What To Do For Whiplash After A Car Accident? 

One of the most common injuries those in a car accident suffer from is whiplash.

Whiplash happens when the head suddenly snaps backwards as well as forwards. And it does so with a lot of force.

Whiplash injuries will typically occur in read-end collisions. Though they can also happen when playing sports, from physical abuse or on amusement park rides.

When the head snaps and results in whiplash, what happens internally is the soft tissues in your neck extend beyond their normal range of motion. And this will affect both your muscles and ligaments.

If you suffer from a whiplash injury, you may not realize it on the spot. Symptoms may not appear right away. If you experience any discomfort around your neck after an accident, don’t ignore it. Even though whiplash is often regarded as a “mild” condition, it can cause long-term pain which you’ll certainly want to avoid if you can.

Symptoms of Whiplash 

Often, you’ll experience the symptoms of whiplash within 24 hours of a car accident. However, it’s not uncommon for them to develop after a few days. And, in some cases, the symptoms may not be felt for a week or two.

Some of the common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • A pain in the neck (literally!)
  • Neck stiffness
  • Headaches, particularly at the base of the skull
  • Pain in the lower back, arm and/or hand
  • Dizziness
  • Blurring of vision
  • Fatigue or sleep troubles

The Cure For Whiplash 

So there is no proven “cure” for whiplash. However, there are a number of approved treatments that can help.

First step though is not to take it lightly. Go see a doctor. See if you need a CT or MRI to help medical professionals with your diagnosis and treatment plan.

Treatment tips:

  • Use ice… especially in the first 24 hours after the accident
  • Take an anti-inflammatory/pain relief medications like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Keep moving (nothing rigorous) – it seems like slow, gentle movements help more than immobilization
  • Physical therapy, massage therapy and, in some cases, even injections have proven effective for those suffering from whiplash

The best advice is to seek out the help of a medical professional. Once they’ve examined you, they’ll be able to recommend what your treatment options are.

Getting the right treatment and sticking to the plan is essential. And not just for your health. But for any potential legal settlement too.

Legal Steps For Whiplash After Car Accident 

Especially if the other party was at fault in the accident, you should consult with a car accident lawyer. They can help you make sure things are done the right way and that your interests are protected.

And the sooner you make an appointment to see one, the better due for the following reasons…

  • Insurance companies will being working on your claim right away and you want to have legal advice BEFORE talking to the insurance firm
  • Chances are you don’t deal/negotiate with insurance companies on a regular basis. And, because of that, chances are if you try to do it yourself, you’re going to make mistakes. And, chances are, those mistakes can end up costing you a lot of money.
  • Remember, when you’re dealing with the police and the insurance company, you are responsible for the things you say and do. And they can and will hold anything you say that hurts your case against you when negotiating a settlement.

Never take “fast cash” and sign off on the first settlement amount you’re offered. Until things play out and you have time to fully assess and understand the extent of your injuries, you don’t know how much you should really be entitled to.

It’s typical that most cases involving whiplash will be completed in 6 months. Sometimes they will take even longer than that.

And, in about 20% of cases, there can be complications as well as chronic injuries.

All this needs to be factored into the settlement you ultimately get. A good car accident lawyer will help you estimate the entire cost of recovery. And he/she will also help you get the settlement you deserve.