What to Do if You Have Whiplash After a Car Accident

If you have been diagnosed with whiplash after being involved in a car accident, you understand how serious this condition can be. Whiplash has an injury that many people do not take seriously enough. Sometimes victims do not even realize that they have been injured until their head, neck, or back pain gets worse and worse. People may think they do not need to get treatment because their neck is sore and it will go away. However, some cases of whiplash do not go away without extensive treatment. 

Whiplash can cause complications that last a significant amount of time. Knowing what to do after being injured with whiplash can help protect you medically and legally. It is essential that you obtain the treatment you need and take the proper steps. You should also seek financial recovery, so you do not end up paying your own medical bills out of your pocket. Instead, you can pursue compensation from the at-fault driver.

What to Do Immediately After Your Accident

After a car accident, the most important thing you need to do is to treat your medical condition. Treating your condition effectively requires that you reach out to a doctor. Many times, people with whiplash do not feel pain after the accident. Even if they have substantial injuries, they may not feel the pain because their body releases adrenaline and cortisol, which are hormones that protect us from feeling pain.

After the first 24 hours of the injury, patients begin to notice swelling in the injured areas. The swelling is a protective response by your body. It also puts pressure on damages and causes soreness and stiffness. Whiplash injuries can be complicated and involve multiple soft tissue areas such as muscles and ligaments. If you do not receive the right medical treatment, engaging in day-to-day activities will keep aggravating your whiplash, making it worse. A minor muscle injury could become debilitating over the course of the next few weeks. 

Whiplash Treatment

The type of treatment you receive for whiplash depends on the specifics of your injury. Most whiplash injuries happen when someone's head is thrown forward and backward quickly in a car accident. Whiplash can cause many types of injuries, commonly called a whiplash-associated disorder. There is not a test for whiplash, and x-rays do not help diagnose whiplash since it usually involves soft tissue damage. However, your doctor will be able to evaluate the type of pain you are having and what caused it to diagnose you with whiplash. There are many different treatments for whiplash, including the following:

  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic treatments
  • Physical therapy
  • Stretches and strengthening exercises
  • Wearing a soft cervical collar, called a neck brace
  • Pain medication
  • Injections such as an epidural to block pain impulses and allow the tissue in the neck to heal
Pursuing Compensation

Pursuing compensation for your injury may be the last thing on your mind after your car accident. However, we recommend speaking to an attorney after you receive medical treatment as soon as possible. If another driver's negligence caused the car accident that resulted in your whiplash injury, you would be able to pursue compensation from their insurance company. You can also seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. After car accidents, insurance companies move fast and will begin investigating your claim immediately. It is wise to obtain legal advice before the insurance company makes its first settlement offer to you. 

Settlement offers are usually far too low because insurance companies hope that injury victims will take the money quickly so they can close the claim. When you have an attorney on your side, insurance companies are more likely to offer Fair settlement agreements. Your attorney will be able to evaluate your claim and help you understand how much your case is worth. 

After evaluating our claim, your attorney can help you negotiate the best settlement offer possible in your case. Trying to obtain compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit without legal representation can increase the chances that you will make a mistake that costs you money down the road. Be careful what you tell the insurance company. It would be best if you told them the truth but do not unintentionally admit fault.

Contact a Charlotte Whiplash Attorney

Whiplash is an injury that can cause pain and discomfort and even make it difficult for people to return to work. If you have experienced a whiplash injury, it is vital that you discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible. Reach out to Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about our legal devices. 

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