Why Car Accident Victims Should See a Doctor for Whiplash

whiplash can be a serious injuryMany victims who experience a low-speed car accident are reluctant to get treatment afterward, thinking that the accident could have been much worse. However, the reality is that many serious injuries can result from crashes at speeds under 15 miles per hour. The most common of these is whiplash, a neck injury caused by the sudden hyperextension of the neck muscles often seen in rear-end accidents. As it is often considered a “minor” injury, it may be difficult to get insurance compensation for a whiplash injury or convince a judge of your suffering after a crash. This article will explore the best ways to protect your right to compensation after a whiplash injury.

Common Symptoms of Whiplash After a Car Accident

One of the best ways to prove the extent of your car crash injuries is with medical evidence. As a result, it is important to see a doctor immediately after the accident, and in the weeks following the incident as your condition progresses. There may be little to no symptoms of whiplash in the moments after the accident, but just a few hours later, a victim may experience:

  • Pain in the neck, arm, head, or jaw
  • Muscle tightness or spasms in the neck or back
  • Stiffness in the neck and in the upper or lower back
  • Reduced range of motion in the upper body
  • Fatigue or insomnia
  • Nausea, dizziness, or vertigo
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness or weakness in the arms
  • Difficulty swallowing

Prompt Treatment Can Prevent Further Injury

Unfortunately, many people who experience whiplash may not have their concerns taken seriously. Even doctors who regularly treat the condition may believe that the patient is not reporting pain or symptoms accurately. It is vital that you are truthful with your treating physicians, and insist that they rule out any associated injuries that may not heal with rest, such as:

  • Spinal cord injury. Some people may suffer nerve compression or compression of the spinal cord, causing numbness or “pins and needles” in the fingers or toes.
  • Ruptured discs. A herniation in a disc of the spinal column can cause many of the same symptoms as whiplash, and doctors should be sure that there is no disc damage before the patient is released.
  • Spinal fracture. Even minor trauma can fracture the spine in some patients, resulting in a serious back injury that requires hospital treatment and immobility. An x-ray or CT scan can rule out this injury.
  • Head injury. A victim’s head does not need to make contact with a headrest or dashboard in order to suffer a concussion or other form of traumatic brain injury.

Once further complications have been ruled out, patients must be advised that whiplash injuries often result in severe pain that usually lasts for up to a week after the accident. Doctors may prescribe painkillers and exercises that a patient can do at home to increase range of motion. If the pain is severe, patients should make sure to get a note from the treating physician excusing him or her from work until the pain subsides.

We Can Help You Get Proper Compensation for Whiplash

All victims will suffer the effects of a car accident differently, and each one deserves to be treated with respect when it comes to recovery. While some victims may be able to return to work after one or two days, others will suffer chronic fatigue, difficulty concentrating, increased anxiety, and other effects that greatly impact their employment and their quality of life. As a result, this “minor” injury can end up costing a victim thousands of dollars in lost wages and medical treatments, and may have psychological effects that last the rest of the victim’s life.

If you or someone you love is suffering after a car accident injury, our Tennessee crash attorneys can help you get the respect and compensation you deserve. Fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal team.

John Griffith
Nashville Personal Injury Trial Attorney