Whiplash is one of the most common injuries resulting from Atlanta accidents, particularly car accidents, and is also one of the most misunderstood types of personal injuries. Unfortunately, whiplash injuries have been attached to a certain stigma over the years, which has resulted in the injury not being taken seriously by many people. Whiplash injuries are a very real type of soft tissue injury affecting the neck, caused by a sudden, sharp movement of the head and neck forwards, backwards or sideways. The most common cause of whiplash injuries is involvement in a car accident in which the victim is struck from the front, behind or side, causing the ligaments, tendons and muscles in the neck to move beyond their normal range of motion. Other causes of whiplash include slip and fall accidents and sports-related accidents. If you have suffered from a whiplash injury in Atlanta or Marietta, your first course of action should be to enlist the help of our qualified Georgia whiplash injury attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak as soon as possible.
Whiplash Injuries in Georgia and the U.S.
From 2000 to 2006, over 16,000 Georgia drivers were involved in car accidents where someone was killed, and over one million motorists were involved in accidents where someone suffered injuries like whiplash. About 11,000 individuals suffer from spinal cord injuries like whiplash in the United States each year, sometimes resulting in costly medical bills, rehabilitation and chronic pain. Unfortunately, when it comes to car accidents, even cars traveling at speeds as low as 15 miles per hour can produce enough energy to cause occupants to suffer from whiplash injuries, regardless of whether or not they were obeying Georgia's seat belt laws and wearing safety belts.
Symptoms of GA Whiplash Injuries
Symptoms of a whiplash injury may occur immediately or minutes to hours after the initial injury. Unfortunately, this means that whiplash victims who don’t seek immediate medical treatment may have a difficult time connecting the injury to the accident that caused the whiplash to occur, if a negligence claim is in order. Common whiplash symptoms include:
- Neck pain
- Tenderness along the back of the neck
- Neck swelling
- Difficulty moving the neck around
- Muscle spasms in the neck
Atlanta Whiplash Injury Treatment and Recovery
Because of the life-altering complications that can be associated with whiplash injuries, including more severe spinal cord injuries, it is advised that patients seek medical attention immediately if a whiplash injury is suspected. If the injury is serious, the patient may be transported to the emergency room for medical treatment. With less severe car accidents, sports injuries or other accidental injuries, emergency medical services may or may not be involved in the patient’s pre-hospital care. Emergency medical care may be necessary if the victim begins to experience symptoms like neck pain, shoulder pain, dizziness, headache, or weakness or tingling in the arms or legs. While most people can recover completely from whiplash injuries within the first six weeks of the accident, some Georgia car accident victims’ whiplash symptoms persist for a year or more. According to national statistics, there is a 40% chance of the victim experiencing symptoms after three months have passed, and an 18% chance that symptoms will remain after two years.
Pursuing Compensation for Marietta Whiplash Injuries
The most common method of pursuing reimbursement for whiplash injuries and associated expenses involves proving negligence. In a car accident for example, a victim whose whiplash injuries were caused by the negligent or careless driving of another motorist will be required to prove the following in order to hold that person accountable for his or her injuries:
- Duty of reasonable care: the law required the defendant to be reasonably careful, which, in the case of a car accident, includes a driver’s encounters with anyone on the road
- Violating duty of care: the defendant was not careful, such as is the case in failing to stop at a red light, failing to watch for crossing pedestrians, or failing to follow a safe distance behind other vehicles
- Causation: the injured victim must show that the defendant’s actions caused his or her injuries
- Damages and injuries: the injured victim must show that he or she has suffered a loss as a result of the defendant’s actions, including physical injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering
Contact a GA Whiplash Injury Attorney for Help
While there are far more devastating consequences that can result from Georgia car accidents, including amputation, paralysis and wrongful death, whiplash is a legitimate injury that can cause long-term disability, chronic pain, and decreased quality of life for affected individuals. If you or a loved one has sustained a whiplash injury caused by an Atlanta car accident, sports injury or another type of accident, contact a Marietta whiplash injury attorney today. After suffering a serious injury in a car accident, you should not be expected to shoulder the physical, emotional and financial burdens associated with the injury on your own. With the help of our qualified Georgia whiplash injury lawyers at Rechtman & Spevak, victims of whiplash injuries can protect their legal rights and pursue the financial compensation they deserve.