Is Whiplash a Concussion?

Is Whiplash a Concussion?

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Is Whiplash a Concussion?

Being hurt in an accident raises many questions, chief among them is, "Is whiplash a concussion?" Both whiplash and concussions are serious injuries that you may sustain after a vehicle accident, especially if someone rear-ends you. There are some risk factors associated with the medical treatment needed for whiplash, such as the speed at which the car hit you. It's important to get medical care as soon as possible after you've been hurt. 

Whiplash is caused by the sudden motion of being jerked forward and then back in a vehicle accident. However, although a concussion might also occur in connection with whiplash, they are not one in the same and it is important to be evaluated by a medical professional to determine the true extent of your injuries. Only a qualified physician conducts the necessary screenings and tests to determine whether or not you have a whiplash injury, a concussion, both or something else. The sooner that you can speak with a knowledgeable medical professional, the easier it will be to pursue compensation for your injuries.

While a concussion can occur from a variety of different causes, such as a sports injury, a fall, or a vehicle accident, whiplash injuries are most frequently associated with car accidents. 

Common symptoms of whiplash and head injuries should always prompt you to visit your doctor's office. If chronic symptoms persist, you might take over-the-counter pain medications. If you begin to experience cognitive symptoms like poor memory, you might also have a concussion or other head injury. Talk to your doctor about concussion guidelines and characteristics consistent with head injuries. 

Common Injuries in Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle accidents are known for causing a broad range of injuries. Two of the most commonly reported medical conditions are concussions and whiplash. These injuries appear frequently in rear-end collisions but can occur as a result of several different types of incidents. While whiplash treatment and concussion treatment may occur together because of a dual injury, it is also very important to recognize how the symptoms of each one are unique so that you can better report these symptoms to your doctor.

One of the ways that whiplash and concussions are similar is that their symptoms may not present immediately after the accident. It can take hours or even a couple of days to understand how a vehicle wreck has impacted your body. This makes it extremely important to identify a doctor who can give you a firm diagnosis and can help you determine which of these is impacting you.

Although the initial impact of the accident can leave you with many different injuries, including head trauma, rear impact accidents often lead to concussions and whiplash. If your motor vehicle injury was caused by another person's negligence, you deserve to have your head injury, traumatic brain injury, or neck injury treated by medical professionals before you set up a time to meet with a personal injury lawyer. 

Understanding Whiplash Symptoms

Whiplash is a very particular form of neck strain that is caused by forceful or sudden movement of the head and neck. The tendons and muscles in the neck are stretched and torn in one or more places when whiplash occurs, usually because of the sudden impact of a vehicle striking something or being struck by someone else. Although some people do experience whiplash pain immediately, it is often shielded by the shock of going through the accident and by the adrenaline coursing through your body. This means you may not recognize its impacts immediately.

The symptoms of whiplash can include headaches at the base of the skull, loss of range of motion and stiffness, tenderness in the neck and head, or pain when moving. If you believe you might have whiplash, you should get medical attention right away to ensure that no more serious injuries have occurred. Most frequently, whiplash is treated with ice and rest, but it can also be treated with physical therapy, depending on the diagnosis of your doctor.

If you're already dealing with neck pain, blurred vision, and chronic pain, there's a chance that you might be dealing with a soft tissue injury or whiplash-type injury. If you're experiencing poor recovery, then you must share this with your doctor to determine the best treatment types. You might be able to find physical therapists in your area who can help you with these signs of injury, but your doctor might also want to run neuropsychological tests as well to rule out a concussion injury. 

Whiplash is extremely common in rear-end collisions, especially when a seatbelt is worn. The seatbelt helps to protect your body from more severe injuries in an accident but may leave you suffering the consequences of whiplash instead. When this has happened to you, you need to share your concerns with your doctor. Many people have whiplash symptoms that can clear up in a couple of weeks, but more severe cases may take longer.

Your doctor might also recommend chiropractic treatment for patients with injury symptoms consistent with car accident issues. A car accident can impact your daily living, and these factors should all be shared as part of your personal injury lawsuit. Your doctor can tell you more about your capacity for recovery. At some point, you might reach the point at which you still suffer chronic pain from whiplash but have no likelihood of improved conditions in the future. For severe crash victims, this is a common issue. 

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What Is a Concussion?

    Whiplash is the primary damage that most frequently affects the shoulders and the neck when the head jerks forward during a collision. However, the brain is also impacted in many cases by this movement and can bump into the hard surface of the skull. The head can also strike the interior of the car or be further impacted by the dashboard or the windshield. These kinds of movements override the protective fluid inside your skull and can also cause more serious brain damage. Concussions are relatively common and can run the gamut from mild to serious brain injuries.

    Much like whiplash, you may not experience these symptoms right away but the major signs of a concussion are cognitive. These include memory problems, confusion, uncharacteristic clumsiness, sluggishness, and changes in mood. Getting treatment quickly is crucial as it can often be connected to other types of brain injuries.

  • Do I Have Both a Concussion and a Brain Injury?

    You want to know the answer to the question, "Is whiplash a concussion?" You already know that whiplash is not a concussion, but that it can occur at the same time. If you now know that the answer is no, you must understand the circumstances in which you may have sustained both of these injuries.

    The same jerking forward movement that happens in many rear-end car accidents could both cause your brain to collide with the skull and cause tendons to tear. This means that it is extremely common for car accident victims to have both a concussion and whiplash. This is one reason why you need to seek immediate medical attention, and also report any changes and new symptoms to your doctor in the days following the accident.

    Since many people don't immediately experience problems with concussions or whiplash, the more you begin to notice these symptoms and realize that you're suffering, the more important it is to get help from someone. You may be referred from your primary care doctor to a specialist who can help you treat the underlying symptoms. This should be a doctor who is familiar with identifying injuries from car accidents.

  • Are Concussions and Whiplash Related?

    Both concussions and whiplash can cause victims to experience pain, to suffer long-term mental health or physical health effects, or to even miss time at work. They can also contribute to very high lost wages and medical bills. Every accident is different, which makes it critical to speak with your doctor about your overall changes in circumstances. You need a legal team that has a broad range of experience in personal injury law, and a team that cares about recovering maximum compensation for you.

    Covering your medical bills from the accident is just one piece of the bigger puzzle associated with these problems. You need someone who can see the full picture of how your life has been changed by the accident, including past and future medical expenses, and other ways that your life will continue to be influenced by this serious incident. If someone else was negligent and left you reeling with the consequences, you need to consult with a lawyer who cares about your future. 

  • What to Do After Whiplash to Protect Your Legal Rights 

    Now that you know that concussion is not the same as whiplash but that both can occur, use the information you have learned to advocate for yourself when speaking with your doctor. 

    Get copies of your medical records and report any changes in your symptoms and condition to your doctor. This is one of the best ways to ensure that you continue to monitor your overall health and put yourself in the best position for a full and fair recovery. No victim should have to go through the experience of trying to recover compensation because of these serious and unfortunate issues, however, it is vital to have a lawyer at your side to help you with this process. 

    An attorney can advocate for your best interests and can help you decide what you need to know about accepting settlement offers and car accident cases. Although concussions and whiplash may resolve relatively quickly, they have certainly had an impact on your life, especially if they occurred with other serious injuries. 

    If you have experienced the unfortunate effects of whiplash or a concussion due to an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get more information.

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