It is impossible to guess how long it takes for whiplash symptoms to appear, as they do not always show up right away. You might feel neck pain at the scene of the accident, or it might take a day or two for the signs to develop.
Sometimes the indications are confusing and misleading for someone who does not work in the healthcare field. If you were in a collision that made your head snap back and forth rapidly and you have any doubt about whether you might have sustained whiplash, you should get a professional medical evaluation.
The Importance of Going to a Doctor Right Away
You will stand the best chance of a full recovery from your whiplash injury if you get a professional medical evaluation right away and get started on a treatment plan. You should not try to “tough it out” if you are hurting or have other symptoms after a car accident. That stiff neck might indicate that you fractured a bone in your neck that could lead to paralysis if untreated. A headache could be a sign of a traumatic brain injury or a brain bleed. Several of the symptoms of whiplash can also be signs of severe, even life-threatening damage.
How We Use Medical Records to Link Your Injuries to the Accident
Your medical records will be vital evidence of the cause of your injuries. We will use these documents to establish a link between the accident and your whiplash injury. If you go straight to the emergency room or urgent care center after the accident, the trauma specialists will see that the injuries are fresh.
What Can Happen If You Delay in Going to the Doctor
It can be more difficult to connect your whiplash to the incident if you wait a day or two. The person whose negligence caused your injury will likely claim that the whiplash happened because of some other event and not the accident. You can protect your right to compensation for your losses if you get immediate medical attention after the accident.
We can take steps to try to establish a link between the injury and the accident if you did not go to the doctor straight from the accident. Of course, the strongest way to make the connection is by using the medical records from an evaluation right after the event, but, depending on the facts of your case, we might have other options for proving that the incident caused your neck injury.
What is a Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash injuries are neck injuries that can damage bones in the spine and the discs between those vertebrae. Whiplash can also harm the muscles, nerves, ligaments, and other tissues of the neck. Sometimes people call whiplash a neck sprain or strain, but not all neck sprains or strains are whiplash injuries.
What Causes a Whiplash Injury?
Rear-end collisions are one of the most common causes of whiplash injuries. When a sudden, violent force causes your head to travel back and forth rapidly, you can sustain a whiplash injury. The extreme force makes the head and neck move faster and further than they should. This force can strain and tear various body parts in your neck.
Symptoms of Whiplash
The symptoms of whiplash can vary from one person to the next. You might experience one or more of these signs:
- Stiffness and pain in your neck
- The inability to turn your head as far as usual, whether from side-to-side or nodding your head up and down
- Fatigue or dizziness
- Moving your neck increases the pain
- Numbness or tingling in your arms
- Discomfort or tenderness in your arms, shoulder, or upper back
Additional symptoms can include:
- Sleep disruption
- Irritability or depression
- Blurry vision
- Ringing in your ears
- Memory issues
- Inability to concentrate
Every injury is different. You should seek medical attention if you have any of these indications after an accident or if you experienced rapid back-and-forth movement of your head from the sudden force of the incident.
Getting Legal Help for a Whiplash Injury
A neck injury can disrupt your life. The medical treatments can put you on the sideline for weeks or months. The discomfort of a whiplash injury can also limit your ability to go to work. In some cases, the headaches or neck pain can remain for the long-term and be debilitating.
S. Burke Law is ready to handle your whiplash injury claim so that you can focus on getting better. We take pride in the fact that we treat our clients like family. You can devote your attention to your health while we work hard to get you all the money damages that you deserve. It is impossible to predict how long it takes for whiplash symptoms to appear, but if you experience symptoms after a car accident at any point, call us today at (404) 842-7838 for a free, no-obligation consultation.