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  • Writer's pictureBrad Keating

How Long Does Whiplash Last After Car Accident?

Updated: Jan 17

Car accidents can cause people a lot of injuries and economic losses, so most victims file personal injury claims to get some compensation for that damage.

Unfortunately, whether the victims file a lawsuit against the other person or not, they still have to suffer from the pain the car accident caused them. One of the most common problems victims have after a car accident is whiplash injuries.

These issues tend to pass unnoticed since whiplash symptoms are mostly confused with regular back and neck pain due to a bad position or sitting on a chair with no back support for a considerable amount of time.

If a whiplash doctor doesn't address the situation quickly, the whiplash injury the victim initially had can turn into chronic whiplash and permanent neck injuries. Suffering from that makes victims develop whiplash-associated disorders, such as numbness in the arms, fatigue, dizziness, neck movement loss, and cervical spine issues in general.

Nonetheless, if a doctor addresses the situation quickly and heals the neck muscles, the persistent neck pain can stop, and the whiplash can go away. Considering that, how much time can severe whiplash take to be healed? Everything depends on some specific factors and how the situation is addressed, so people suffering from severe pain can read on to find out!

The Keating Firm LTD is always available for people who suffered from physical abuse, negligent treatment, or an auto accident. Victims can call it whenever they need a legal team to help them. Getting compensation for an automobile accident is critical if victims want money to cover the medical treatment needed to heal from mechanical neck disorders.

What Causes a Whiplash Injury?

What Causes a Whiplash Injury?

Some people directly associate a whiplash injury and chronic pain with an automobile accident since it's the most common cause of it. However, this issue doesn't necessarily have to come from an accident.

Whiplash occurs when structures in someone's neck are injured. Those structures can be ligaments, discs, muscles, or nerves. Receiving that damage causes a tissue injury that could make the back part of the victim's neck to get inflammation. People suffering from a whiplash injury suffer from a lot of neck pain, chronic headaches, and even blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and arms tingling.

As it was mentioned before, auto accidents are not the only thing that can cause chronic whiplash. A sudden movement, fall, contact sports, or physical abuse can cause this issue, too. Regardless of that, the problem can be much worse if it's caused by an automobile accident.

What If the Victim Already Had Neck Pain?

The main reason whiplash is mostly confused with other health issues is that many things can cause neck pain, and the victim could already have suffered from problems in their neck. Headaches are also part of the common symptoms of whiplash and a neck injury, but even stress and anxiety can cause someone to suffer from a headache.

Whether the victim notices it or not, someone with a sore neck who suffered whiplash can have a bad time with this issue. The pain from the whiplash adds up with the initial injury, which can develop into irritability, difficulty concentrating, and even sleep disturbances.

Considering how easy it is to confuse the symptoms of whiplash with a soft tissue injury or other neck problems, it's best if victims go check themselves with a doctor after they get involved in an auto accident.

Victims can ask for magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, or X-rays if they feel the effects of whiplash. Anyone hit by a car can also suffer from cervical accelerated trauma (CAD), which doesn't show symptoms until at least 24 hours after the accident has passed. All those problems make the victim's neck suffer, so it's not a good idea to delay a doctor's appointment.

Whiplash Symptoms

Apart from the tests mentioned before, the best way to detect if someone suffers from whiplash is by studying the symptoms the person is suffering from. Although many of these symptoms can be caused by other things, suffering from all of them at the same time is a strong sign of having the effects of whiplash.

Here are the most common whiplash symptoms:

• Neck pain

• Neck inflammation

• Headaches

• Muscle spasms

• Problems to keep the neck mobile

• Stiff neck

• Anxiety

• Depression

• Decreased range of motion

Other symptoms, such as irritability or difficulty focusing, can happen, but the ones listed before are the most common among whiplash patients. No one can give themselves an accurate self-diagnosis, though. Only doctors are qualified to provide medical attention and make a treatment plan, so it's not a good idea to do anything without consulting with a doctor.

How to Recover from Whiplash Injuries

There are many ways to recover from whiplash and its symptoms, but immediate attention and medical professional treatment are needed. After going to the doctor, they may tell the victim to get prescribed painkillers. Doing that may be enough to ease the pain the victim feels at the moment, and it also can increase their neck's range of motion.

The healing process, though, can take more time and effort to be completed. Many people recommend heating the injury with wet towels or taking a hot shower to loosen the muscles and ease the pain. While that may not help the victim heal from their pain completely, it helps them go through the pain and stress of whiplash.

Overall, the most effective way to heal whiplash and any other head problem is going to a chiropractor and asking them for assistance with physical therapy. Doing that periodically helps victims heal their ligaments and recover mobility in their neck and back.

Chiropractors and whiplash-specialized doctors know all the movements victims have to daily perform to have a full recovery in the shortest time possible. Aside from that, victims must avoid suffering from anything that could damage their neck or cause chronic whiplash.

What to Do After Getting Injured from a Car Accident

There are two essential things victims of an auto accident have to do: go to the doctor and contact a top vehicle accident attorney. Road traffic accidents happen all the time, and they cost a lot of money to victims. Whether it's recovery time or economic losses, no one can afford to go through the whole accident without getting any compensation for it.

Lawyers can tell their victims about the risk factors of filing a lawsuit and what may happen if they do. People can get a lot of money from a whiplash injury and other neck injuries. The first step to filing a lawsuit is going to a police station to help them make a police report.

Police reports can be used as evidence in a later trial. However, the victim with a whiplash injury must avoid saying anything that could lead the other party to think they are liable for the accident.

When a victim asks for compensation for a soft tissue injury or other severe cases of pain and suffering, the liable party and the insurance company may send a counter-offer when they ask to give a more reasonable amount of money to the victim.

Negotiations can last a few days or a few weeks, but everything depends on the deal both parties are asking for. Nonetheless, if the victim thinks they could win a trial against the liable party and the insurance company, they could take the case to trial and use all the evidence they have against them.

The good thing about going to trial is that if the victim wins, they get all the money they initially asked for. Regardless of that, most long-term whiplash and pain and suffering cases are addressed with a settlement since negotiating is faster and easier than going to trial.

How Long Does Whiplash Last?

How Long Does Whiplash Last?

Getting to the main question of this article: how long does whiplash last? The answer is that it depends. As it was mentioned before, certain factors can determine how much someone suffers from this issue. If the muscles of the victim, for example, were already damaged, they could suffer from whiplash for a long period.

These injuries are not that severe if the victim didn't have any neck or head problems in the past. The average amount of patients who didn't get too injured and didn't have a head problem before can struggle with whiplash for three weeks and then go on with their lives as if nothing happened.

Unfortunately, if the accident caused a considerable amount of damage to the person's neck and head, they could suffer from whiplash for three or four months. Extremely severe cases can stay with the victim for years.

Some people have developed permanent whiplash, so they suffer from this issue for life. Whether it's a sports injury or an automobile accident, people may try to keep themselves safe when doing activities that could trigger this problem.

Bottom Line

Not all victims have to be scared of getting whiplash since they can heal from it in just a few days or weeks. The problem is when the condition takes months and years to be healed. Victims of automobile accidents can always ask a lawyer to address their pain and suffering cases.

The Keating Firm LTD is always available for them, so anyone can call it when they need it.

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