Whiplash Injuries: How Long Can They Last After a Georgia Car Wreck?
Whiplash injuries are extremely painful and can cause severe damage. Where they don’t lead to permanent disability, these injuries will often require extensive medical treatment and months of therapy. Research into whiplash injuries shows that their effects can linger from weeks to years, even after lengthy treatment. In this article, our experienced personal injury attorneys explain what a whiplash injury does to its victim and how these injuries are caused.
If you have suffered a whiplash injury after a Georgia car wreck, here’s what you should know about these injuries.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the head moves backward and forward or vice versa in a forceful manner. When this violent movement occurs, your neck overworks and research shows that it takes about 17 weeks for a person’s neck to revert to normal. The motion causes the lower cervical vertebrae (bones in the lower neck) to stretch forth and the upper cervical vertebrae (bones in the upper neck) to bend. This shows that the cervical spine twists into an S-shape.
The consequences of a spine and a cervical spine getting affected can be quite severe. The most common cause of whiplash is a vehicle collision. Other accidents resulting in whiplash include sports, falls, or violent attacks. For some, whiplash is a mild injury that will heal on its own. But most times, it leaves a serious health issue on its victims that stays with them for years. According to the National Institute of Health, victims of whiplash often experience a poorer quality of life than any mild injury. People with severe whiplash injury experience complications like chronic pain, and ongoing vertigo. Complications like this can lead to insomnia. Victims will often feel certain emotional distress. It will restrict them from partaking in activities they love, and also interfere with their relationships.
Grades of Whiplash Injuries
Depending on the severity of your whiplash injury, it comes in four categories:
#1 The Grade 0 Whiplash Injury
In a grade 0 category, there is no physical sign of injury or complaint.
#2 The Grade 1 Whiplash Injury
In this grade, you see no physical indicator of injury but you will likely experience neck pain.
#3 The Grade 2 Whiplash Injury
In this grade, you will experience neck pain and also some signs of soft tissue injury.
#4 The Grade 3 Whiplash Injury
In this grade, there is a sign of neurological impairment and also a neck pain experience. The severity of this injury can affect a person physically, emotionally, and financially. The money you can get from the party at fault here depends on the grade.
Facts and Statistics About Whiplash in Georgia
Every year in Georgia, whiplash affects millions of people. Here are a few facts and statistics about this injury:
- An estimated 2.5 million people suffer whiplash injuries in Georgia every year.
- About 4 out of 6 whiplash victims will experience the symptoms for more than six months.
- The chances of women suffering from whiplash injury in a car wreck are more than men.
- Between adults and children, children are likely to suffer whiplash injuries than adults.
- People who are 30-50 years are prone to experience severe whiplash
Victims of whiplash think of it as a minor injury, but the consequences are quite devastating. This is why seeking a medical examination first is the best step to take. You can also seek legal help if you’ve suffered whiplash in Georgia.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Unlike any other car accident injury, whiplash doesn’t appear at first. You may find yourself with no sign after the crash. But, you start noticing the signs of whiplash injury some weeks later. They include:
- Stiff or sore neck
- Limited range of motion in the head, neck, and shoulders
- Pain in the shoulders arms, or neck
- Tingling sensation in the arms, hands, or fingers
- Recurring headaches, and
- Jaw pain
- A person with whiplash experiences changes in their mental and emotional state. They also experience anger, depression, PTSD, and anxiety.
- Long-Term Consequences of Whiplash
- While some whiplash injuries heal over time, some have a long-term issue. Some victims experience chronic pain for more than 20years. The long-term issues include:
- Chronic shoulder pain and neck pain
- Complications of acute whiplash-associated disorders (ASD), and
- Development of abnormal psychological profile
Causes of Whiplash
It is a common fact that car accidents are one of the leading causes of whiplash in Georgia. But, there are other causes of whiplash, and they include:
You are at risk of suffering whiplash injury if your head overworks in quick succession. Once this happens, visit a doctor for prompt medical attention.
- The common treatments for whiplash include:
- Taking pain medications
- Attaching the neck with a soft cervical collar
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
Doctors recommend cognitive therapy for victims with emotional distress. Also, prompt treatment ensures that the injury is diagnosed to prevent complications from arising.
Compensation For Whiplash Injury Cases in Georgia
Life takes a drastic turn when you suffer from a whiplash injury. You are confined to a place because of your inability to go to work. This takes your income away making it difficult to cater for your daily expenses and medical bills.
There is compensation available if the other party is responsible for your injuries. An injury lawyer will help you seek compensation on your behalf. The compensation for damages for whiplash injury cases include:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Both present and future lost wages and income
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
Insurance companies are known for trying to evade being liable and also limit the cost of their victim’s compensation. Do not let them get to you. Allow the expertise of an injury lawyer in Georgia to fight to maximize your recovery. The attorney will have your medical doctor testify and state how the injury affects your life. Your injury lawyer will make sure you get your full compensation.
How should I wait before filing a lawsuit in Georgia?
The longer you wait, the more your evidence of claim will fizzle out. You do not have to wait longer than necessary. If you wish to get benefits from an insurance policy, you will have to submit a claim within a stipulated time after you get hurt.
Insurance companies carry out their investigation. They look for reasons to deny your claim. It is advisable to notify the company as soon as possible. Also, submit your claim early enough.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit will help you with your compensation too. The statute of limitations varies in Georgia and this depends on the cause of action. A case of negligence, including a rear-end collision time frame, is two years. You have two years to gather the evidence after getting hurt. You may likely lose the right to your money if you do not file your claim early. This is why it is advisable that seek legal counsel as early as you can after your accident.
Severe whiplash can go as far as making a person lose interest in life. If you’re suffering from a whiplash injury, contacting an injury lawyer in Georgia as soon as you can go a long way. The attorney with the help of the police will carry out a thorough investigation and help you reclaim the dues meant for you.