The impact of car accidents often triggers a sudden jolt of the neck and head. This jolt can cause damage to the discs, muscles, tendons, ligaments or nerves in the neck. The rapid forward and backward motion of the head can cause an injury known as a whiplash injury.
Whiplash is a fairly common injury and can happen even in relatively minor car accidents. The most common cause of whiplash is being in a vehicle that is not moving and is hit from behind by another vehicle, but any time the head and neck are jolted, you may end up with whiplash.
Symptoms of a Whiplash Injury
The symptoms of whiplash may happen immediately after the accident, but it’s also possible that you don’t experience symptoms for even days or weeks later. Symptoms you may experience include:
- Spasms or tightening of the muscles in the neck or upper back
- Pain or stiffness in the neck
- Shoulder pain or stiffness
- Severe headaches that start without warning
- Visual disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing
Medical Care After a Car Accident
Because of the rush of adrenaline after an accident, you may believe you haven’t been injured even though you have been. Adrenaline supercharges your body and blocks the sensation of pain. You may also think you haven’t been injured just because an accident seems to be minor.
Whenever you’re in a car accident, it’s important to have your doctor or an urgent care doctor examine you for any possible injuries. Doctors are specially trained to identify signs of injury after an accident even if you aren’t experiencing pain. Your doctor can also give you advice on what symptoms you should watch for.
Reporting an Injury When Symptoms Are Delayed
You may be surprised if signs of whiplash suddenly ensue weeks after a car accident. Symptoms of accident injuries are sometimes delayed, which why it’s a good reason not to agree to the first settlement amount you are offered and shows why you should not sign any kind of form stating that you are not injured.
If symptoms of whiplash or any other injuries do develop, don’t try to ignore them and assume they will go away. You should be evaluated to find out the extent of your injury. Once you are examined, the medical professionals will develop a plan of treatment to help you to heal from your injury and to prevent complications or further damage.
Your doctor can give you an idea of how long you should wait before you can be fairly sure you didn’t suffer a whiplash injury or any other kind of traumatic injury. In California, the statute of limitations gives you two years to file a personal injury claim. This means that it isn’t too late to try to obtain compensation for delayed injuries that were caused by another driver as long as you file your lawsuit within two years after the accident.
Obtaining Compensation for Injuries
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated for the expenses you have incurred, such as medical bills and lost wages. If symptoms of physical injury develop weeks or months after an accident, talk to an expert in the field of personal injury law in order to determine whether you have a case.
Fill out the form on this page to get in touch with Megeredchian Law. A member of our legal team will get back to you promptly in order to schedule a free case evaluation. We want to help you clearly understand your rights so you can obtain the compensation you deserve.