The Importance of Getting Evaluated For Whiplash After an Auto Accident

Many people who have been in auto accidents can have whiplash injuries. There are several reasons why it is important to be evaluated for whiplash after an auto accident, even if you only seem to have minor symptoms initially.  Whiplash can be a very serious injury and can occur even in minor car accidents.

Protect Your Ability To Make A Claim

While many people think if they are in an auto accident, any injuries will be evident immediately after the accident; however, this is not always the case. There are many cases when someone has experienced whiplash, but the symptoms are not evident for hours or possibly days after an accident. Suppose you wait to be diagnosed for whiplash. In that case, it may be too late to file a personal injury claim, or it may be more challenging to prove your injuries were the result of the accident because you weren’t diagnosed right after the accident. Waiting opens you up to more scrutiny by the insurance company and the person responsible for the accident the longer you wait. This is why it is essential to see a doctor experienced in auto accident injuries and claims immediately after an accident whether you have symptoms of whiplash or not. If you have documentation showing you were examined and diagnosed with whiplash or other injuries immediately after the accident, you will have a much better case.

It is crucial to have a doctor perform a full examination after an accident to check for injuries in addition to whiplash as well. When people are in accidents, they experience a significant adrenaline rush, which can mask injury symptoms for hours or even days.

Whiplash Signs and Symptoms

Whiplash is commonly caused by rear-end auto accidents and is essentially a neck sprain or strain. While many people with whiplash get better within a few weeks if they receive treatment quickly and follow a treatment plan prescribed by their physician, some people have chronic neck pain and other long-lasting complications.

Signs and symptoms of whiplash usually develop within hours or days of the auto accident injury and may include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Worsening of pain with neck movement
  • Fatigue
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms
  • Dizziness
  • Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back, or arms

Other symptoms can include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Depression

Early Detection and Treatment

Whiplash usually happens when your head is forcefully and quickly thrown backward and then forward, as is the case in many auto accidents. This rapid motion can injure bones in the spine, disks between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and other neck tissues. The sooner you are diagnosed and start to receive treatment, the quicker your recovery. A whiplash injury isn’t apparent on imaging tests. However, your doctor may order one or more imaging tests like x-rays, a CT, or MRI to rule out other injuries.

Working with physicians experienced in treating whiplash cannot not only significantly aid your recovery but also in pursuing any legal claims you may have. The team at Park Avenue Trauma is experienced in treating whiplash caused by auto accidents and can help you with diagnosis, recovery, and documentation for your auto accident case.

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