Whiplash is an injury involving an overextension of the neck and spine that results in severe pain and reduced mobility. This type of injury, while most often associated with rear-end collisions, can be obtained in any situation where you experience a sudden jolt to your head and neck. During the winter months, drivers are more at risk of being in a rear-end collision and possibly sustaining injuries such as whiplash. Knowing what to do if you think you may be experiencing whiplash is vital to your recovery and for obtaining assistance if you have any problems afterward.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
Right after an accident, it can be difficult to know if you are suffering from whiplash. Immediately after being involved in an accident, your body produces adrenaline that can mask injury symptoms. While most people may begin to experience symptoms within 12 hours, it could take up to 24 hours to feel the effects of whiplash. Knowing what signs to look for can help you identify whether or not you may be suffering from whiplash and if you should seek medical attention. Some of the signs to look for are:
- severe neck pain
- neck stiffness
- neck tenderness
- reduced overall neck movement
- pain between your shoulder blades
- lower back pain
- blurred vision
- difficulty sleeping
- pain or numbness in the arms
Are there treatments for whiplash?
If you are diagnosed with whiplash, there are some treatments that can help with recovery. While most people will recover on their own from whiplash within a month, there are some things you can do to help ease the pain associated with this type of injury. One of the first things you can do is apply ice to the affected area, which will help reduce swelling. If you are able to take painkillers, they can help manage the pain while the injury heals. You can also try using heat therapy once the swelling has gone down. Massage is another option that may help reduce your symptoms and aide in a faster recovery time.
What are my legal rights if I have been diagnosed with whiplash due to an accident?
If you feel that you may have whiplash, it is critical that you first get medical assistance. The sooner you can be seen by a medical professional, the better your chance of being properly diagnosed, as well as making sure that the injury has been documented. If you plan to file a personal injury claim, it is important to have a paper trail that links the injury directly to the incident in which it was obtained.
If you believe you have whiplash or have been diagnosed by a medical professional, call Gladstein Law Firm today or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.