North Dakota Whiplash Injury Attorney

Man holding his neck after a whiplash injury

Whiplash is a neck injury that is the result of a forceful movement of the neck being pushed rapidly back and then forth. The neck moves back and forth like a whip being cracked and that is where the whiplash injury got its name. It is an injury commonly sustained in auto accidents and it can not only be significantly painful, but it can also cause a great deal of distress. Whiplash can cause a person to miss work due to pain, limited mobility, or the need to receive medical treatment or physical therapy. These lost wages can be particularly stressful when you consider the medical bills that can quickly pile up in the meantime.

While whiplash injuries can result from a number of accident types, they are strongly associated with rear-end collisions. When a car sustains impact to the back, the driver and other vehicle passengers may have their bodies thrown forward with their heads lagging behind. The neck becomes hyperextended before it snaps back to catch up with the head. These movements happen in a mere moment, but the impact they can have on the body can last indefinitely.

Whiplash can be difficult to diagnose and is all too easily dismissed as a soft tissue injury with minor symptoms. The team at Pringle & Herigstad is committed to educating insurance companies on just how serious a whiplash injury can be. We insist that these injuries and the big impacts they can have on a person’s life be properly not be downplayed and be properly compensated when suffered in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.

Symptoms of Whiplash

The symptoms of whiplash can range in severity and be the result of damage sustained by the neck, including damage to the neck’s muscles, intervertebral joints, and cervical spine discs. Severe cases of whiplash can even involve nerve root damage in the cervical spine. This can lead to both neurological and cognitive issues.

It is worth highlighting the fact that many who sustain a whiplash injury in an accident will not feel symptoms or the full force of symptoms until some time has passed. The adrenaline released during the accident can mask them for several days after the accident has occurred. Once symptoms start to arise, a whiplash injury victim may experience:

  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Radiating pain from the shoulders to the lower body
  • Reduced range of neck motion
  • Headaches

Some whiplash victims may also experience sleep disruptions, blurred vision, and tinnitus, which causes ringing in the ears, but these symptoms are far less common than the ones listed above.

Whiplash Treatment

Whiplash injury symptoms may take time to fully present, but injury victims should seek immediate medical attention following an accident. A delay in receiving medical treatment for your accident injuries could exacerbate them and lead to other health problems as well as lengthening the necessary course of treatment and necessitating more invasive treatment methods. So, after an accident, be sure to get checked out by a doctor.

Treatment for whiplash will vary depending on the severity of the injury and the extent of the symptoms that end up presenting in the patient. Treatment for whiplash may include:

  • Prescription medication
  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Rest
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Trigger point injections
  • Physical therapy

In the event that the whiplash has neurological or cognitive symptoms, then this may necessitate specialized treatment methods from a neurologist. 

What Should You Do Right After an Accident?

If you have been involved in an accident where you may have sustained injuries such as whiplash, call 911. Law enforcement will be dispatched to the scene as will emergency medical personnel should anyone have been hurt in the collision. An official accident report will result from law enforcement coming to the scene which will be a critical piece of evidence in any personal injury claim you may decide to pursue.

Document as much as you can safely document without exacerbating your injuries. This may involve taking pictures of the scene, the property damage sustained, and your injuries. It is also a good idea to get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident as witness accounts can be valuable in determining what actually happened in the accident and who was at fault.

You will need to notify your insurance company of the accident and you are contractually obligated to talk to them about what happened. Keep your answers short and to the point. Avoid speculation. A simple “I don’t know” is much better than guessing the answer. Additionally, know that you are under no obligation to speak to anyone else’s insurance company other than your own. The insurance company for the other driver will likely try to contact you. You do not have to speak to them and should not do so until you have retained and been advised by legal counsel.

Last, but certainly not least, you should go seek medical attention. Go get evaluated by a doctor and tell them what happened in the accident. They can check for injuries whose symptoms may not have presented. Immediate medical attention as well as consistent follow-up care as recommended by your doctor will be critical to properly addressing and resolving your injuries. It will also be of paramount importance in your personal injury claim as medical records will be at the center stage. A lack of medical treatment records will undermine your claim. Robust medical records documenting the impact the accident has had on your health will strengthen your claim.

North Dakota Whiplash Accident Injury Attorneys

After an accident, reach out to the dedicated North Dakota personal injury team at Pringle & Herigstad. We know accident injuries like whiplash can completely upturn a person’s life and we want to help you get back on track. A big part of that will be working to help ensure that you are properly compensated for the harm you have suffered and the impact your accident injuries have had on your health and well-being. Contact us today.