Common isn’t the only word used to describe whiplash. Another is minor—but is it? Anyone who meets a motor crash or any collision in Utah needs to undergo a thorough check-up for this injury since the consequences can be severe.
They might also have to work with a car accident attorney in Salt Lake City who can help them recover damages that can fund their medical expenses and even long-term care.
How Serious Is a Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash is an injury to the neck that occurs because of a sudden forward-backward movement of the head. It is one of the most common injuries in motor or vehicle crashes.
In the United States, it affects at least 2 million people. It is also expensive, costing Americans about $30 billion a year for management and treatment.
1. It Can Cause a Lot of Pain
It’s not uncommon for a person who met an accident to not feeling anything immediately after. Blame it on the adrenaline rush. As the body settles down, though, the pain seeps in.
The neck pain can last for a few weeks to months, depending on the severity of the whiplash. One reason is nerve damage or pinch. The moment the head moves forward, the nerves, especially around the cervical (or neck) area, stretch. When they jerk backward, it can pinch the nerves.
2. It Can Cause a Fracture in the Cervical Spine
If a person who suffered whiplash experienced difficulty in breathing, tingling in the limbs, or paralysis, they might have already sustained a spinal cord injury.
Whiplash can injure the cervical spine because of misalignment or fracture. Imagine a strong banging of the neck to the headrest or hyperextension of the neck at the moment of impact. Not only will this result in long hospital admission, but it will also lead to partial disability. It also demands expensive long-term care.
According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the cost for the treatment and management can be at least a million dollars. In the following year, the family might spend $184,000. The overall lifetime cost for a 25-year-old patient is a whopping $4 million.
3. It Increases the Risk of TMJ
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is one of the most complex joints in the body and responsible for head movements, such as chewing and speaking.
A 2007 research revealed that whiplash could cause delayed jaw pain for over 30% of the patients. The pain could be severe enough that it would lead to bouts of dizziness and ringing in the ears. It can also need treatment or, worse, surgery. The price of treating TMJ can vary. Moderate cases can cost up to $10,000 for a patient. If surgery is necessary, the fees can be worth at least $50,000.
Whiplash might be a common injury, but it is something one should not take lightly. It can lead to partial disability and long-term care. The patient might be less productive at work or even lose their livelihood.
People who experience it should undergo extensive tests immediately. They can help delay more severe problems. When money is an issue, it might be necessary to approach a car accident attorney to receive compensation.