Whiplash injuries resulting from car accidents can lead to more than just neck pain and stiffness. Whiplash may also cause neurological problems due to the force applied to the brain during a car accident. While not all whiplash cases result in neurological complications, there is substantial evidence pointing towards a potential connection.
What Is Whiplash and What Causes It?
Whiplash occurs due to the rapid change in speed during an accident. Whether from slamming on the brakes or colliding with an object or car, the vehicle quickly and violently changes speed. During this, often the head is forcefully thrown forward and then snapped backward. This places immense strain on the delicate muscles, ligaments, discs, nerves, and vertebrae of the neck.
Consequently, several symptoms commonly accompany whiplash injuries. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbances, and sometimes even psychological distress. Many of these issues are caused by nerves. These kinds of neurological issues can be long-term or permanent, depending on the severity of the damage to the nerves.
Can Whiplash Cause Neurological Problems?
While whiplash’s primary symptoms may seem localized to the neck area initially, there is evidence suggesting a potential link between this condition and neurological problems. Research has shown that because of the sudden jerking motion during a car accident, there can be significant forces exerted on the brain within the skull, known as coup-contrecoup forces.
Coup-contrecoup injuries occur when forces cause the brain to hit both ends of the skull or move back and forth within it. As a result, the brain can sustain damage, leading to various neurological impairments. Some serious issues are concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Whiplash injuries can also cause nerve damage to the neck. Nerves regulate bodily functions, including motor control, sensation, and brain signal transmission. When nerves suffer trauma, they can disrupt these processes and potentially lead to neurological disorders such as peripheral neuropathy.
Researchers have conducted several studies exploring the link between whiplash injuries and neurological problems. One study showed that 34-75% of people who experience whiplash will experience prolonged neuropathic pain. The study provided further evidence that whiplash injuries can have long-term effects on the abilities of sense and use in the accident victim’s limbs.
Another study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Pain linked whiplash to long-term effects that are consistent with those of brain injury. These findings support that post-whiplash pain syndromes have a basis in neurological damage.
What Are The Symptoms Of Neurological Damage From Whiplash?
If you’ve suffered whiplash from a car accident, you may be suffering more than the standard problems. These are some of the symptoms to look out for that may be a sign of more serious neurological damage:
1. Impaired speech or communication difficulties.
2. Changes in memory, including difficulty remembering and retaining information.
3. Challenges with hearing or vision, such as ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or blurred vision.
4. Reduced mobility, lack of balance, or coordination issues affecting movement and physical abilities.
5. Diminished fine motor control, making tasks that require precision difficult.
6. Paralysis or partial loss of movement in certain body parts due to nerve damage.
7. Inability to regulate or control emotions effectively, resulting in mood swings or emotional instability.
8. Loss of consciousness or entering into a coma state characterized by extended periods of unconsciousness.
How Common Is Whiplash From A Car Accident?
In St. Petersburg, Florida, car accidents are not uncommon. With constant traffic flow and high population density, drivers are constantly at risk. This year in Pinellas County, there have already been 10,656 reported car crashes that resulted in injury. Additionally, each year an estimated 806,000 vehicle occupants suffer from whiplash injuries in motor vehicle crashes.
St. Pete is a major urban center within Florida thus the incidence of whiplash resulting from car accidents is likely to be relatively common. The frequency and severity of whiplash depend on factors such as the speed, direction, and type of impact. Whiplash is most likely to occur in rear-end collisions. However, it can also happen in other types, such as t-bone accidents or head-on collisions.
Will My Insurance Cover Neurological Problems From Whiplash?
Car insurance policies in Florida include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This provides medical benefits to cover injuries sustained in car accidents, up to $10,000 in medical benefits.
However, the extent of coverage for neurological problems resulting from whiplash may be much more costly than PIP provides for. These costs vary depending on the specific details of your insurance policy and the severity of your injuries. A St. Petersburg whiplash accident attorney can assist you in understanding the specific terms and limitations of your insurance.
Additionally, if another party was at fault for the accident, you may be able to pursue a claim against their liability insurance coverage. In such cases, it may be wise to seek legal advice from a St. Petersburg whiplash accident attorney. A legal representative with knowledge of whiplash and neurological problems can guide you through filing a claim.
Should I Sue For Whiplash-Related Neurological Problems in St. Petersburg?
If you are considering suing for whiplash-related neurological problems, it is essential to consult with a St. Petersburg whiplash accident attorney. Here are the general steps involved in this type of lawsuit:
Schedule an initial consultation with a St. Petersburg whiplash accident attorney who has experience with these types of claims. During this conversation, you can provide details about your case and discuss your options for pursuing legal action.
The attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of your case. This includes examining medical records, accident reports, and other relevant evidence. They may also consult with medical experts to assess the extent of your whiplash-related neurological problems.
Building the case
If the attorney determines that you have a valid claim, they will proceed to build a strong case on your behalf. This may involve gathering additional evidence, identifying liable parties (such as the negligent driver), and estimating damages.
Filing a lawsuit
If negotiations fail or no settlement can be reached with insurance companies, your attorney may file a lawsuit on your behalf. These lawsuits are in civil court and make a claim against the responsible party/parties. They seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
Negotiation or Trial
Generally, there are attempts at negotiation or pre-trial settlements between both sides. If no agreement is reached, then litigation continues until a trial takes place. During a trial, both parties present their cases in court for resolution by a judge or jury.
How Can A St. Petersburg Whiplash Accident Attorney Help Me?
It is crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced St. Petersburg whiplash accident attorney. These professionals have the necessary knowledge and expertise for the complexities of personal injury cases. The right attorney will have specific experience involving whiplash and its potential neurological implications.
By hiring a St. Petersburg whiplash accident attorney, you give yourself the best chance of achieving a fair settlement for your whiplash and neurological problems. They will work diligently to protect your interests and fight for the compensation you need for a full recovery.
Whiplash cases can be complex, with multiple factors to consider, such as proving negligence, assessing damages, and linking the whiplash injury to neurological problems. A skilled attorney possesses a deep understanding of personal injury law specific to St. Petersburg and Florida, allowing them to build a strong case on your behalf.
Your St. Petersburg whiplash accident attorney will thoroughly review the details of your accident and injuries during an initial consultation. They will assess the medical evidence, including medical records, imaging scans, and expert opinions, to determine the potential connection between your whiplash injury and neurological problems.
A St. Petersburg whiplash accident attorney will gather essential evidence to support your claim. Evidence includes accident reports, witness statements, medical records, diagnostic tests, and doctors’ opinions regarding the impact of whiplash on your neurological health. This evidence strengthens your case and helps establish liability.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Dealing with insurance companies can be daunting and overwhelming. Attorneys have experience negotiating with insurance adjusters to secure fair settlements for their clients. They will advocate for your rights and pursue maximum compensation.
In cases where there is a dispute about the link between your whiplash injury and neurological problems, an attorney can call upon expert witnesses. These experts specialize in neurology or related fields and can provide testimony supporting your claim.
In some cases, such as an underpaying insurer or an at-fault driver, an attorney will be prepared to take your case to trial. They will represent you in court, present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and assert your rights, aiming to win the compensation you deserve through litigation.
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident and its effects on your health can be distressing. An experienced attorney will not only handle the legal aspects but also provide guidance, support, and compassion throughout the entire process.
Contact Us Now For A Free Consultation
Our law firm is dedicated to helping accident victims secure the compensation they deserve for their suffering. Our team of skilled St. Petersburg whiplash accident attorneys understands the medical intricacies surrounding whiplash injuries and neurological problems. We will work tirelessly to investigate the details of your case, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights in a court of law if necessary.
Don’t let the consequences of a car accident impact your quality of life any longer. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you recover physically, emotionally, and financially from your whiplash-related injuries and associated neurological complications. Let us be your voice and fight for the justice you deserve.