Whiplash is a condition that is common in car accidents. During the crash, a person’s head can move so fast that it strains or damages the neck muscles that hold it up. When this happens, a condition called whiplash develops and makes it hard to manage everyday activities.
Whiplash can stop you from working and often requires medical attention to diagnose and treat. These are unexpected expenses, and you may be able to collect compensation from the other driver if they caused the accident. If you or a loved one developed whiplash after a car accident, consult with a Chicago whiplash accident lawyer to explore your legal options. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case with our team.
Signs of Whiplash
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) conducts research on trauma-induced injuries, such as whiplash. There are several signs that you may have whiplash, and that can give you an idea of how severe your injury is. These signs include:
- Neck pain: Especially while moving your neck, neck pain may indicate that the muscles were strained during the accident.
- Back pain: The same action that caused the neck injuries can also have the same effect on the upper back and shoulders. Pain in these areas, especially around the spine, should be investigated by a physician.
- Headaches: Consistent headaches after an accident could indicate brain trauma, but can also be caused by consistent pain and tension in the neck muscles.
- Dizziness: Because the neck muscles are damaged and not as stables as they were before the accident, you may experience some dizziness.
- Stiffness: As muscles begin to heal, they also become stiffer than they were before.
There are other signs of whiplash that are not covered on this list. Any sign or symptom of whiplash should be investigated by a physician to ensure that you did not suffer any permanent damage. This could prevent the development of a disability or other serious conditions with lasting effects.
Severity of Whiplash
Whiplash can be mild or severe, depending on the accident. Modern safety systems in vehicles are more likely to prevent severe whiplash, but there is still a chance that it could be severe. If this is the case in your accident, it is important to take it seriously and see a doctor.
One of the hardest parts of whiplash to deal with is the ongoing effect it can have on your health. Whiplash is a tissue injury in the neck muscles, which might not be as strong while healing. This makes it possible to reinjure yourself with less physical effort, which can also lead to a long-term problem with your neck.
This potential for a long-term impact is what makes whiplash so serious. Even if you don’t think your case is severe, seek medical attention anyway. A medical assessment can help you take the right steps to manage your recovery. It will also serve as evidence if you decide to pursue compensation.
A Chicago whiplash accident lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm wants to hear from you to see how we can help. Call a member of our team today.
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Long-Term Impacts of Whiplash
The majority of people who suffer from whiplash after an accident make a full recovery with proper care. Seeing a doctor and having your condition assessed makes it easy to develop an effective treatment plan. However, the Mayo Clinic identified cases where it is more likely that a victim of a car accident can develop long-lasting complications.
These complications generally develop when the initial case of whiplash is severe. In these cases, victims may experience increased stiffness and a decrease in the neck’s range of motion. Chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, and back are also likely without effective medical care. Experiencing whiplash multiple times and having previous back and neck injuries increases the chances of experiencing the long-term impacts of whiplash.
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Statutes of Limitations
If you were injured in a car accident and developed whiplash, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver to recover the cost of medical bills. However, you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible since you have a limited amount of time to file that lawsuit.
This time limit is called the statute of limitations. Most cases involve statutes of limitation to prevent lawsuits from being filed decades after the fact, making it hard to prove the case either way. These statutes are different lengths based on where you live and what type of case you are trying to file. Whiplash and car accidents fall under the personal injury statute of limitations.
In Illinois, the statute begins the day that you should know about your injuries. For example, a car accident usually results in immediate injuries, which you would know about right away. This means that the statute starts the day of the accident. If it takes a month for a doctor to identify an injury caused by an accident, the statute starts that day. Regardless, you have up to four years from the date of the accident (the day you received the injuries) to file a lawsuit.
In Illinois, the statute of limitations is two years for personal injury cases, according to 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes section 5/13-202. That means you have two years from the date that you knew you were injured to file your lawsuit. Two years can pass quickly, and your lawyer needs time to prepare. A lawyer can help to ensure that you meet all applicable deadlines to pursue compensation.
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Call Us to Discuss the Details of Your Potential Case
If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident and develops whiplash, consult a lawyer to see what your legal options are. You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for accident-related expenses. A Chicago whiplash accident lawyer can help you better understand what your options are for your case. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case with our team.