What Should I Do if I Get Whiplash From a Car Accident?
Whiplash is a serious health condition that requires immediate medical attention, no matter what caused the problem. After receiving treatment, your next step should be to contact a Los Angeles car accident lawyer to discuss your case.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is a traumatic form of injury in which the head and neck are thrown violently back and forth, rather like the cracking of a whip.
Whiplash has many possible causes. However, it’s most commonly reported in the aftermath of an auto accident.
Common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Pain and stiffness in the neck: Coming on suddenly after a traumatic experience such as a car crash.
- Headache: Typically starting at the base of the skull and radiating upwards.
- Numbness or tingling: Often in the arms and shoulders of the victim as well as the neck.
- Bruising and swelling: As a result of impact during the crash to the affected areas.
- Ringing in the ears: Which can indicate an underlying neurological injury.
- Restricted range of motion: Something as simple as turning your head can be almost impossible when you’re suffering from whiplash.
- Faintness or dizziness: These may be symptoms of an even more serious medical problem, such as a concussion.
Sometimes the symptoms of whiplash appear immediately after the accident. Other times the may only become apparent in the hours or days following.
This is why it’s crucial to seek medical care right away after the crash. Your health and well-being are too important to leave to chance.
Your healthcare provider may use a number of methods for diagnosing the condition. These can include:
- A physical examination: For example, your doctor may ask you to move your head and neck and indicate the point at which you start to feel discomfort.
- Reflex testing: To determine if the problem has spread into your limbs.
- X-rays or CT scans: To detect problems such as broken, fractured, or dislocated bones.
- MRI imaging: This can often diagnose soft tissue injuries, including damage to ligaments or spinal discs.
Your doctor may prescribe any or all of the following treatments to deal with the problem:
- Rest: You may need a neck brace or other medical appliance to partially immobilize you during this period.
- Heat or cold packs: Cold can help to reduce swelling, while heat promotes circulation and eases inflammation.
- Pain relievers: Either over-the-counter or prescription, depending on the extent of your discomfort.
- Muscle relaxers: To relieve muscular tension and restore full range of motion.
- Injections: For example, your medical practitioner may inject a compound called Xylocaine® into your neck or shoulders to numb discomfort and promote healing.
Sometimes whiplash is a symptom of a deeper problem. It’s not unusual for auto accident victims to require surgery, physical therapy, mobility aids, or even psychological counseling to help them cope with the aftereffects of their accident.
Of course, sometimes the symptoms of whiplash are relatively minor and vanish within a few days or weeks. Nevertheless, seeing a healthcare professional after an auto accident is essential, no matter how you may feel immediately afterward. Don’t take chances where your health is concerned.
Dealing with the financial impact of an auto accident
As you can imagine, the costs of treating whiplash and other consequences of a car wreck can be quite high. Yet insurance companies are often reluctant to pay accident victims the full amount of compensation they deserve.
In these cases, it is important to seek the help of qualified Los Angeles car accident lawyers. Here’s what a good law firm can do for you:
- Build the strongest possible case for maximum compensation: Getting the funds you deserve is easier when the facts are on your side. This takes heavy-duty legal and investigative know-how.
- Stand up to intimidation and other underhanded tactics: Insurers sometimes try to force accident victims into signing away their rights in exchange for a token settlement. You’ll never have to worry about this happening to you when Ellis Injury Law is in your corner.
- Spare you from the stress and hassle of high legal fees: Here at Ellis Injury Law, we offer free consultations as a matter of policy. If we take your case, then we collect nothing at all unless your side prevails.
Get in touch with us here at Ellis Injury Law today to discuss your case. We’re available 24/7 for your convenience. Consultations are always free.