Why You Should Seek Treatment for Whiplash Injuries After a Car Accident
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Micah L. Satterwhite with Sloan Firm.
Many car accidents seem relatively minor at first, as do the accompanying injuries. Whiplash, for example, may seem minor, but it can be accompanied by more serious injuries, some of which may not be immediately noticeable. Many injuries may not be felt until days or even weeks after an accident, including whiplash, but it is important to seek medical care regardless, and as soon as possible after the crash. To learn more about options for physical and financial recovery after a car accident, reach out to a car accident attorney.
It could be more than whiplash.
In any situation where the head, neck, or back might have suffered some kind of trauma, it is possible that whiplash is not the only problem. While severe cases of whiplash can go on to create a myriad of complications for a patient’s pain and mobility if left untreated, whiplash is often accompanied by other injuries that might not be immediately apparent. This is why it is important to seek treatment for whiplash injuries regardless of the severity and request that the doctor check your overall condition after an accident.
Spinal cord injuries can be serious, and may be identified when a doctor examines a whiplash injury.
In many cases where whiplash has occurred, the spine may also have been exposed to damage. Spinal cord injuries or SCIs can be extremely dangerous and are unfortunately common in accidents. SCIs that go unrecognized and untreated can cause permanent nerve damage and in severe cases may result in full or partial paralysis. Another kind of injury that may accompany whiplash includes traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Brain injuries often go unrecognized at first, but they can occur alongside whiplash when a victim’s head strikes the seat, dashboard, or another object.
TBIs are tricky because they are often missed at the scene of the accident and in many cases do not become apparent until days or weeks after the accident when family and friends begin noticing behavioral symptoms of the injury in the accident victim. Identifying a potential SCI or TBI as soon as possible increases the chance that a victim can make a full and smooth recovery. However, when these injuries are not recognized they can become worse before they get better, resulting in permanent damage.
If you or a loved one experience any of the following symptoms after a car accident, seek medical care right away:
- Severe pain in the neck or back
- Pain or stiffness in the neck that goes away and then returns
- Pain in the shoulders, arms, or legs
- Tingling or numbness in the shoulders, arms, or legs
- Difficulty using the restroom
- Weakness in one or more limbs
Don’t wait to seek treatment.
It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident; this ensures not only that any additional injuries can be identified and treated along with the whiplash, but may also help your case in the future. Seeking immediate medical attention after a collision ensures that an official medical record exists to support the legitimacy of your case if your injuries turn out to be worse than you first suspected. This also prevents the possibility of the at-fault party arguing that you couldn’t have been severely injured if you were able to wait to seek care.
Seeking medical care for whiplash and to identify other potential injuries after a car accident is one of the best things you can do to cover all of your health and legal bases. To learn more about whiplash cases or for help filing a claim, reach out to a car accident attorney.