The first thing to do for whiplash after a car accident is to get your injury treated by a doctor. You may assume that whiplash, a soft tissue injury, is not as serious as a spinal cord injury, which you can also suffer after a car accident.
Whiplash may cause mild complications at first. But, if left untreated, long-term complications can set in. It is best to seek medical treatment for whiplash and any other injuries after a car accident.
Knowing When You Have Whiplash
Whiplash is sometimes difficult to detect because the condition does not always manifest immediately after a car accident. Generally, whiplash symptoms can develop a day or two after your car accident. However, it may take weeks for you to recognize the signs or symptoms of whiplash.
Some of the symptoms of whiplash after a car accident include:
- Back pain
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Numbness or weakness in the arms or legs
- Ringing in the ears
- Tenderness in the neck, back, and shoulders
- Severe headaches
You should return to your doctor if — or when — these and other signs or symptoms occur.
How Whiplash Occurs
Whiplash happens when your head is abruptly — and often forcefully — thrown back and forth after another vehicle hits your car. This sudden thrust can injure neck tissues and other parts of your body.
A rear-end accident is known for causing this injury, primarily because of the sudden forward and backward thrust of your head after a car gets hit from behind.
Treating a Whiplash Injury
The treatment of a whiplash injury all depends on the severity of the injury. A whiplash injury can range from mild to severe. For instance, if you have a mild case of whiplash, your doctor may advise you to do several things, such as:
- Applying heat or cold to your neck multiple times a day
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen)
- Doing stretching exercises to help the range of motion in your neck
If your symptoms have not improved over time, or your muscles become tight, and your pain is ongoing, your doctor may recommend that you see a physical therapist.
Severe Cases of Whiplash
You may experience nagging pain and discomfort in your neck or other parts of your body that affects your daily routine. These signs may indicate that your initial whiplash injury is getting worse. This is the time to go back to your doctor and discuss your worsening condition.
Ordering Diagnostic Tests
According to Mayo Clinic, if pain worsens in your neck and other parts of our body, a doctor may also order X-rays or imaging tests to make sure that other health conditions have not developed.
Depending on your test results, your doctor could recommend that you see a chiropractor or undergo surgery or other types of treatment to improve your condition.
If you suffered your whiplash injury from a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to get reimbursed for your out-of-pocket medical expenses and wages you lost if your chronic pain prevents you from working. You may also seek damages for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you experienced because of your car accident.
You may want to discuss your condition with a car accident lawyer who knows about whiplash injuries and can help you pursue compensation for your medical bills.
You may also want to preserve evidence of your whiplash injury after a car accident. Possible evidence of the extent of your injury and your damages may include:
- Your medical records
- Receipts documenting expenses from the crash
- A police report
- Witness statements
A car accident lawyer can help you preserve evidence in your whiplash case.
Call The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC to Discuss Your Car Accident Injury
If you suffered whiplash or developed other serious injuries from a car accident, we can help you pursue compensation for your damages. The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC handles all aspects of personal injury claims. We can file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, collect evidence that proves fault for the crash, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
Our goal is to help car accident victims recover the compensation they deserve. If you have questions about how to pursue compensation for your whiplash injury or if you developed other serious injuries from your car accident, contact us.
Call us today at 865-546-1111.