If you have recently been in a car accident, especially a rear-end collision (commonly referred to as “fender bender”), you have a stiff neck or feel muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders, you might think that you have whiplash, one of the most common types of injury suffered by motorists.
“Even though your concerned friends and family members are encouraging you to undergo imaging tests such as MRIs, what many do not realize is that such tests do not show this type of injury,” says our Pittsburgh whiplash injury attorney at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman.
This is one of those rare instances where you should not rely on medical tests but rather watch out for the symptoms of whiplash. If you think you have whiplash after a car accident, you probably have plenty of questions such as “How long will this last?” and “What are the symptoms of whiplash injury?”
Before we answer your questions, it is essential that you understand what causes whiplash. Although most people think that whiplash injury can only occur in a motor vehicle accident, it is not entirely true.
While it is a fact that the vast majority of whiplash injuries are caused by car accidents and other motor vehicle collisions, you can sustain this type of injury in any other accident or incident in which your head snaps forward or backward as a result of the impact.
The impact causes a sudden movement of the head forwards, backwards or sideways, which then snaps back. This unnatural movement, which is similar to when you nod your head to say “Yes,” causes damage to your neck, discs, ligaments, nerves, and muscles.
More often than not, the injured can determine that he or she has whiplash by exhibiting symptoms of whiplash. Keep in mind that the signs of whiplash may show immediately after the traumatic event or may not show for several days after the accident or incident.
Our experienced whiplash injury attorney in Pittsburgh says that common symptoms of whiplash include but are not limited to:
It is always advised to seek medical attention immediately after any traumatic event, even seemingly as minor as a rear-end accident. If whiplash is suspected, your doctor might advise you to undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a computed tomography (CT) scan or X-ray.
But just because these tests did not show anything, do not open a bottle of champagne just yet. Our Pittsburgh whiplash injury lawyer explains that most people have normal imaging results because whiplash occurs in structures that are too small to be seen in these tests.
That’s why the most accurate way to determine whether you have whiplash is to see if you have symptoms of whiplash injury.
It is true that certain factors increase the likelihood of getting whiplash in the course of a traumatic event such as a car crash. These factors include:
If you have determined that you do have whiplash, you are probably wondering how long you will have to endure the pain and other symptoms. Generally, the neck pain associated with whiplash injury subsides within a few days after the traumatic event (and is reduced to the very minimum within three months).
However, about a third of all patients with whiplash injury continue exhibiting signs of whiplash, including neck pain, for the next 12 months after the accident or incident. The more severe the neck pain immediately after the traumatic event, the more likely you are to have lingering pain.
While some people think that whiplash is one of the most “harmless” injuries out there, it is not entirely true. In fact, whiplash can severely impact the quality of your life and even make it impossible to work and earn a living. That’s why it is paramount that you seek compensation with the help of a whiplash injury attorney in Pittsburgh or elsewhere in Pennsylvania.