Sustaining Whiplash in a Car Accident
Whiplash is among the most frequently experienced injuries from car accidents. It often results in neck pain, stiffness, headaches, fatigue, and other debilitating symptoms; yet is often undertreated due to not receiving necessary medical care – leaving many to endure continued discomfort while accruing large medical bills.
To lower your risk of whiplash in a car accident, adjust and use your headrest properly, wear your seatbelt properly, park at a safe distance from other vehicles, remain alert and attentive throughout, avoid unnecessary movements after an accident, and do not exert yourself too much.
In the event of a car accident, seek medical care immediately. A doctor can assess if there has been a whiplash injury and offer recommendations. Depending on the nature of your incident and state policies regarding car insurance coverage, this treatment may even be covered by insurers; but regardless, be sure to keep all related documentation. An experienced attorney can help you build a strong case by collecting compelling evidence that shows the existence and extent of your injury and its direct link with the accident.
Follow your doctor’s orders closely, such as bed rest, icing sore neck muscles several times daily, taking prescribed painkillers, and attending physical therapy sessions. In certain instances, doctors may advise strengthening the neck, back, and other affected body areas with specific exercises or stretches that will accelerate recovery while decreasing the chance of long-term whiplash injuries.
Symptoms and Treatment of Whiplash
Whiplash injuries are most often the result of car accidents or contact sports injuries, usually starting hours to days post-injury and lasting several weeks or longer. Pain, neck stiffness, tightness over shoulders and arms and headaches on the back of the head are among the more frequent symptoms.
Your doctor can diagnose whiplash by reviewing your medical history and performing a physical exam that includes moving your neck and shoulders to assess your range of motion as well as tender spots. Although x-rays and other imaging tests aren’t typically needed to diagnose this condition, your physician may order them if there are indications of more serious damage, such as bone fractures or spinal cord injuries.
Treatment plans for whiplash aim to alleviate pain and restore movement to the neck. Over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS, like ibuprofen) may provide temporary relief; for more severe discomfort, physicians may prescribe muscle relaxants that loosen tight muscles and relieve nerve irritation as well as heat/cold therapy to ease both discomfort and swelling.
Whiplash injuries may lead to long-term consequences, including loss of mobility in the neck, headaches, dizziness, bladder or bowel dysfunction, and balance issues. The risk increases with age, high-speed accidents, and preexisting back or neck issues.
Working With a Car Accident Attorney
No amount of compensation can truly compensate for the physical, emotional, and psychological trauma a car accident causes; however, financial settlements can ease some of the financial strain from medical bills, lost income, and other expenses. An experienced New York City car accident attorney will assess all of the ways your life has been negatively impacted by an accident; they’ll consider non-economic losses such as reduced quality of life or lost enjoyment in things you once enjoyed doing before helping to build your case for financial settlements.
Car accident attorneys possess in-depth knowledge of insurance law, such as how much coverage is available under the victim’s no-fault policy and what liability limits exist for at-fault drivers. They will review accident reports, gather evidence such as witness statements and medical records, work closely with experts to reconstruct the accident scene, evaluate your injuries and damages then negotiate or litigate to secure appropriate compensation.
When interviewing auto accident attorneys, be sure to inquire about their track record and resources. A reputable lawyer should put his or her clients’ needs before all else. Even if you are unsure about who caused the crash, you can talk to a lawyer for free. The attorney can take care of your insurance claim or injury lawsuit while you focus on your recovery.