How long car accident whiplash lasts depends on a lot of factors—your health, the circumstances of the crash, the speed at impact, and the angle of impact. Symptoms can resolve after a few weeks or linger for as long as several years. Getting prompt treatment can help you get on top of the pain and allow doctors to spot if you have a more serious case.
If you’re worried about getting treatment for as long as you need it, a car accident lawyer in Atlanta can review your whiplash case to determine if you have a case for damages. Compensation can pay for the medical bills you have now and the losses you’ll experience during your recovery, no matter how long it takes.
When Long Car Accident Whiplash Symptoms Will Last
Typically, symptoms of whiplash take time to appear, with some people not feeling it until days after a car collision. With proper treatment, recovery in many cases lasts a few weeks, but Mayo Clinic admits that predicting someone’s recovery is challenging.
In fact, according to the Cleveland Clinic, 12 to 50 percent of people have neck pain a year after an accident, while a 2016 study by BMC Public Health found that some whiplash victims have poorer quality of life as much as five years after the injury.
How to Know If You Have More Severe Whiplash
Unfortunately, whiplash doesn’t typically show up in regular diagnostic scans like X-rays or MRIs. Instead, doctors are guided by your symptoms following a neck injury. Some of the signs that you might have sustained a more severe form of whiplash following a collision include:
- Severe pain right away
- Limited range of motion
- Pain radiating down your arms
- Issues with memory
- Vision or hearing problems
If you experience these common symptoms after a car accident, seek medical attention immediately so that your doctors can get started on treatment for you.
Risk Factors for Long-Lasting Whiplash Injuries
Some aspects that make you more at risk for a serious whiplash injury include:
- Getting rear-ended
- Getting hit while at a stop
- Getting hit at high speeds
- Having previous neck or back pain
- Having suffered whiplash before
- Having a sedentary job
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries from a rear-end accident. Nonetheless, you don’t have to have any of these risk factors to experience serious whiplash, to need medical care, or even to pursue a legal case after an accident.
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Common Misconceptions About Car Accident Whiplash Injuries
Whiplash is not well understood, so it’s easy for victims and insurers to make assumptions. However, this can affect your ability to get treatment and compensation following a car accident. When in doubt, you can check with an attorney about your whiplash case to learn more about the misconceptions below and other questions you may have.
You Have to Get Hit at High Speeds
Not only is this not true, but Florida Atlantic University (FAU) found that low-speed crashes can cause whiplash even if there’s no damage to the vehicle. Your head can still accelerate at a higher speed than the vehicle in a crash, leading to injury. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t have whiplash because you were in a “minor” crash.
You Can Only Get Whiplash from Being Rear-Ended
While rear-end car crashes are a risk factor for whiplash, you can suffer this injury in a pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, or motorcycle accident. All it takes is for your head to snap back and forth from the force of a collision. If someone questions your injury because of the type of accident you were in, a lawyer from our firm can represent you.
Treating and Paying for Whiplash After a Car Accident
Care for your whiplash injury will depend on your unique symptoms and your doctor’s approach. The prescribed treatment can include:
- Rest, but not for too long
- Cold to keep down inflammation
- Heat to help stimulate blood flow
- Pain medications, either prescription or OTC
- Muscle relaxants
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic adjustments and care
- Massage therapy
If you suffered a serious case of whiplash, you may need ongoing therapy and pain management.
What Costs Are Eligible for Damages?
As you can imagine, some of these treatments can start to add up, especially if your whiplash lasts longer than a few weeks. If you were hurt in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence—drunk driving, failure to yield, speeding, etc.—you could recoup those costs and recover compensation for future care.
Our auto accident attorneys collect evidence of all your past medical bills and costs and consult your doctors and other experts about your projected losses. As a result, there is no average settlement amount for whiplash. Instead, damages are as idiosyncratic as the condition itself, based on how you specifically responded to the injury.
Insurers will scrutinize your whiplash injury and may try to deny your claim based on misconceptions about the condition. Some adjusters will insist you should have recovered by a certain point, ignoring the reality of your experience. They also might fight you about covering certain types of alternative care, like chiropractic adjustments or acupuncture. We can go to bat for you to get the treatment you need to manage all your symptoms.
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Other Aspects of Your Whiplash Injury and Car Accident Are Compensable
This kind of injury can have a ripple effect, changing your ability to work, pursue hobbies, perform daily tasks, act independently, and enjoy your life. A proper whiplash injury settlement will consider those factors. Yet fighting to have these aspects of car accident whiplash compensated can sometimes prove tough if the other party works to downplay your injury and its aftermath.
This is when our personal injury lawyers can step in. We work to evaluate these areas of your life to get damages for:
- Lost income
- Diminished earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Mental health struggles
- Diminished enjoyment of life
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Car Accident Lawyers Can Oversee Your Whiplash Case
How long whiplash from your car accident lasts has an effect on your damages, so call Kaine Law now to get an assessment of your case. Our lawyers can talk about your grounds for an insurance claim or lawsuit and seek compensation that matches your unique experience. The consultation is free, and we are available 24/7.