Motor vehicle accidents in Rhode Island are a common cause of whiplash. The word “whiplash” is often a confusing term because it is used to describe both the symptoms and the mechanism of the injury caused by an accident. Nearly everyone suffering whiplash will experience neck pain. However, often times, the pain associated with the injury might not appear instantly or even within a day or two of the accident.
Common symptoms associated with a whiplash range from mild to severe. If the problem is left untreated, the condition could lead to depression.
Whiplash is often associated with the motor vehicle accident where the victim’s vehicle is struck from behind by another car, often referred to as the “bullet car.” However, the condition can happen in nearly any type of collision including a front impact crash or hit from the side collision.
The impact causes the severe energy to pass from the striking or bullet vehicle into the victim’s car. The severity of the accident is determined by the energy and weight of both vehicles and the speed or lack of speed of each automobile. Faster, larger vehicles push greater amounts of energy into the struck vehicle, increasing the severity of whiplash and other injuries.
Whiplash Symptoms as a Result of Rhode Island car accident
Not every individual struck from behind or involved in a vehicle accident will suffer serious neck injuries including whiplash. In fact, many of these signs and symptoms take days or weeks to appear, as damaged muscle becomes more inflamed over time. The most common types of neck injury whiplash symptoms include:
• Severe Headaches – If upper cervical discs, atlanto-axial joints and atlanto-occipital joints become injured, the symptoms of whiplash can produce severe and often unbearable migraine headaches.
• Discomfort in the Arms, Wrist and Hands – The heaviness and pain in the upper extremities are often caused by accident-related herniated disc injuries because of nerve compression. In some cases, the herniated disc condition will cause “referred pain” when the discomfort, take or agony radiates to another area of the body.
• Lower Back Pain – Common conditions of neck injuries produce lower back pain because of damage to the facet joints, discs and sacroiliac joints in the lower spinal column.
• Difficulties with Memory and Concentration – Many victims of a whiplash vehicle accident injury suffered challenges with memory and concentration, losing their ability to remain focused on their direct actions. In many incidences, these difficulties cause depression and irritability.
• Sleep Disturbance – The pain, discomfort and feelings of depression can cause a significant disturbance in nightly sleep patterns, where lack of a good night sleep exacerbates the problem.
Other significant symptoms often involve blurry vision, fatigue, facial tingling and tinnitus (ringing sensation in the years).
Diagnosing Whiplash in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Not every emergency room medical professional will ask the patient exactly how the accident happened. Tests performed immediately in the hospital do not always accurately diagnose whiplash. It may take follow-up medical visits to diagnose and treat the problem. Common diagnostic tools to detect whiplash and other serious neck and spinal cord injuries include:
• MRI Scan – Magnetic Resonance Imaging serves as an effective tool for determining back problems when the physician suspects a herniated disk, disc injury or spinal cord compression where the nerves or pinched are damaged.
• X-Rays – Taking an x-ray of the back, neck in brain can detect abnormal bone anatomy including irregular disc height, disc compression, bone spurs and other problems.
If you have been injured in a serious RI car accident, you are likely suffering from various painful side effects including cervical spine injuries and whiplash. If another driver caused the Providence accident, you likely have the right to file civil action seeking compensation against them. Hiring a Rhode Island personal injury attorney who specializes in cases involving whiplash injury in RI motor vehicle accidents can help you collect maximum compensation to cover your injuries. These types of cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not need to pay any upfront fees for legal representation.
Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.