There is perhaps nothing that is more frustrating than being injured in a car accident and then having people believe you are “faking” your injuries. Unfortunately, this happens quite often when people suffer what are known as “soft tissue” or “whiplash” injuries. Also known as “delayed” injuries, the symptoms of these types of problems rarely occur at once. It may be days or, in some cases, weeks before a victim begins to notice problems. By then, the case may already have been settled and the victims are left with nothing to pay for their injuries.
What Are Soft Tissue Injuries?
Soft tissue or whiplash injuries are most common in rear-end accidents, although they can also occur in other types of crashes. While the term “whiplash” does not really have any medical meaning, it is often used to describe soft tissue injuries to the neck, including muscle and nerve damage.
Whiplash is usually described as pain the neck area but can also radiate into the back and shoulders. Because soft tissue injuries are difficult to see on an x-ray or MRI, doctors usually diagnose these problems by the symptoms they display, which include:
- Sharp or dull pain the neck, shoulders and back
- Stiffness in the shoulders and difficulty moving the arms without pain
- Headaches and dizziness
- Muscle spasms that cause severe pain in the neck and shoulder area
- Reduced range of motion, particularly in the neck
- Slow reflexes
- Muscle weakness or numbness
In severe cases, those who suffer from whiplash may be unable to perform everyday tasks without pain.
Whiplash may be treated by physical therapy, drug therapy or by chiropractic manipulation, although no course of treatment is 100 percent effective for all patients.
What Causes Whiplash?
Whiplash is usually caused by what is known as an acceleration/deceleration accident. These terms refer to the physical motion of the head and neck when the accident occurs. The head snaps forward then backward due to changes in force. This can lead to serious injuries of the muscles and nerves in the neck, shoulders and back.
When a whiplash injury occurs, it is very common for the victim to feel no pain at all. This is because the body dumps endorphins into the bloodstream to cushion the body from shock. However, as these wear off, pain may begin to manifest itself and quickly become more serious.
Because whiplash symptoms are so difficult to isolate when an accident occurs, many victims make the mistake of thinking they are uninjured. They may sign a waiver for the insurance company or accept a very small settlement. Later, when the victim realizes that he or she is injured, it may be too late to collect money for medical bills and other expenses.
If you are involved in a car accident, it is particularly important for you to avoid any type of agreement or settlement until you have talked to an attorney. Protecting your rights and seeking proper medical treatment should be your primary goal after any type of vehicle accident. At David & Philpot, P.L. we have been helping victims of car and truck accidents for over 20 years. We understand how insurance companies work and can help you navigate through the complicated process of a personal injury claim. Give us a call today at 800 360.7015, or fill out our free case evaluation form and we will get right back with you.