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What to know about whiplash

Florida’s highways are among the deadliest in the United States. The U.S. Department of Transportation ranks the Sunshine State behind only California and Texas in the number of driving-related fatalities in 2017 with 3,112 people killed in 2,922 crashes involving fatalities.

The state also saw 402,385 total crashes that year which injured 254,310 people. Injuries range from death, to extremely severe conditions involving paralysis or the loss of a limb, to other permanent conditions which can be caused by a number of injuries in auto crashes, including whiplash. The Mayo Clinic says rear-end auto collisions are the most common cause of whiplash injuries.

Symptoms often begin within 24 hours of a crash

Whiplash is a neck injury caused by forceful, back-and-forth neck movement. It may also be called neck strain or sprain, or even cause herniated discs in the neck. The symptoms include:

  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Pain worsens after movement
  • Limited range of motion
  • Headaches starting at the base of a person’s skull
  • Pain or tenderness in the shoulder, arms or upper back
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

See a doctor if symptoms persist or worsen

Some people with whiplash-type injuries recover within a few weeks. However, pain and other symptoms can continue for months or years. If someone is in a crash, they should get checked out by a doctor if they feel any pain. It’s difficult to predict how long recovery will take, but complications can arise for anyone, including people who have had whiplash before, if they are older, and for those with existing neck or back pain when the injury occurs.

In Florida, following an automobile crash, to recover anything in excess of your out of pocket expenses, including damages for the pain and suffering you experience as a result of an injury, a physician must determine your injury is permanent in nature. Whiplash injuries often result in permanent injuries, but if you do not follow through with your medical care and treatment, allowing your doctor to properly evaluate your pain and limitations, you likely are limiting your recovery.

Injuries resulting from car accidents, including those involving whiplash injuries, can cause lengthy or permanent medical treatment leading to massive past and future medical bills, lost wages and other related expenses as well as other damages including pain and suffering you’ve already experienced as well as in the future. People who are injured here in Florida by someone else’s negligence, should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney who knows and understands Florida’s laws and will seek the compensation they deserve.

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