Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury many people experience at some point in their lives. Many people suffer a whiplash injury in a motor vehicle accident, but it can also stem from other incidents such as falling from a height or being struck by something.
The result of whiplash is pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulder region, making it difficult to move your head or work properly.
Throughout the remainder of this article, we will explain what whiplash is and delve a bit deeper into what causes this injury. We will also tackle how long you should be off work for whiplash as well as how to tell when you might be ready to return to work after suffering an injury accident here in Mississippi.
What Is Whiplash and What Causes It?
Whiplash is a neck injury that causes pain and stiffness in the neck. Those physical symptoms result from a person’s neck being rapidly thrown back and forth, like a whip. Most people who experience a car crash here in Jackson tend to, at the very least, walk away having sustained whiplash damage to their necks. A whiplash injury can result in a person experiencing:
- Painful headaches
- Tingling or numbness in their arms, shoulders, and hands
- Blurred vision
- Hearing loss
If you have been injured in an accident that results in you having whiplash, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Doing so will ensure nothing more serious is going on and will give you an opportunity to verify if you are taking the proper steps to recover from the whiplash. Many Jackson motorists who suffer whiplash have to take time away from work to recover and heal from the accident, depending on the severity of their injury.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From a Whiplash Injury?
The exact length of time it takes to recover from whiplash depends on several factors. These include:
- The severity of your injury
- Your age and health, including whether you have any pre-existing conditions
- Whether you receive any treatment and, if so, what type
- What kind of work you do and, more specifically, whether it is physically strenuous
It is also important to note that some people may never fully recover from their whiplash symptoms. Individuals who receive a chronic whiplash syndrome (CWS) are the ones who do not.
How Long Should You Be Away From Work Due to Whiplash?
How long you should be away from work due to whiplash depends on a few factors.
The length of your absence will depend on the severity of your whiplash, and also on the type of work you do. If you are an office worker who can sit at a desk for eight hours per day, then it’s likely that you’ll only need to take a few days off from your job at most.
On the other hand, if you are employed in construction or another job where heavy lifting or operating heavy machinery is involved, then it is best to take longer off so that your injury has time to heal completely before going back to work.
Most people with whiplash recover within 4-6 weeks, but this is not always true for everyone. As previously mentioned, some people never fully recover and may have ongoing pain problems as well as trouble sleeping or concentrating after their accident.
How Soon Can I Go Back to Work After Having Whiplash?
How soon you can return to work after you’ve suffered a whiplash in a car accident depends on the severity of your injury, as we talked about above.
If it is a mild case of whiplash, you may be able to go back to work within a few days and perform light duty. In severe cases, however, it is not unheard of for some people to take months off from work after suffering whiplash.
As a side note, injuries that happen when a person is on the clock at work may be subject to different timelines in accordance with Mississippi workers’ compensation laws. Your return to work may be contingent upon when you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), a stage at which you have reached a plateau in treatment, and you are not expected to improve emotionally or physically beyond where you are currently at.
While our attorneys here at Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC are not workers’ compensation attorneys, we can provide you with guidance about how to navigate the personal injury aspect of your case.
How To Get Compensation for Car Accident Whiplash
If you have been injured in a car accident here in Jackson or elsewhere in Mississippi, getting the right compensation for your injuries and other crash-related costs is important. To be able to secure a settlement, you need to prove that a negligent motorist breached their duty of care when they struck you. You also need to connect your whiplash injury to your crash. Finally, you need to produce some kind of documentation showing you suffered losses, whether monetary or in terms of quality of life of you and your loved ones, because of your accident.
Establishing the elements above is time-consuming and far from easy but necessary to file an auto insurance claim with the at-fault motorist’s carrier or to file a lawsuit in Hinds County civil court. Our Jackson car accident attorneys at Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC can help guide you through Mississippi’s legal system after you suffered a soft tissue injury, like whiplash, in a car crash. Our legal team can also share with you their experience of how long past clients have needed to be off work for whiplash, so that you have a better idea of what you might be able to expect yourself.
It is best to start building a car accident case as soon as possible after your Jackson accident occurs. Doing so allows for the preservation of evidence necessary to hold a negligent motorist liable for hurting you. Reach out to us to schedule a free case evaluation with our car accident lawyers here at Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC to establish an attorney-client relationship so we can get to work for you.