The Hidden Dangers of Whiplash and Soft Tissue Injuries

The Hidden Dangers of Whiplash and Soft Tissue Injuries

In any type of serious accident, there are certain injuries that come to mind: Bone fractures, lacerations, damage to internal organs, head trauma, spinal cord injuries are some of the more obvious examples. However, some of the most common types of bodily harm that result from an accident are not so evident. Whiplash and soft tissue injuries are just as serious, and can even be more severe because the victim may not even be aware of the condition. If you have been injured in any type of accident in Chicago, here are a few key details you need to know about whiplash and how to spot the signs.

Overview of Whiplash and Soft Tissue Injuries

Experts at the Mayo Clinic define whiplash as a neck injury that occurs due to a violent, rapid back-and-forth movement of the cervical spine, much like the cracking of a whip. Other terms used to describe this injury include cervical sprain, cervical strain, or hyperextension. Because the trauma affects the vertebrae, muscles, and tendons in the neck, whiplash is considered a soft tissue injury. An extremely powerful impact can even cause tearing or stretching of the connective tissues in the spine, near the upper back and neck.

While this injury is common in a car accident, it can also be caused by a slip-and-fall incident, playing sports, physical abuse, and similar trauma.

Whiplash Symptoms

The lack of obvious signs means many victims do not know they have suffered whiplash until several hours or days after the injury. Eventually, you may experience achiness around the neck, decreased range of motion, headaches, tightness in the shoulders, and muscle tenderness. Still, a medical exam is necessary to diagnose soft tissue trauma and rule out other conditions. A physician can spot signs of whiplash by reviewing x-rays, CT scans, and other tests.

Medical Conditions Caused by Whiplash

The short- and long-term effects of whiplash can be significant, including:

  • Dizziness;
  • Equilibrium problems;
  • Loss of balance;
  • Nausea;
  • Mid- and lower back pain;
  • Difficulty concentrating; and,
  • Memory loss.

What to do if You Have Experienced Whiplash in a Car Accident

Your health is always your first priority, so seek appropriate medical care if you start to feel symptoms of whiplash or other soft tissue injuries. Once you are on the right track to recovery and are physically able, consult with a knowledgeable attorney about your circumstances. Depending on the details of your accident, you may be able to recover compensation from the person responsible for your losses. A lawyer can help you with the next steps, such as filing a claim with an insurance company, discussing settlement, and filing a lawsuit where necessary.

There are numerous challenges with proving whiplash and soft tissue injuries, so it would be a mistake to attempt to represent yourself when up against a pushy insurance company. If you were in an accident and would like to know more about your options for compensation, please contact the Chicago, IL office of Michael T. Friedman & Associates.