance providers and handle negotiating for a full settlement. This step ensures you don’t accidentally impair your ability to receive the compensation you deserve and prevents insurers from using medical releases or recorded statements taken out of context to deny your claim. While negotiating for a settlement, an attorney can also handle the legal complexities of filing a suit before the Pennsylvania statute of limitations expires.
Your lawyer needs an accurate picture of what occurred in order to hold the at-fault party responsible and seek fair compensation. That may include physical pictures taken of the vehicle accident or the environment where a slip and fall happened, as well eyewitness accounts of what occurred. When possible, you should try to take photographs of the scene and gather contact info for anyone who saw how the accident took place before heading to the hospital.
That evidence you gather can be used in conjunction with police reports, employment records, security footage, and expert testimony to establish who caused the accident and the extent that it has disrupted your life. Your lawyer then presents all the assembled evidence to seek compensation for:
- Lost employment wages and future earning potential
- Emotional impacts like pain and suffering
- Medical costs associated with the accident
- Physical therapy or other treatments for ongoing pain and mobility issues
Get on the Road to Recovery With a Philadelphia Whiplash Attorney
No one ever expects to have their life put on hold due to a sudden injury, but when it happens you can rely on an experienced attorney to fight for your legal rights. Contact us to set up a free, no-pressure consultation so we can discuss your injury and find out if Heslin Law Firm is the right fit for your situation. We want to help you recover the damages you deserve and find the best way forward after a whiplash accident.