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Do You Have Whiplash After a Car Accident?

Learn the warning signs and your legal rights

The crash itself may have been over fast, but the consequences can linger for a long time. One potential consequence is a neck injury such as whiplash. While whiplash sometimes heals on its own, it can have life-altering effects on some people. That’s why it’s important to get both medical attention and legal advice.

The insurance companies don’t take whiplash seriously, and they look for excuses to downplay or outright deny legitimate injury claims. If you sustained whiplash in a car crash, take your case seriously right from the start. Talk to the experienced whiplash attorneys at Vaughan & Vaughan.

How car accidents cause whiplash

Whiplash is a neck injury caused by violent forward and backward movement of the head in response to sudden acceleration and deceleration, usually in a car accident. As the head moves, the muscles in the neck rapidly expand (hyperextension) and contract (hyperflexion), causing significant damage.

Whiplash is most commonly associated with rear-end accidents, but it can occur after any type of car crash, including T-bone accidents and head-on collisions.

Common symptoms of whiplash

Depending on the nature and extent of the neck injury, whiplash symptoms can include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Shoulder pain
  • Low back pain
  • Arm or hand pain
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Blurred vision
  • Disrupted sleep or fatigue

One of the tricky things about whiplash is that the symptoms are sometimes delayed. Especially in the immediate aftermath of the crash, with your “fight or flight” response still engaged, you may not notice pain or stiffness in your neck. Whiplash symptoms may not appear for hours, days, or even weeks after a crash.

How long does whiplash last after a car accident?

While most cases of whiplash go away after a few weeks, that is hardly guaranteed. Some people with whiplash continue experiencing neck pain for months or even years. It’s difficult to predict how long your whiplash will last, so it’s best not to take chances. Don’t assume your injury will heal on its own. Talk to a doctor.

Do I need to see a doctor if I have whiplash?

Absolutely. Immediately after a car accident, you should always go to the emergency room, urgent care, or your primary care provider to get checked out for whiplash and any other injuries. A doctor will examine you and, if necessary, order diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or a computed topography (CT) scan, to find the underlying damage.

This is important for two reasons. First, and most importantly, these medical tests will allow your doctor to diagnose your injury and prescribe the proper treatment, which is the safest option for your health. Second, getting your whiplash injury diagnosed creates a record that will support your claim for financial compensation. Insurance companies often dispute whiplash claims, so this documentation is vital.

Does car insurance cover whiplash?

The short answer is “yes,” but the insurance companies don’t always see it that way. Unfortunately, whiplash is often sustained after low-speed crashes, and the insurance company may argue that you couldn’t possibly have a significant injury because of the low impact.

Alternatively, the insurance company may offer a quick settlement to make your whiplash claim go away. The problem is that such settlements often fall short of the full cost of your injury. Whiplash is often associated with other serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injury (SCI). The full cost of such an injury can easily be in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

That’s why you need an experienced car accident attorney to advocate for full whiplash injury compensation. We have the resources and legal knowledge to fight for you while you focus on resting, healing, and moving forward with your life.

Schedule your free consultation with an experienced accident attorney

When you’re dealing with whiplash after a car accident, the last thing you need is the headache of dealing with the insurance company. Let the legal team at Vaughan & Vaughan deal with them on your behalf. We have decades of experience and a strong track record of results. We know how to negotiate significant whiplash settlements, and if the insurance company won’t make a fair offer, we will take them to trial.

Remember, you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action in Indiana. If you sustained whiplash or another neck injury in a car accident, schedule your free consultation with Vaughan & Vaughan today.

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