If you’re traveling as a driver or passenger in a vehicle along a Florida highway, and another vehicle hits you from behind or to the side, you might suffer severe injuries. In fact, blunt force trauma upon impact in a motor vehicle collision can place you in a life-threatening situation. Even a non-life-threatening injury, such as whiplash, might require admission to a hospital and weeks of post-collision medical care. Whiplash, in particular, sometimes develops into a chronic pain condition.
It’s important to note that the term “whiplash” refers to multiple types of injury that occur in the upper body, often caused by a sudden and forceful hit or violent shaking. There are numerous symptoms that can occur immediately after a crash or days or weeks later, which you’ll want to let your doctor know about right away because they suggest a possible whiplash injury.
The scope of a whiplash injury often extends beyond the neck area
When someone mentions “whiplash” to you, you might automatically associate the word with a stiff neck. Neck pain, discomfort or immobility often accompany whiplash; however, the following list includes additional symptoms that signal whiplash injuries, as well:
- Blurred vision
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
- Anxiety, irritability or abrupt mood swings
- Lower back pain
- Shoulder discomfort
- Pain, tingling or numbness in arms or hands
Any one of these symptoms may be present in someone who has suffered a whiplash injury in a car accident. You’ll notice that several symptoms (i.e., abrupt mood swings, blurred vision, dizziness and fatigue) are also symptoms of traumatic brain injury. It’s important to seek medical attention and to inform the attending physician that you were recently involved in a motor vehicle collision.
Medical examination and testing can rule out or diagnose whiplash
When you tell a doctor that you are experiencing symptoms following a car accident (whether it’s an hour, several days or a couple weeks later), he or she knows what types of tests to run and examinations to perform to either diagnose or rule out whiplash.
You might need prescription pain medication to help alleviate pain. Other whiplash treatments often include wearing a neck brace or attending physical therapy sessions to restore mobility. If another person’s negligence was the cause of the collision that resulted in your injuries, state law allows you to seek restitution in court.
What exactly is a personal injury claim?
If you file a personal injury claim following a motor vehicle collision in Florida, you become a plaintiff in a lawsuit, in which case you are tasked with providing evidence to show that the defendant’s negligence caused a car accident, which was a direct cause of injury to you or your immediate family member.
In such cases, it’s important to gather as much evidence as possible so that the court or jury will be convinced enough to rule in your favor. It’s also helpful (and less stressful) to seek legal support before heading to court.