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What is Late Whiplash Syndrome?

Senior male driver with a whiplash injury standing by a damaged car after an accident.

Whiplash is a common car accident injury that typically occurs in rear-end collisions. It results from a sudden force jerking the neck back and forth. This can damage muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons in the neck and spinal column. While symptoms typically manifest within 24 hours, they may also appear weeks or months later. This is known as delayed whiplash or late whiplash syndrome.

Research shows that an estimated 14% to 42% of whiplash sufferers develop chronic symptoms. It's important to know which signs to watch out for and what steps to take when pursuing a claim. Attorney Jeremy Vishno discusses the common delayed whiplash symptoms, treatment options, and legal avenues to explore.

What are the common symptoms of late whiplash syndrome?

Whiplash symptoms can vary from one individual to the next. They often depend on the severity of the injury and your overall health. Common symptoms of delayed whiplash include:

  • Persistent or recurring neck pain that worsens with movement.
  • Chronic headaches, particularly starting at the base of the skull or radiating to the temples.
  • Shoulder pain, often extending from the neck or upper back.
  • Upper and lower back pain.
  • Stiffness in the neck, shoulders, or back.
  • Reduced range of motion.
  • Chronic fatigue or low energy levels.
  • Dizziness or a sensation of lightheadedness.
  • Vision problems such as blurred or double vision.
  • Difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and cognitive issues.
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Irritability, anxiety, or depression.
  • Involuntary muscle contractions or spasms.

In rare cases, extreme whiplash symptoms can include vision loss, weakness in the limbs, and excruciating pain.

What is the diagnosis and treatment for late whiplash syndrome?

If you're experiencing any whiplash symptoms, it's important to see a doctor as soon as possible. If left untreated, this condition can worsen over time. When seeking medical help for a whiplash injury, a doctor can assess the condition, order imaging tests, and recommend a treatment plan. The typical treatment for late whiplash syndrome includes:

  • Rest, heat, or cold therapy.
  • Over-the-counter or prescription pain medications.
  • Prescribed muscle relaxers.
  • Message therapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic care.
  • Physical therapy.
  • A cervical collar for neck support.
  • Lifestyle modification and ergonomic adjustments.

Can a whiplash claim be denied?

Insurance providers may minimize or deny a whiplash claim for several reasons, including:

  • Lack of medical evidence: If you don't seek immediate medical attention or fail to follow through with your treatment plan, the insurance company may argue that your injuries aren't severe or directly related to the accident.
  • Claiming it's a pre-existing condition: If you had a pre-existing neck injury or medical condition, the insurance company might argue that your whiplash symptoms are the result of this condition rather than the accident.
  • Disputes over liability: A dispute over who is at fault for the accident can delay or complicate the claims process.
  • Inadequate documentation: Insufficient evidence, such as photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, medical records, or police reports, can weaken your whiplash claim.
  • Inconsistent statements: Providing inconsistent or contradictory statements about the accident can raise doubts about the legitimacy of your whiplash claim.

It's important to note that you may still have options if the insurance company challenges or flat-out denies your whiplash claim. Consulting with an experienced car accident attorney can help you understand your rights.

What should I do if I sustained whiplash due to a car accident?

No matter how minor whiplash symptoms may be, they should be taken seriously. You have the right to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other accident-related damages. It's important not to let insurance companies downplay the severity of your whiplash symptoms, especially when they're delayed. Also, don't accept any settlement offer without first talking to a lawyer.

If you're suffering from late whiplash syndrome, reach out to Attorney Jeremy Vishno. He can fight to protect your rights and help you receive the necessary medical treatment and compensation you deserve. Attorney Vishno operates on a contingency fee basis. This means you don't pay any legal fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf. To learn more, contact us for a free consultation. We proudly serve injured motorists in Fairfield County and throughout Connecticut.

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