What is Whiplash?
Soft Tissue Injuries in a Truck Accident
Many different types of injuries are possible when a semi-truck or trailer is involved, but one of the more common injuries is known as “whiplash.” Whiplash’s more technical term is soft tissue injuries, and it occurs when an injury is sustained to the neck and shoulders.
The term whiplash comes from the physical action that occurs during an accident when the person’s head and neck snap quickly in a back and forth motion. These types of injuries are common in rear end accidents but can occur in other types.
One major problem with soft tissue injuries are they do not manifest immediately. In fact, the symptoms may not show up for several days after the accident.
This is why it is important that the car accident victim seek immediate medical attention as soon as the accident has occurred. He or she may feel just fine, but the full extent of that person’s injuries may not be known at that point.
Is Whiplash more Common in Truck Accidents?
Soft tissue injuries are also common in accidents involving large trucks. If a semi-truck comes from behind and hits a car, the sudden force from the impact will cause the car to suddenly move forward, which will almost certainly result in the back and forth motion to the driver’s or passenger’s neck and head. This sudden jolt can cause serious injuries to a person’s neck, joints, neck muscles and nerves.
Soft tissue injuries occur during high-impact crashes, but also lower-impact crashes, as well. Even the most “minor” accidents, including those in a parking lot or at a stoplight can produce enough force to cause soft tissue injuries.
How is Whiplash Diagnosed?
The symptoms that go along with soft tissue injuries or whiplash can range from continual neck pain, headaches, soreness and even neurological symptoms, such as numbness or a “pins and needles” sensation in the person’s neck. These symptoms can be temporary, but many of these symptoms, especially neck stiffness and soreness can be permanent. Other cognitive symptoms can go along with whiplash including memory loss, a loss of concentration, trouble sleeping, nervousness, anxiety, fatigue or even depression.
One problem with these injuries is the fact that accident victims do not always take them seriously. Many of these victims will simply suffer with these injuries and assume that the soreness and pain is temporary and will subside with rest and pain medication.
While this possibility is there, it is also more likely than nothing that these symptoms will continue into the indefinite future. In addition, some of the more serious cases of whiplash will result in significant structural injuries to the person’s neck, which can include disc herniation.
Soft tissue injuries can be tricky to diagnosis due to the fact that they do not always show up readily in an X-ray. Usually, a CT scan or MRI will be needed to properly diagnose the injury. After the injury is diagnosed, treatment includes pain medication to help control the symptoms.
How is it Treated?
More importantly, rehabilitation can be used to try to reduce the long-term effects of the injury. Physical therapy may be needed, including rotation and extension exercises performed regularly by the victim. Massage therapy has also proved to be successful in helping reduce the severity of the injury. However, many patients have complained that the pain and discomfort from these injuries is only slightly reduced by therapy and rehabilitation.
Depending on how severe the injury was and how long the patient waited before seeking treatment, these exercises and stretches may be something that he or she will need to do for the long-term into the foreseeable future.
Seek Timely Medical Attention and Legal Representation
The longer the patient waits to seek treatment, the harder it can be to diagnose the injury and to properly treat it. It is for this reason that it is absolutely imperative a car accident victim seek immediate medical attention as soon as an accident has occurred.
Many times, whiplash or soft tissue injuries are brushed off as they are considered minor or nonexistent injuries. However, they often do result in higher pain and suffering awards in settlements or court verdicts because they are long-lasting injuries that can have a significant impact on that person’s well-being.
It is important that these injuries are properly diagnosed and that an attorney advocate on behalf of the victim to ensure that he or she is properly compensated for these injuries.
Contact Us Today!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, or any other personal injury situation, call Joseph Wilson for a free initial consultation. Call us at (844) 563-9467.