Is Whiplash Considered a Serious Injury?

Whiplash can have different levels of severity - including a serious injury with long-term disabilities.

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Posted: 01/15/2020
 Motor Vehicle Accident    Personal Injury  

It is a common misconception that whiplash is always a minor injury. Whiplash can have different levels of severity - including a serious personal injury with long-term disabilities. Whiplash occurs when an accident whips the head and neck abruptly back and forth, damaging the soft tissues of the neck. Whiplash can be an incredibly serious injury with symptoms such as chronic pain and immobility. If you suffered from a whiplash injury in an auto accident or another incident, contact a lawyer about bringing an injury claim.

The Dangers of Whiplash

Whiplash is a common car accident injury in accidents in Montana. Despite its reputation, whiplash can be debilitating and take months to heal. Many car accident victims suffer from very serious whiplash injuries that interfere with work, school and everyday life. One unique danger associated with whiplash is the delayed appearance of symptoms. You might not notice the signs of whiplash until days after your car accident.

  • Neck pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Headaches
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability

It is important to see a doctor right after a car crash, even if you do not think you have any injuries. You could have an injury with hidden symptoms. Do not tell anyone you are uninjured until a doctor has confirmed this using scans, x-rays and tests. Instead, say you wish to wait to answer until you have been to the hospital. Assuming you have no injuries could hurt your chances of recovering an award from an insurance company later.

Recovery From Whiplash

A person with whiplash may have to take off work for days or weeks during recovery or accept a lower-paying job to accommodate a temporary disability. Serious muscle strains may require expensive medical care as well, such as physical therapy or pain medications. These are all compensable damages in the eyes of Montana law. If you suffered significant losses, such as costly medical bills or missed time at work, your whiplash injury may qualify as serious. If so, you may need to take your claim to court for fair compensation.

Whiplash can inflict painful and disabling symptoms on a victim for days, weeks or months after an accident. Although most patients with whiplash make full recoveries within a few months, some experience chronic pain longer. Some victims complain of persistent neck pain, soreness, headaches and pain shooting down the arms for several months or even years after suffering whiplash. The timeline to heal from a neck injury depends on many factors, including the severity of the injury and the patient.

Filing a Claim in Montana for a Serious Whiplash Injury

You may be able to seek financial damages for a whiplash injury if it cost you physically, financially or emotionally. A lengthy healing time, for example, could mean an accumulation of lost wages and other expenses that make it worthwhile to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for your accident. Filing a claim against the person that caused your whiplash injury could lead to a compensatory award for your tangible and intangible damages.

  • Past and future whiplash-related medical expenses
  • Lost income from having to miss work during recovery
  • Property damage repairs
  • Legal fees and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages

The amount you could receive through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit depends on the severity of your whiplash injury, as well as how it has affected your life. If you suffered debilitating symptoms that lasted for weeks or months, your claim could be worth more than if you had a minor whiplash injury. Work with a personal injury lawyer in Montana to maximize your financial recovery after receiving a whiplash diagnosis. A lawyer can help you take the appropriate steps toward fair compensation, such as proving the severity of your injury to an insurance company, judge or jury.

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, we can help. Call our office at (406) 222-2222 or fill out our Case Evaluation contact form.

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