How Long After an Accident Do You Start To Feel Whiplash?

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After being involved in a car accident, some accident victims do not immediately perceive they have been seriously injured or injured at all. Whiplash is a painful, debilitating injury that car accident victims commonly experience but that often takes time to appear. Seeking the right treatment for your whiplash is essential to both your health and legal rights. The personal injury attorneys of the Hite Law Firm Trial Lawyers can help.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury caused by the sudden jerking motion of the head and neck, often occurring during a traumatic event. This violent act damages the soft tissue, ligaments, and bones in the neck and upper back area. Whiplash derives its name from the cracking of a whip, as the motions are similar. Due to the tremendous amount of force that results from wrecks, the condition is common among car accident victims.

How Long Does It Take for Whiplash to Set in?

Every person and every injury is unique. Symptoms can be noticeable immediately or within 24 hours of the incident. You might visit the doctor without any obvious signs of whiplash but start to experience symptoms later. A victim should see the doctor after being in any kind of accident, even if symptoms seem mild or non-existent. Always make a follow-up appointment for any worsening conditions or pain that was not present before.

How Long Does Whiplash Last?

No matter how long it takes for whiplash to appear, you need to rest and follow your doctor’s recommended treatment. With the right care, your symptoms could clear up within days or weeks. In some cases, victims will experience whiplash for several months. More severe cases could result in pain for up to a year or longer, often occurring in victims who have suffered whiplash before or have pre-existing back pain.

Will a Late-Onset of Whiplash Affect an Insurance Claim?

Whiplash is one of several conditions that do not always manifest right away. Victims who experience whiplash after car accidents often make the mistake of delaying medical attention or not seeing a doctor at all. It is imperative to your health to visit an emergency room or your primary care physician as soon as you can to prevent making the situation worse.

Failure to do so could result in avoidable complications with your insurance claim. Insurers and lawyers representing the at-fault party may look for reasons to deny or pay very little on your claim and delayed medical treatment provides a good basis for such action.

Not only should you see a doctor, but you should also go back if initial whiplash symptoms do not clear up fairly soon after your visit. Stick to your treatments, take any medications you are prescribed, and don’t miss follow-up appointments. If you take these steps, it will be more difficult for the insurer to deny a valid claim.

What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

Common signs and symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Limited range of neck motion
  • Pain when trying to move your head or neck
  • Soreness in your neck and shoulder muscles
  • Swelling
  • Neck muscle spasms
  • Nerve problems, such as numbness and tingling in the fingers and arms
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Blurred vision
  • In some cases, mood changes, such as irritability

All of these symptoms may require medical treatment, which could be expensive. They could also prevent you from working, costing you income and making it harder to pay bills. These symptoms could cause pain and suffering and other issues, such as anxiety. Fortunately, an experienced whiplash injury attorney can help you win compensation for these and other expenses.

Seeking Proper Whiplash Treatment

Your doctor will begin a treatment regimen by asking you questions about the accident and your symptoms. Try to be as detailed and precise as possible about what happened and any pain, discomfort, and other problems you are having. Your doctor will likely check for superficial injuries, such as swelling, as well as limits to your range of motion. As a precaution, your doctor might order X-rays or other imaging tests to check for broken bones.

Depending on how severe the whiplash is, your doctor might:

  • Tell you to wear a neck collar for several days to restrict movement
  • Prescribe painkillers and muscle relaxants to manage discomfort
  • Recommend that you periodically apply ice and heat to the affected area
  • Suggest bed rest and restricted activity
  • Refer you to a physical therapist, if necessary, to regain full mobility

When To Contact a Greenwood Car Accident Lawyer if You Are Experiencing Whiplash

If you have begun experiencing whiplash symptoms, to an attorney right away. There’s a strong possibility that the at-fault party’s lawyer or insurance company will contact you to seek a quick settlement that does not fully account for your injuries. You could be out of work for a substantial period or unable to work at your full capacity, costing you and your family income. Insurers generally seek speedy settlements that typically do not include all types of losses.

If you accept the insurance company’s settlement offer, you will have to sign a waiver of further legal action. This precludes asking for additional compensation if your whiplash symptoms are worse than you believed. To protect your legal rights, first see a doctor and abide by his or her recommended treatments. Then, connect with a seasoned Abbeville, SC personal injury law firm.

The Hite Law Firm is here to represent your best interests. If you’ve suffered whiplash after a car accident, give us a call today.

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