Car accidents in Atlanta can happen in the blink of an eye. Sometimes, though, the pain and complications from these accidents linger far longer than the initial shock. Whiplash is one such silent ailment, often making its presence felt only after the dust has settled. But with the right information, you can catch it early and improve your chances of a full recovery.
The W. Winston Briggs Law Firm wants to help you recognize and respond to the silent alarm of whiplash. Our car accident attorney in Atlanta knows the toll whiplash can take and the importance of recovering fair compensation for your injuries.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury resulting from a forceful, rapid back-and-forth neck movement. This motion resembles what happens when someone cracks a whip, which is how the injury gets its name. Whiplash injuries are often related to rear-end car accidents but can also result from sports accidents, physical abuse, and other types of trauma.
The real challenge with whiplash is that its symptoms might not appear immediately after the accident. In fact, they can take hours, days, or even longer to manifest. That’s why it’s crucial to be informed about its signs and proactive in seeking medical attention, even if you feel “fine” after a crash.
How Do Crashes Cause Whiplash Injuries?
The impact of a crash, especially from the rear, propels occupants forward and then rapidly snaps them back, potentially causing a whiplash injury. Let’s break this down:
- Initial Impact: When something strikes a car, especially from behind, the bodies of those inside continue moving forward due to inertia. Even if you’re wearing a seatbelt, your head will jerk forward before the seatbelt catches you.
- Rapid Recoil: Almost immediately after the forward motion, the head is thrown backward against the headrest. This sudden change in motion puts intense strain on neck muscles and ligaments.
- Secondary Movement: Depending on the collision’s force and direction, there might also be a side-to-side motion. This can further complicate the injury, leading to strains on both sides of the neck.
The essence of whiplash lies in this rapid, forceful motion. The neck cannot easily handle such sudden and violent stress. As a result, soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) in the neck can stretch and tear, leading to the symptoms of whiplash.
Common Symptoms of Whiplash
According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the most common signs and symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck discomfort
- Reduced neck mobility
- Headaches, typically originating at the base of the skull
- Tingling or numbness in the arms.
- Tenderness in the shoulders, upper back, or arms
- Feeling drained or fatigued
Some people experience additional symptoms after sustaining a whiplash injury. Those symptoms include:
- Sleep issues
- Blurred vision.
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory lapses
- Mood fluctuations
Compensation for Whiplash Injuries in Atlanta
While whiplash injuries can cause intense pain and other symptoms, a car accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation from the driver who hit you. With the right legal support, you could recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of future treatments you might need
- Lost wages and reduced future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Damaged personal property
Deadline to File a Whiplash Injury Lawsuit
According to Georgia’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases, you have two years from your injury date to file a lawsuit. However, we recommend you speak to an attorney immediately after the crash, as crucial evidence can deteriorate or disappear within days or weeks. Talking to a car accident lawyer right away gives you a better chance of recovering the money you need.
If you sustained a whiplash injury in an Atlanta car accident caused by someone else, the W. Winston Briggs Law Firm can help you pursue fair compensation. Call (404) 522-1500 or reach out online for a complimentary case review.