How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sustain Whiplash?

Being involved in a car accident can leave you with any number of injuries, but some are more common than others. It’s not unusual for people to sustain whiplash as a result of road traffic accident, even if the impact occurs at a relatively low speed. If you’ve been involved in an accident and you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, it’s well worth seeking medical advice to determine what injuries you’ve sustained.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash occurs when the neck is forced to move back and forth at an unnaturally high speed. If your vehicle is rear-ended by another car, for example, the sudden impact could cause your neck to move in this way and whiplash may occur.

Neck pain and stiffness is the most common symptom of whiplash, although there are other symptoms to look out for. If you’ve sustained whiplash, you may experience:

  • Difficulty moving your neck
  • Pain in the shoulders
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision

When Do Symptoms Appear?

Contrary to popular belief, the symptoms of whiplash don’t typically appear at the time of the impact. Instead, they tend to develop in the hours following an accident. In some cases, however, it can take days before the symptoms become apparent.

This delayed onset is why it’s always important to seek medical assistance after a road traffic accident. Although you may not feel badly hurt at the time, you could have unseen injuries that put you at risk.

Can Whiplash Be Treated?

In most instances, the symptoms of whiplash will subside on their own, although people may choose to take painkillers to help ease their discomfort. Your doctor may also advise that you rest for a day or two after the incident and instruct you to apply either a hot or cold compress to the affected area for 15 minutes at a time.

As you recover, your doctor may also prescribe specific exercises that will help you to regain movement in your neck. Alternatively, you may be advised to have physical therapy to restore movement and regain muscle strength.

Although most people make a full recovery from whiplash, it can have long-term effects. This may be more likely if you don’t receive prompt treatment for the injury, so you can increase your chances of making a full recovery by seeking medical assistance as quickly as possible.

Claiming Compensation for Whiplash

If you’ve been injured due to an accident on the road, you may be able to claim compensation for the harm you’ve suffered, including the symptoms of whiplash. With help from experienced personal injury lawyers, like Horst Shewmaker, you can find out who is liable for the incident and what your rights are.

Even though whiplash is rarely considered to be a serious medical condition, it can have a profound impact on your day-to-day life. It can take weeks or months to recover from whiplash and during this time, you might be unable to work or perform your usual duties. As a result, obtaining compensation can be an important way to minimize the impact an unexpected accident can have on your finances.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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