It is a common occurrence to experience whiplash after a car accident. If you suspect that you might have endured one of these injuries, you must take certain measures to protect your health and your right to go after compensation for your losses.
Get Medical Help Right Away
You should not try to self-diagnose your injuries after a car accident. Some of the signs of whiplash, like neck pain or a headache, are also the symptoms of far more severe injuries, like a fractured vertebra or a traumatic brain injury. Get to the emergency room and let the professionals do their jobs. Diagnosing and treating whiplash is not a DIY project.
Whiplash is a challenging type of injury in that sometimes symptoms might not show up for a day or two. Often, the trauma specialists in the emergency department can discover harm that you have not yet detected.
As with other injuries, the first 24 to 72 hours can have long-term effects on how well you will heal. Rather than taking a chance, get medical attention right away to give yourself the best possible chance for healing well.
How We Use Medical Records to Prove Your Case
Getting a medical evaluation right away will help to link your injuries to the car accident. When you go for treatment immediately after the crash, the injuries will be fresh, and the emergency personnel will connect your injury to the collision.
If you do not go for medical attention right after the crash, it will be harder to establish the accident as the cause of your whiplash injury. The defendant will likely argue that your injuries came from something else and not the collision.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Whether the signs show up at the scene of the accident or a day or two later, the indications of a whiplash injury can include these symptoms:
- Dizziness or tiredness
- Pain, tenderness, numbness, or tingling in your arms, shoulders, or upper back
- Pain and stiffness in your neck. You might not be able to turn your head as far as usual when trying to move your head up and down or side-to-side.
You might have only one of these signs or several of them.
What a Whiplash Injury Is and How They Happen
A whiplash injury can involve multiple parts of your neck. When your body gets snapped suddenly and violently, such as in a car crash, the force can cause your head to get propelled forward and back again rapidly. Sometimes the head will snap back and forth more than one time, depending on the collision.
The head and neck are not supposed to move in that manner. When sudden force causes this action, you can sustain tears, hyperextension, and other damage to these parts of your neck:
- Other soft tissue
- Vertebrae (spinal bones in the neck)
- Discs between the vertebrae
Whiplash injuries can be difficult to diagnose because they can involve so many different parts of the neck. Compare this situation to diagnosing a broken leg. The doctor can order an x-ray and see that a bone in your leg has a fracture. For whiplash, on the other hand, the doctor has to assess multiple parts of your neck.
How a Whiplash Can Impact You
The effect of a whiplash injury will differ from one case to the next. If your whiplash is severe, you might need more time and medical treatment to achieve a full recovery. Some people suffer from neck pain, headaches, and limited range of motion for many years. The discomfort of a whiplash injury can affect your ability to perform your job, earn a living, and enjoy your life.
How to Protect Your Claim for Compensation
Talk to a car accident lawyer right away. The insurance company has strategies it can use to try to decrease the value of your claim for financial damages. We can help you avoid pitfalls like these:
- You should not settle your claim until you have completed your medical treatment and know if you have achieved a full recovery of your function or if you will be facing a life of pain and impairment. If you accept money from the insurance company and later discover that you will have long-term problems with your neck, the insurer will not pay you more money.
- If the insurance adjuster asks you to give a recorded statement, tell him to talk to your lawyer. These statements are not for your benefit. The insurer can twist your words in an attempt to pay you a lower amount to settle your injury claim.
- Do not post photographs, comments, or any information about the car accident or your injuries on social media. When you have a pending personal injury claim, you should take a break from social media. The insurer could take your postings out of context and try to use them to pay you less money than you deserve.
S. Burke Law Can Help With Your Whiplash After a Car Accident
The car accident team at S. Burke Law will fight hard to get you all the compensation that is appropriate for your whiplash injury. We treat our clients like family. You will not feel like a number with us. Call us today at (404) 842-7838 for a free consultation.