When your car was hit from behind at an Albuquerque intersection, your neck snapped back and forth violently from the force of impact. Since the crash, you have suffered from extreme neck pain and almost constant headaches. The insurance adjuster for the driver who hit you told you that, since you can't provide a medical scan of the injury, your claim is not worth much. You have been unable to work since the crash, and your doctors have been unable to provide relief, so you are struggling to believe that you don't have a strong claim for damages. What should you do?
If you are experiencing something similar to this scenario, we advise you to contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible. While some firms will turn down soft tissue cases such as whiplash, the attorneys at Keller & Keller are happy to provide you with a free case evaluation.
When Whiplash Is a Serious Injury
Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains are just like any other car accident injury. If you need medical attention, are unable to work, face weeks or months of expensive treatment, and may never fully recover, you have a serious injury and deserve compensation from the negligent party who caused the crash. It shouldn't matter if the injury is a broken bone or a strained muscle. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters will make the argument that whiplash is hard to prove and may even accuse you of faking the injury. However, with the proper medical records and an attorney willing to fight for you, you can make a strong claim.
Whiplash is primarily symptom-based, meaning a doctor will make a diagnosis based on the pain and limitations you describe. Symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Jaw pain
- Arm pain
- Ringing in your ears
- Back pain
- Visual disturbances
In addition, doctors are beginning to make connections between whiplash and traumatic brain injury (TBI). When the neck is snapped back and forth in a car accident, the motion could rattle the brain inside the skull, causing a concussion. If you are experiencing symptoms of whiplash, you should also be evaluated for TBI. Symptoms of a concussion can be similar to whiplash, but also include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Blurry vision
- Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
- Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
- Dizziness or "seeing stars"
For these reasons, whiplash should always be taken seriously. Seek medical treatment immediately after a car accident to be evaluated for severe complications.
What Is the Treatment for Whiplash?
It can take from several weeks to a few months for whiplash pain to subside. The treatment you are prescribed will depend on the severity and type symptoms you are experiencing, but will likely include:
- Medication. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories can help alleviate some symptoms.
- Physical therapy. Relaxing pinched nerves, improving blood circulation, and realigning your spine can be achieved with physical and massage therapy.
- Supportive device. It is important to stabilize the neck during healing, so a padded collar may be used.
For some people, the pain and neck stiffness caused by whiplash make it impossible to work. For these people, the cost of treatment combined with the loss of wages, can make it very difficult to make ends meet. When the crash was caused by another driver's negligence, the victim should not have to cover these costs out of their own pockets.
How an Attorney Can Help You Recover
Without an experienced injury attorney who has handled thousands of whiplash and soft tissue cases, you may not be able to get anywhere with an insurance company. In fact, it's not uncommon for insurance companies to view whiplash as a "mystery injury" and deny your claim. Having worked these cases since 1936, the attorneys at Keller & Keller know better.
If you have questions about your New Mexico whiplash case, call us for a FREE consultation. There is never a charge or any pressure. We can give you advice and guidance on how to protect your rights and get the settlement you deserve.