Soft Tissue & Whiplash Injury Lawyers in Federal Way
Even relatively minor accidents can end up causing debilitating injuries and seriously impacting victims’ lives.
Whiplash is a good example of an injury that may not be immediately apparent after an accident but which can develop later.
In some cases, the pain dissipates quickly but it can remain and have a debilitating influence.
If your quality of life has been affected by a whiplash injury from an accident that was the fault of another party, you may be able to claim compensation for damages.
The personal injury lawyers at Park Chenaur in Federal Way are ready to help you claim what you deserve and move on with your life.
Is whiplash considered a soft tissue injury?
Whiplash occurs when soft tissues are injured along the spine, either in the neck or in the upper back.
It is considered a soft tissue injury, usually resulting in sprains, strains, and other painful conditions.
Whiplash is particularly common in motor vehicle accidents. In rear-end collisions, especially, the body (and the head) may be jolted violently as a result of the impact, causing damage to the muscles and other soft tissues.
Some people may instantly feel the effects of whiplash while others walk away and only later experience pain and discomfort. The injuries can be invisible and so it is always important to seek immediate medical attention after an accident.
Whiplash is generally associated with temporary discomfort. However, while most people make a full recovery after a few weeks, soft tissue injuries like whiplash can last for extended periods of time.
Sometimes, the pain becomes chronic and returns regularly.
This can create difficulties with employment and engaging in hobbies, sports, and leisure activities.
Whiplash can even cause permanent damage with lifelong consequences for the victim, including limited mobility.
Are vehicle accidents the only cause of whiplash?
The most common causes of whiplash are vehicle accidents and the victims are usually car drivers, motorcycle riders, cyclists, and pedestrians.
However, other types of accidents can cause whiplash. For instance:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Recreational or sports accidents
- Accidents involving impact from an object
If you suffer any serious accident, even if you think you’re not injured, get a full medical assessment so that you can rule out vertebral fractures and spinal cord injuries.
What are the main symptoms of a whiplash injury?
The main symptoms of soft tissue whiplash injuries include:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness in the neck area
- Limited range of motion in the neck
- Radiating pain in the shoulders, upper arms, and torso
- Dizziness and balance problems
- Blurred vision
- Numbness in the arms/hands
- Fatigue and muscle weakness
- Memory and concentration issues
- Sleep problems
What are the main treatments for whiplash?
To diagnose a soft tissue injury like whiplash, your doctor will generally check the range of motion and strength in your neck, arms, and shoulders and test your reflexes.
You may undergo an x-ray to rule out fractures or other spinal problems. Various other tests, such as CT scans and MRIs may be performed if an injury is suspected but these tests may not identify whiplash.
A physical examination of the injured area may reveal muscle damage, swelling or spasms, which will help diagnose the injury.
If you are diagnosed with whiplash, the first challenge is to relieve the pain and to help you carry out daily tasks as best as you can.
In addition to prescribing a period of rest, various types of pain medication may be provided by your doctor. These include both over-the-counter and prescription painkillers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatories.
Some people with particularly severe injuries must wear a soft foam cervical collar in order to immobilize the neck for healing to take place.
Later on, physical therapy and exercise may be recommended to restore full range of motion in the neck, shoulders, and arms, helping to build up weakened muscles.
Other treatments may include:
- Heat and ice packs
- Massage therapy
- Electrical stimulation
- Controlled machine-assisted strengthening exercises
What compensation can be recovered for whiplash in Washington?
A variety of costs may be incurred by victims of soft tissue injury accidents and their families.
These can be recovered by a claim against the at-fault party. Typically, the following compensation may be recovered, depending on the extent of the whiplash injury:
- Past and present costs of medical treatment, including hospital fees, medication, surgical costs, etc.
- Future costs of medical treatment, including physiotherapy
- Lost wages and benefits due to the inability to work
- Future lost income
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
While financial compensation never fully makes up for the loss of quality of life, it can help to draw a line under the incident and allow victims to face the future with more confidence.
Do you need help with claiming for a whiplash injury?
Mounting medical bills from whiplash injuries can cause severe financial difficulties for whiplash victims and their families.
If you or a loved one has suffered a whiplash injury, contact Park Chenaur so that our personal injury lawyers can get to work on your case immediately.
Your initial consultation is free and we can come to you if you can’t make it into our office.