One of the most common questions auto accident injury victims will ask themselves is “how long is whiplash supposed to last?” Unfortunately, like many things in the law and in medicine, the answer is “it depends.”
Whiplash is one of the most common types of injuries when you are involved in a car accident. Whiplash occurs when your head is forcefully jolted or jerked due to the impact of being involved in a car accident. Depending on the severity of the injury, it can take a long period of time to fully recover from this type of injury.
Because many whiplash injuries do not appear immediately after an accident, it is important to meet with a qualified, licensed personal injury attorney. Our attorneys have experience in working with doctors who can make the professional, medical diagnosis about your whiplash injuries and can recommend to you the best course of treatment.
First and foremost, it can be invaluable to understand what symptoms you can expect to experience if you suffer from whiplash. While most of these symptoms will alleviate within six months, some of them can last years after your accident. In certain situations, the symptoms can become permanent. According to the Mayo Clinic, most common symptoms you can expect to experience include:
- Stiffness and/or pain in the neck
- Headaches, typically at the base of the skull
- Range of motion limitations
- Pain or tenderness in the back, shoulders and arms
While these are the most common symptoms, there are others symptoms individuals may encounter, such as:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Ringing in the ears
- Memory issues
- Blurred vision
One thing that is often overlooked by doctors and injury victims alike is the presence of nausea accompanied with whiplash. If you are experiencing nausea in addition to the symptoms of whiplash, you might have experienced a concussion and it is of vital importance that you get checked by a medical doctor as soon as possible. Our experienced personal injury lawyers at Hastings and Hastings P.C. can refer you to a qualified doctor who will wait for payment so that you can focus on your recovery.
What Is Long-Term Whiplash?
While most people see their symptoms disappear within six months of their accident, there are others who may find they don’t go away for longer periods of time or ever. If you are still suffering beyond the six month time period, you are categorized as having chronic whiplash, which means you will need more extensive physiotherapy to overcome it. You may also need painkillers for a longer period of time. For more severe cases, your doctor may also recommend using a brace to immobilize your neck and head until your neck and the ligaments and tendons can heal. This can mean you will miss more time from work and may have larger medical bills that need to be covered. Because there is no test for whiplash, it’s important to keep a close record of your symptoms and be sure to see your doctor as soon as possible after the accident.
If you are suffering from whiplash due to an accident where someone else was at fault, your doctor should be your first visit. However, after this, it’s important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help you navigate the often complicated process of filing for compensation for your injuries. Whiplash can be debilitating while the symptoms last and it’s important to get the compensation you deserve as you recover from your injuries.