Whiplash Injury

If you have been involved in a car accident or other personal injury incident, you may be experiencing neck pain. This could indicate that you have suffered a whiplash injury, a deceptively painful injury often associated with rear-end collisions. This type of injury could cause significant pain and may result in you needing to take time off work. 

If you suspect you may have experienced whiplash, we can explain everything you need to know about these injuries and how a personal injury lawyer can help.

What Is Whiplash?

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury to the neck. It is associated with a collection of symptoms that occur after damage to the neck, usually brought on by sudden extension and flexion. 

How Common Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries a person suffers after a motor vehicle accident, especially a rear-end car accident. The Cleveland Clinic reports that whiplash affects millions of people each year. 

What Are the Common Causes of Whiplash? 

Whiplash injuries arise when a sudden force or movement strains the neck or spine, causing injuries to bones or soft tissues

Some of the most common causes of whiplash injuries include:

Many of these accidents are due to the carelessness of another person, and a legal claim may help recover compensation from the negligent party.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash?

Signs and symptoms of whiplash may include the following:

  • Neck, shoulder, and/or lower back pain
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Numbness or pain in your arm or hand
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in your ears or blurred vision
  • Sleeplessness
  • Problems remembering or concentrating
  • Irritability 

If you are experiencing these symptoms after an accident, seek medical attention. Some of these symptoms may appear immediately after the accident, while others may take hours or days to appear. 

What Are the Grades of Whiplash?

There are different grades of whiplash that are associated with different symptoms and severity of injury. 

In order of the least serious to most serious, the grades of whiplash include:

Grade 0 

At Grade 0, the victim may not experience pain or any other symptoms.

Grade 1 

At Grade 1, the victim may experience pain and other symptoms, such as stiffness when moving or tenderness at the injury site. 

Grade 2 

At Grade 2, victims may experience various symptoms, such as:

  • Pain that radiates from the site of injury to the upper portion of the body
  • Muscle spasms that restrain the motion of the neck or head
  • Bruising, swelling, and sensitivity to the injury site

Grade 3 

At Grade 3, the victim may suffer the same symptoms as those at Grade 2. However, there can be additional symptoms, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness
  • Burning or tingling
  • Trouble swallowing and loss of voice
  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems

Grade 4

At Grade 4, victims may suffer any of the injuries described above, as well as more severe neurological symptoms, nerve damage, and spinal cord damage. 

What Are the Potential Complications of a Whiplash Injury?

Most instances of whiplash improve within a few weeks and do not cause permanent damage. However, those who quickly suffered pain that radiated to the arms, limited range of motion, or severe neck pain may be more likely to suffer chronic pain or other complications from their whiplash injury. 

Additionally, some individuals may be predisposed to suffering complications from whiplash, including those who have previously suffered from whiplash, have existing back or neck pain, suffered a high-speed injury, or are older. 

How Do Medical Professionals Diagnose Whiplash?

Whiplash is often diagnosed by discussing the victim’s symptoms in combination with an imaging test, such as:

  • X-ray – Electromagnetic energy produces images of bones, organs, and tissues on film. 
  • MRI – Magnetic resonance imaging scans involve large magnets and a computer that takes detailed images of soft tissues. 
  • CT scan – Computed tomography scans use X-rays and computer data to make axial images of your body, providing detailed images of any part of the body. 

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help coordinate your medical care and ensure that your injuries are properly diagnosed. 

What Treatment Is Available For Whiplash Injuries? 

Treatment options for whiplash will depend on several individual factors, including a person’s age, overall health, and medical history, the severity of the injury, and their response to treatment. 

Possible treatment might include:

  • A neck collar
  • Application of ice or heat
  • Ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Physical therapy 
  • Osteopathic manipulation 

The costs of this treatment may be included in your demand for compensation against the party responsible for your injuries. 

What Compensation Can I Recover For Whiplash Injuries?

If you suffered whiplash, you may be able to recover compensation for the damages you suffered from the party responsible for your injuries. 

This may include compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses – You may be able to recover compensation for the medical costs you incurred immediately after the accident to have your injuries diagnosed and treated, including ambulance charges, hospitalization, and emergency treatment. You can recover compensation for ongoing medical expenses, including follow-up care, medication, and chiropractic care. You can also request compensation for medical expenses you may incur in the future
  • Lost wages – You can seek damages for lost wages, commissions, employment benefits, and other compensation you lost because you were recovering from your injuries, as well as any long-term reduction in your earning capacity. 
  • Property damage – The at-fault party can be made to compensate you for the costs to repair or replace your vehicle or damaged personal property. 
  • Pain and suffering – You can seek compensation for your physical, emotional, and mental pain, suffering, anguish, and distress.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can review the circumstances surrounding your accident to determine the potential compensation you may be able to recover and estimate the value of your case. 

How Long Do I Have To File a Whiplash Injury Lawsuit in Texas?

For most personal injury claims, Texas law gives you only two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit against the careless party. If this timeline passes and you have not filed a lawsuit, you can be barred from presenting your case, regardless of how clear the defendant’s liability is. 

Contact Our San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyers For a Free Consultation To Discuss Your Whiplash Injury

Have you suffered a whiplash injury in a car accident or other recent personal injury accident in San Antonio, TX? If so, you may be owed compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages you experienced because of another’s negligence. 

The San Antonio personal injury attorneys at George Salinas Injury Lawyers have over 110 years of combined legal experience. You can learn more about your legal rights and options when you call us to arrange your free consultation.