Whiplash injuries can be extremely painful, even debilitating, in some cases. If you or a loved one has experienced whiplash due to another driver’s negligence, you may have a valid claim for compensation. The prominent Chicago personal injury attorneys at Curcio Law Firm have been representing clients who receive injuries such as whiplash for over 60 years. Contact us today to learn more about your car accident injury and what you need to know before making a whiplash claim.

Suffering from whiplash is commonplace for those who have been in a car accident. Most often, this is a result from a vehicle being struck from behind. More often than not, a collision will suddenly jerk a person’s body forward, while the head lags behind. This instant acceleration and deceleration of force snaps a person’s neck and torso like a whip. This motion results in the hyperextension of the neck, which is what we call whiplash.

For anyone who has ever had whiplash, they know how serious and painful the injury can be. The medical term describes a soft tissue injury or damage of the bone structures of the neck and back area. Over time, the injury can get progressively worse. The pain and discomfort that comes from whiplash can limit or even restrict someone’s ability to perform everyday activities, such as working or driving.

People who experience whiplash may notice symptoms such as:

  • Neck pain
  • Reduced mobility of neck
    • Difficulty moving the head up, down, or from side to side.
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Upper and lower back pain
  • Pain in shoulders or arms
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue and nausea
  • Trouble sleeping

In addition to physical symptoms, a person might also experience psychological symptoms. These include PTSD, travel anxiety, flashbacks, and avoidance of travel.

If you think you may have whiplash following an accident, you should visit a doctor right away. Sometimes, over-the-counter medication and at-home care are enough to treat the injury. In more serious cases, prescription medication, physical therapy, or specialized pain treatment may be necessary. You'll want to see a professional to insure the pain is just whiplash, as there are a host of car accident related spine injuries
To lessen the pain of your whiplash injury, your doctor will likely recommend one or more of the following treatments:

  • Rest
  • Heat or cold (such as a heating pad or ice pack)
  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Prescription medication (provided by your doctor)
  • Muscle relaxants

There is also the possibility that your doctor recommends a foam collar to stabilize your neck. These collars should only be used for the first few days following the incident and only for up to three hours at a time.

Whiplash symptoms may not always appear immediately after the accident. Generally, symptoms appear within 24 hours following the accident. However, it may also be that you start to notice symptoms several days later.
You should schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you notice symptoms of whiplash. If your numbness, weakness, or other symptoms spread to your arms or shoulders, you should seek treatment immediately. You should also seek urgent care if movement of your head is restricted or severely painful.

The symptoms of a whiplash injury can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks or even months. Very few people have ever experienced long-term complications as a result of whiplash. The average recovery time for symptoms is typically a few weeks, with most people having fully recovered within three months.

In order to make a whiplash claim, there are a few steps you should take to ensure your case is valid. The first thing to do following the accident is to exchange information with the other party and file a police report. This information includes their name, contact information, insurance provider and policy number. You should also make a note of their license plate number. If the incident was a hit-and-run and the guilty party fled the scene or otherwise refuses to provide insurance details, call the police immediately. They will be able to file a report and provide you with a crime reference number.

While still at the scene, take photographs of the area where the accident occurred, as well as any damage done to either or both cars. If there were witnesses to the accident, it may be helpful to get their contact details, as well. Their independent and unbiased witness to the accident can significantly help your case.

The next step is to reach out to your own insurance provider. Report the accident and any injuries to you and your passengers, if any. As the driver, you have a responsibility to inform your insurance company within 24 hours following the incident, even if you were not the one responsible.

Once you notice symptoms of whiplash, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Inform the healthcare professional of your symptoms and take their advice in regards to treatment and recovery. Having this in your medical records can also be beneficial to your case in proving your whiplash injury.

Finally, seek legal advice. At Curcio Law Firm, we offer free consultations for victims of personal injury. Once you provide our attorneys with the information surrounding your injury, we will offer our professional advice and if applicable, our support and representation. Our experienced Chicago whiplash claim lawyers will assist you in filing your claim and work to get you the financial and rehabilitation assistance you deserve.

Chicago Whiplash Claim Attorney

Without an experienced personal injury attorney, victims of whiplash injuries will most likely fail to file a viable whiplash claim or will simply not be well enough prepared to handle settlement negotiation in a favorable manner. To ensure you receive your best chance at receiving compensation for a whiplash claim, hire one of our Chicago whiplash claim attorneys at Curcio Law Firm today. You can call us at 312-321-1111 or fill out an online claim form below to request a free consultation.