Whiplash is caused by a sudden jolt to the body, particularly the neck and head. It may seem like a relatively simple injury but it can cause serious damage to your tendons, muscles, and ligaments in your neck. Many people who suffer from traumatic whiplash will not have a large range of motion in the neck and head and there is pain involved with the injury. This will certainly inhibit the amount of work one can do on a daily basis.
Typically whiplash is the result of an auto accident. If you are driving a vehicle on the job and are rear-ended or hit elsewhere by another vehicle, your body will suffer trauma especially in the neck region. The sudden impact will move your neck beyond the normal range of motion, causing the strain, pain, and injury. While auto accidents are a chief cause of whiplash injuries on the job, there are many other on the job hazards that can cause a sudden and unexpected jolt to the body. Those working around industrial or heavy equipment can have accidents performing regular duties. Workers can also suffer whiplash and other neck injuries from a fall or while trying to protect themselves from an accident.
It does not take long for the injury to take a toll on an individual. The neck region will immediately begin to swell and pain will be felt in the upper body and neck areas, making it difficult to perform even the simplest job tasks. The reality of whiplash will not be apparent immediately after the incident but within the first 12 hours damage will be done and pain will worsen. Even those who consider light duty for whiplash injuries will have difficulties due to the loss of regular motion in the neck and shoulders.
Whiplash injuries, especially those left untreated or for individuals that continue to try working as usual can do serious damage for the long run. It is in your best interest to seek a complete evaluation from your doctor and follow the course of treatment recommended to prevent further bodily injury. You also need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to address your concerns about being unable to work due to the injury you suffered while on the job. You need to protect your best interests and ensure you are able to afford to live and continue treating your injury to prevent more debilitating issues in the future.