You may not have seen it coming. The vehicle behind you failed to stop in time and crashed into the rear of your car. Afterward, you felt neck pain. You may not have felt any pain at all at first, but days later, discomfort began to set in.
You’re not alone if this happened to you. Whiplash after a rear-end accident is common, whether the crash occurred at a red light or during a traffic slow-down. Unfortunately, many accident victims make the mistake of not taking the injury seriously. They might think that with time, the pain will go away and they’ll be back to their normal routine. That’s a big mistake.
How does a person get whiplash?
In a rear-end crash, the force of the impact causes a driver or passenger’s head to suddenly move backward and forward, according to Spine Universe. As the name suggests, the movement is like a whip being cracked. The violent back and forth motion causes muscles, tendons and ligaments in the neck and upper back to be stretched beyond their limits.
Victims may feel pain or numbness radiating down to the shoulder, arm or hand, according to Spine Universe. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash, but some people have suffered this type of injury from participating in sports or activities that cause the head to shake around violently.
How can car crash victims tell if they have whiplash?
Symptoms generally begin as pain in the neck or upper back but can vary from person to person. Sometimes, the symptoms won’t appear until several days after the crash.
Here are some tell-tale signs of a whiplash injury:
- Neck or upper back feels tight
- You notice muscle spasms in the neck or back
- Headache or dizziness after the accident
- Difficulty moving the head from side to side or up and down
- Unusual sensations in the neck, back or arms, such as burning or tingling
- Pain in the shoulder or upper back
Why you need to see a doctor
Whiplash may seem like a minor injury, the type that you can “shake off,” but it is more serious than many people realize. With time, more symptoms may appear. The condition can become debilitating. Whiplash victims may have to take time off from work or give up routine household activities because the pain is too great. Moreover, they may have to forego hobbies that include any physical exertion.
It is critically important to see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. A doctor can examine you and determine the extent of your injury. He or she may find other complications related to the accident.
By delaying seeing a doctor, you put your health at risk. What’s more, you send a message to the insurance company that the injury is no big deal. Insurance companies will look for any excuse to deny a claim or minimize payments. Failing to seek medical attention is one of them.
Even if you visit the doctor right away, the insurance company still might try to downplay the extent of your injuries. We know the games insurance companies play.
You don’t have to go it alone. Trust Dean Waite & Associates, LLC to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.