After any car accident, seek medical attention right away. This helps doctors manage the painful symptoms of whiplash and document losses should you choose to pursue compensation against a liable party.
Long-term care could include chiropractic and physical therapy. Depending on the severity of your whiplash and the role negligence played in your accident, you could be entitled to compensation.
Seek Medical Care Immediately
There may be a delay between your injury and the resulting whiplash symptoms. For example, you could walk away from a rear-end collision feeling fine, only to be in pain 48 hours later.
This is why it is important to receive prompt medical help even if you feel fine after an accident. A doctor can evaluate your condition through:
- Range of motion exam
- Reflex and strength tests
- Imaging tests
- Your description of the crash
Whiplash often does not show up on imaging tests, so a diagnosis can be based on your experience of pain, restricted range of motion, and other symptoms.
Get It in Writing
The University of Rochester Medical Center offers advice on how to navigate your appointment, suggesting that you:
- Bring a friend or family member to help keep track of details.
- Write down information about the injury and treatment.
- Keep track of medications and side effects.
- Ask about all possible treatment options.
- Make a note of any follow-up appointments.
Car accidents are inherently disorienting, and whiplash can cause cognitive symptoms, like difficulty concentrating and remembering. Bringing witnesses and logging information can reduce the pressure to keep track of everything on your own.
As lawyers, we also recommend these tactics to protect your right to compensation. If your whiplash was caused by negligence – like being rear-ended by a texting driver – we can pursue damages through an insurance claim or lawsuit. Having a record of your exam, as well as written details and witness testimony, can serve as evidence for your case.
Your Treatment Options May Vary
Some of the most severe whiplash pain takes place between the first 24 to 72 hours after a crash, so managing your symptoms during that time is important. The typical treatment plan includes:
- Pain medication
- Muscle relaxants
- Neck collar
- Gentle stretching
Some of these instructions come with caveats. For instance, Mayo Clinic warns that babying the injury with excessive rest can actually delay recovery and recommends taking it easy for a day or two followed by gentle movements. Likewise, the use of a collar to stabilize the neck, while initially helpful, could also be a hindrance in the long run. Your doctor can advise you.
Similarly, applying ice is typically recommended for the first 24 hours to reduce inflammation. Heat can then be used afterward to help loosen up stiff muscles and relieve pain.
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Over the Long Term, Seek Out Other Options
Many cases resolve in a few weeks, but Cleveland Clinic estimates that between 12 and 50 percent of whiplash victims experience problems for a year afterward. Risk factors for a more serious case are:
- Severe pain, especially if that pain manifests from the start
- Early-onset pain after the crash
- Neurological symptoms like memory and concentration problems
- Radiating or shooting pain, such as down your arms
- High stress or anxiety after the accident
More serious cases of whiplash may require more medical intervention to help you reach your maximum medical improvement.
Further Medical Aid that Could Be Covered
Treating whiplash after a car accident can sometimes mean seeking out more avenues for pain and recovery. You may even benefit from alternative options. Some treatment options that could help include:
- Chiropractic care
- Massage therapy
- Physical therapy
- TENS treatment
How many sessions of physical therapy or chiropractic care or how often you need pain treatment, like acupuncture or injections, will depend on your circumstances. Just remember: you and your healthcare providers should decide what you need to recover, not the negligent party’s insurance company.
Consider Working with Our Lawyers After Suffering Whiplash in a Car Accident
A common refrain among injury lawyers is, “Don’t wait.” Whether you suffered for four days or four months, that’s still time spent in pain that you wouldn’t have experienced if not for someone’s negligence.
Our car accident lawyers can fight for you to receive payment for past and future medical expenses, along with:
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
Wherever you are in the healing process, you can call us 24/7 to learn how we can help with your whiplash case. You generally have two years to file a lawsuit, so don’t delay!
Contact our personal injury lawyers today
If You Have Any Questions, Call in the Strong Arm
If you are unsure what to do to treat whiplash after a car accident, talk to a doctor. If you are unsure what to do to help pay for that whiplash after your crash, talk to Loncar Lyon Jenkins. We offer a free consultation and can even assist clients in Spanish.
Call today at (877) 239-4878.
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