It can happen when you least expect it. You're stopped at a traffic light. Out of nowhere, another driver slams into the back of your vehicle. You exchange insurance information with the other driver. After going through the standard auto accident procedures, you feel fine enough to go about your day. But days later, the pain and discomfort begins to set in.
If you have been rear-ended in a crash, you may have whiplash. This spinal injury is caused by a sudden forward and backward whip-like motion of the neck. Whiplash injuries can range in severity and can even happen in minor fender-bender accidents.
What is whiplash?
When whiplash occurs, the muscles and tendons in the back and upper back get overstretched. This can result in symptoms including but not limited to:
- Neck stiffness and poor range of motion
- Neck pain
- Tightness in the neck, upper back and shoulders
- Dizziness, confusion and disorientation
- Blurry vision
- Ringing in ears
- Difficulty sleeping
- Changes in mood
- Difficulty with concentration and memory
In high-impact rear-end collisions, the vertebra and connective tissue encompassing the spine can be torn or damaged. The pain can be severe and can extend throughout the limbs.
Treatment and recovery
If you were struck in a rear-end auto accident, you are urged to seek medical attention, no matter how minor your crash may have been. Even minor whiplash can hinder your ability to perform everyday activities and standard job functions.
Recovering from whiplash may require costly medical procedures, time away from work, and time away from activities you enjoy. If you fail to seek medical treatment, your condition can worsen over time. This not only makes it more difficult to recover from your injury, but can cost you more money and lost wages in the long run.
Filing a claim for a rear-end accident can be a challenge, even if the insurance companies know that the other driver was at fault. In cases involving whiplash, it's not always about who is at fault in a crash, but rather, proving the legitimacy of your injury.
The insurance companies may claim that you are exaggerating your pain and discomfort in order to receive money. They may even try to convince you that your injury isn't worth the hassle.
The car accident attorneys at Lawter & Associates, PLLC know the truth. We have seen how serious whiplash can be. Our experienced legal team, based in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, will work tirelessly to negotiate with the insurance companies, so you can focus on recovery. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.