What to Know if You Have a Whiplash Injury from a Car Accident

Whiplash can be a painful and frightening experience, especially if it occurs after a car accident. It is a common condition, however, some people do not realize that they have been injured in an accident until quite some time after the accident. If you have suffered whiplash or have learned that you have, it is important to learn what to do after a car accident whiplash injury and how you can receive compensation for your injuries.

woman with a whiplash injury from a car accident

What is a Whiplash Injury? 

The medical term for it is Neck Strain Injury, which can also be known as Whiplash. Symptoms of whiplash can be wide-ranging and depending on the severity of the injury could have long-term implications on a person’s quality of life. Regardless of the cause, whiplash can have life-altering consequences. Because the neck muscles are often the most vulnerable muscle group in the body, they are also among the first to be damaged and strained during any type of accident. This puts the entire body under tremendous strain, both physically and mentally. It is for this reason that immediate treatment is crucial for whiplash sufferers.

What Causes Whiplash injuries? 

It is a type of injury caused by a vehicle accident that sends the victim forward and then backward quickly, as well as sideways. It is typically caused by an accident where there is a sudden and violent acceleration, deceleration, and rotation that occur when a vehicle is hit. Commonly, this motion occurs from another vehicle hitting your vehicle. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in road traffic accidents and can happen at any time during an accident. In fact, almost all auto accidents involve some level of this injury.

What are Common Symptoms of Whiplash?

The most common symptoms of whiplash include pain, numbness, and discomfort in the neck, back, shoulders, arms, or legs. Pain will be located in one specific location. This location may be on one side of the body, or it may affect more than one area at once. Usually, though, the pain is located near the top of the shoulder, in the area between the neck and the shoulder blade. Other symptoms that can occur after a collision with a car that involves whiplash are headache, nausea, blurred vision, and dizziness. Many people who have been in car accidents find out that they have been subjected to what is known as subluxations, which is when one or more vertebrae are affected.

Can Whiplash Symptoms be Delayed?

Many times, these symptoms will not occur right away. These symptoms will usually begin to become apparent approximately one to two hours after the collision, but it could take days or even weeks before they appear. This is because your body may have difficulty detecting the impact on your neck muscles. 

Another reason why the symptoms may not present immediately is that they can be the result of what is happening in other areas of the body at the time. For example, muscle spasms in the abdominal area can cause your body to react as though you have been hit in the upper back, which can cause dull pain in that area. Regardless of when the symptoms appear, you should be aware of them and report them to the doctor as soon as possible.

How Long do Whiplash Symptoms Last?

The symptoms can last anywhere from just a few hours to a couple of months and in more severe cases, lead to long-term complications. Even with the shortest amount of time, you will have a hard time getting over it. It can leave your head in an uncomfortable position and even affect how you sleep. Often, it is not just the injury that decreases your quality of life, but also the secondary implications of the injury.

How Long Does it Take for a Whiplash Injury to Heal?

Your injury could easily be classified as minor or severe. This will determine how long you should expect to have to heal. If it is minor, you might only have to take some small steps to get back to normal. However, if you have a more serious injury, it might take you much longer to get back to your normal activities. Whiplash injury recovery times depend on what type of injury you have, as well as how long you were injured. 

Knowing how long it can take a person to recover from a whiplash injury also has to do with what type of activities you can participate in while you are healing. Some questions you should ask your doctor or therapist to help you understand the severity of the injury include:

  • Will you need assistance with getting dressed? 
  • Will it be safe for you to drive yourself? Or, will you need someone to drive you? 
  • Will wearing a brace help with any movement? 
  • Can you use exercises to help you get over the pain? 
  • Is surgery necessary? 

How Can I Ease Whiplash Pain and Speed Recovery?

The most important thing to do if you have whiplash is to try to relax. The way to do this is to lay flat on the ground and then simply let gravity take care of itself. You may be thinking that this is a strange way of relaxing, but it’s effective. Gravity helps people with whiplash by taking some of the load off their shoulders and allowing them to relax easier.

In many cases, the best thing that you can do if you have whiplash is to take it easy and just wait. Your body will be trying to heal itself. If rest and relaxation do not work for you, your doctor might be able to give you a cortisone shot, or he might even be able to remove the brace from your neck and manually realign your bones. This might not be necessary, but it never hurts to at least talk to someone about your whiplash injury if you don’t feel comfortable that you’re healing at an acceptable rate.

Will a Whiplash Injury Cause me to Miss Work?

Many doctors and therapists recommend that patients take a few weeks off of work. This is because they need to be able to recuperate fully before they can return to doing everything they normally do. Going back to work too soon can make the healing process takes longer than it has to.

What Should I Keep Track of After a Whiplash Injury?

After the accident, you need to keep track of all forms of evidence that you have sustained a whiplash injury. Write down the dates of the accident and who you were with, as well as the details of your claim. Keep copies of everything that is filed in the event that you are denied compensation for your whiplash injury. Write down all correspondence regarding your claim and keep all records of treatment from your doctor. If your insurance company denies your claim, make sure you follow up with them immediately, sending them a copy of the medical reports that you have filed.

How Can I File a Whiplash Injury Claim?

It is important that you understand how to make a claim for whiplash injury as soon as you sustain the injury from a traffic accident. Below are some basic steps that you need to follow when filing a claim. 

Seek Medical Attention for a Whiplash Injury

The first step is to seek immediate medical attention. If you do not seek medical attention right away, then other complications may develop and this could cost you time, money, and even more injuries. This will be done so your claims adjuster can get a full and accurate medical report on your whiplash injury. When you have a complete and accurate medical report from your doctor, you will be able to tell your insurance company about your claim.

Determine the Type of Injury Claim

Once your doctor has given you a physical examination, it is time to decide what kind of claim you want to file. There are two main types of claims that are eligible under Florida law. These claims include injuries that happened at work (Workers’ Compensation) and accidents that happened in other areas of life (Personal Injury). Your insurance company will ask you about the type of accident you were involved in. They will also ask you questions about the circumstances of the accident and the injuries that you sustained.

Understand What is Needed for Your Injury Claim

To learn how to make a claim for a whiplash injury, it is crucial that you read through all of the information that you received from your adjuster and follow the advice of a whiplash injury attorney. You will find that your compensation claim needs to include certain medical reports, photos of the injury, police reports, any insurance papers that you may have, and any witness statements. The more information that you can provide the insurance company, the better chance you have of getting the best compensation possible. Keep in mind that there are many factors that you will need to consider when filling out these forms and that you will not be able to know how much you are entitled to without them.

What is the Average Payout for a Whiplash Injury?

Whiplash claims are often complicated as these injuries are often difficult to prove. Whiplash can cause permanent damage to soft tissue, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Because of this potential for serious injury, many people seek compensation to cover the long-term costs associated with whiplash injuries.

There are certain factors that are taken into account when determining an individual’s eligibility for compensation. These include the severity of the whiplash injury and any previous history of neck, back, or shoulder injury. This information is usually referred to as ‘risk assessment’. If your claim is successful, you may receive a monetary award, as well as the closure you require to be able to return to everyday life without having to concern yourself with the debilitating effects of whiplash.

How Can a Whiplash Injury Attorney Help?

You can find out what kind of damages you may be entitled to seek compensation for after a car accident by talking to a whiplash injury attorney. The first thing that he will be able to do is to analyze pictures of the scene. Pictures are important because they show you what kind of damage has been done to you. They will also show you where exactly you were in the car accident and what your position was at the time. This information will help you determine who is at fault for the car accident that caused you a whiplash injury.

The next step that a whiplash injury attorney will do is to talk with you about what injuries you have suffered from. This includes looking at pictures of your injuries as well. This is important because you need to be able to relate them to the pain and suffering that you have experienced. You need to be able to tell the whiplash injury attorney about what you have been through because this will be something that he needs to present to the other party or insurance company.

You need to hire an attorney because he will be able to guide you through everything that you need to do. The first thing he will do is to contact your insurance company and let them know that you were involved in an accident. At this point, they will be able to tell you what kind of reimbursement you will be eligible for. After this, the attorney will sit down with you and go over everything that you need to say and do to advance your claim. He will explain the entire situation to you and make sure that you are entirely clear on the situation.

How do I Find a Whiplash Attorney in Florida?

The expert legal team at Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, has successfully recovered compensation for hundreds of clients with whiplash injury claims. Our goal is to give you peace of mind in knowing you will get the compensation you’re entitled to, so you can focus on getting back to living your life. We highly recommend that you save yourself a trip to our office by scheduling a free virtual consultation. Simply contact us online or call us at (866) 460-1990 to privately discuss your case right over the phone or in a secure virtual meeting. 

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