What To do if You Have Whiplash After a Car Accident

If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury after a car accident, you know that this injury can be painful and have long-lasting effects. We often see clients with whiplash injuries that experience worsening levels of pain before they begin to see improvement. In fact, sometimes a delay in treatment for a whiplash injury can cause complications or increase recovery time.

At the Ritchie Law Firm, we have helped thousands of clients with their whiplash injuries after a car accident.  We have found that getting whiplash treated early following a car accident is one of the most important things you can do to protect your claim.

What is a Whiplash Injury/Neck Injury?

A whiplash injury is a neck injury that frequently happens as a result of a car accident, specifically a rear end car accident. Cervical acceleration-deceleration is the technical term for a whiplash injury. Essentially, this term describes a situation where the head is thrown forward and then backward very quickly. This motion can obviously cause common symptoms, such as neck pain, but can also cause traumatic brain injuries as well.

chart detailing neck muscles

Neck Pain from Whiplash Injuries

Symptoms from a whiplash injury after even a minor collision can definitely cause major problems. A whiplash injury (or other similar neck injury) is usually accompanied by neck pain ranging from mild to severe, that can become chronic pain. This neck pain and other symptoms of whiplash may keep you from managing your daily activities, such as work, school, or taking care of your family.

Sometimes, a whiplash injury doesn’t just affect the neck, and other parts of the body may be affected. A few of the most common symptoms of whiplash after a car accident include:

  • Stiffness of the neck muscles and severe neck pain
  • Headache
  • Swelling in the injured areas
  • Dizziness
  • Shoulder pain
  • Numbness and tingling into the arms
  • Decreased range of motion of the neck
  • Muscle spasms in the neck and shoulder

Typical Treatment for a Whiplash Injury and Symptoms of Whiplash

The most important thing to do after a whiplash injury is to get the appropriate medical treatment. Getting your whiplash diagnosed is the first step in a resolution to the problem. If you are experiencing severe pain, you will want to seek treatment immediately.

A doctor will evaluate the severity of your pain and determine where it originates from. The health care provider will ensure there isn’t a spinal cord, or other more severe, injury. The doctor may then suggest the following whiplash treatment:

  • Physical therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxers
  • Soft cervical collar

Physical therapy officeDifficulties With Whiplash Injury Claims

Many whiplash injuries result in difficult insurance claims. Whiplash injuries are “soft tissue” injuries, meaning they aren’t bone injuries and you usually can’t see any abnormalities on diagnostic tests, such as an x-ray, like you can if you have broken bones. Because a whiplash injury usually can’t be seen outwardly, insurance adjusters tend to minimize the value of a whiplash injury claim.  At the Ritchie Law Firm, we see insurance adjusters trying to devalue whiplash injury claims ALL THE TIME.  So, we are ready to fight for our clients in court, if necessary.

Managing Insurance Adjusters in a Whiplash Injury Claim

If you intend to talk to the insurance company after a car accident involving neck injuries, you should be cautious about what you say. Everything you say to the insurance company can be used against you later in the case. This mean, if you plan to handle your claim on your own, you will need to be certain to protect yourself. Here are some tips:

  • State from the very beginning that you are suffering from significant pain and seeking medical attention for your injuries
  • Never sign anything from the insurance company or give a recorded statement without first talking to an experienced personal injury lawyer
  • Attend all follow up medical appointments and follow your doctors recommendations

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Your Team for Your Whiplash Injury

If you or a loved one has suffered whiplash symptoms due to someone else’s negligence, it’s important to seek legal representation from an experienced accident lawyer right away. Every severe injuries case is complex and a lawyer who regularly handles minor car accident cases will not necessarily be equipped to handle the more significant brain injury case. You will need to make certain the attorney you choose has experience with cases involving more severe injuries, including the more severe soft tissue injuries.

The aftermath of an accident involving severe whiplash can be overwhelming and stressful, and you need an experienced brain injury lawyer on your side to fight for your rights and help you navigate the complex legal system. Don’t wait to take action and don’t let insurance companies take away what is rightfully yours. Contact the Ritchie Law Firm today for a free case evaluation and begin the process of getting the compensation you deserve.

Contact the Ritchie Law Firm, your Virginia head injuries lawyer, by phone at 800-277-6124 or by using our online contact form.

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Ritchie Law Firm is a law firm comprised of Virginia brain injury lawyers helping individuals who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one as a result of a brain injury. Ritchie Law Firm serves all of Virginia, while helping clients in cities and surrounding areas of Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Staunton, and Winchester also serves clients in West Virginia, including Martinsburg, WV.

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