Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in a car accident and can be severe even in a low-speed, minor accident like a fender bender. The reason this type of injury is so common is actually because of how effective a seatbelt is at protecting a passenger from even more severe injuries, such as slamming into the dashboard or the windshield. Whiplash happens when the passenger is suddenly jerked in a direction and their head snaps in an “S” motion forward, down, and then back, causing serious injury to the soft tissues in the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Luckily there are many effective treatments for whiplash that can help facilitate a full recovery. These treatments can be costly, but luckily if someone else is at fault for your accident then they (and their insurance company) are the ones who are responsible for the cost of your medical treatment, along with many other costs and damages that you will likely encounter. For these damages, you will need to learn more about car accident law and how to get the most out of your insurance claim. Our advice? Hire a lawyer.
Read more below to get an idea of some of the long-term effects of whiplash.
Long-Term Effects of Whiplash After a Car Accident
The following are just some of the possible long-term effects that you may suffer from if you get whiplash in a car accident. However, there are many treatment plans that an experienced medical professional will be able to help you through soo that you can facilitate a successful recovery and put this painful chapter behind you. If left untreated, you can expect some of the following symptoms:
- Chronic Pain and Stiffness
- Dizziness or Vertigo
- Jaw Pain
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Memory Problems
- Blurred Vision
- Numbness or Weakness in your Limbs
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Permanent Changes to Personality
Keep in mind that these are not guaranteed outcomes if you suffer from whiplash. These symptoms have a higher likelihood of causing problems for you if you do not get medical care as soon as possible, or you do not follow your doctor’s guidelines for physical therapy and recovery. In serious cases, whiplash may require surgical intervention in order for the victim to make a full recovery and restore their former quality of life.
How To Handle Whiplash After a Car Accident
Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries may take a day or two before you are fully aware of their severity, which is why it is so important that you never make a statement at the scene of the accident about not being injured. Even though the insurance representatives know that these injuries take some time to show themselves, they will use this statement as a reason to limit your damages by questioning their severity or validity.
See a doctor as soon as you are able to after an accident. If you are treated by EMTs at the scene of the accident but are able to leave on your own, this does not mean that you are done getting medical care. Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician for as soon as they will see you, both to get the care you deserve and to establish an official record of your injuries to use during your claim.
Follow your doctor’s recovery plan carefully so that you do not exasperate the injury and are not forced to live with this pain for any longer than you have to.