Rear-end collisions happen more often than you may think. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says rear-end accidents are the most common type of car wrecks. If another vehicle hits yours from behind, you may expect to develop whiplash-associated disorder.
Whiplash-associated disorder is the collective name for the physical and psychological effects you experience after a neck injury. If your condition becomes chronic or worsens, though, it may be something considerably more serious.
The symptoms of whiplash-associated disorder
Individuals with whiplash-associated disorder often experience headaches, blurred vision, nausea, concentration difficulties, pain and numbness. While these symptoms may go away on their own, your doctor may recommend a comprehensive treatment plan. If your symptoms do not improve, however, you may need to seek a second opinion or visit a neurologist.
A possible cerebrospinal fluid leak
A recent study found that almost half of individuals with whiplash-associated disorder had cerebrospinal fluid leaks. This condition occurs when the fluid that encases the brain and spinal cord breaks through its barrier and leaks into other parts of the body. A cerebrospinal fluid leak is typically a medical emergency, as it may lead to seizures, brain infections or other catastrophic complications.
The risk of misdiagnosis
Because many of the symptoms of a cerebrospinal fluid leak are the same as whiplash-associated disorder, your doctor may either misdiagnose your leak or miss it altogether. Therefore, to boost your chances of recovering completely, you may need to be persistent with health care professionals.
While diagnosing and treating a cerebrospinal fluid leak can be expensive, you probably do not have to pay for the consequences of another person’s poor driving. Ultimately, you may be able to pursue substantial compensation from the driver who caused the rear-end collision that injured you.