What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

June 14, 2024
Contact Our Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks for Legal Guidance

Whiplash, often associated with car accidents, can cause symptoms that may appear immediately after the incident or develop over time. Statistics reveal that nearly 300,000 Americans suffer from whiplash each year, emphasizing the severity of these incidents and their impact on people. Understanding these symptoms is essential for seeking proper medical attention and legal advice when necessary.

Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a sudden head-jerking motion, typically occurring in rear-end car accidents. This sudden movement can strain the muscles and ligaments in the neck, leading to various symptoms:

  • Neck pain: This is the most prevalent symptom of whiplash. It may range from mild to severe and can be localized to one spot or spread across the neck and shoulders.
  • Stiffness: Patients often experience neck stiffness from whiplash, which makes it difficult to move their heads or necks fully.
  • Headaches: Whiplash can cause tension headaches that originate from the base of the skull and radiate toward the forehead.
  • Dizziness: Some individuals may feel dizzy or lightheaded after sustaining a whiplash injury, which can affect their balance and coordination.
  • Fatigue: Fatigue is a common symptom following whiplash due to the body’s response to pain and inflammation.
  • Tingling or numbness: Whiplash can lead to tingling or numbness in the arms, hands, or fingers, indicating nerve involvement.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Cognitive symptoms like difficulty concentrating or remembering things may arise due to the pain and discomfort associated with whiplash.
  • Sleep disturbances: Many individuals with whiplash report difficulties sleeping, whether due to chronic pain or discomfort when lying down.

When Should I Seek Medical Attention?

Seek medical attention if you experience any of those above symptoms after a car accident. Even if they seem mild initially, they can worsen if left untreated.

Doctors diagnose whiplash through a physical examination, evaluating range of motion, tenderness, and muscle strength in the neck and shoulders. They may also order imaging tests like X-rays or MRIs to assess soft tissue damage. They usually ask about the severity of the symptoms and the circumstances of the injury for a comprehensive assessment.

A medical professional can also recommend appropriate treatment, including physical therapy, medication, or other interventions.

What Legal Steps Should I Take if My Whiplash Was Caused by Another Party’s Negligence?

If you have sustained whiplash in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, it is essential to take the following steps to protect your legal rights:

  • Seek medical attention promptly and follow your doctor’s treatment plan.
  • Document your injuries and keep records of all medical expenses and treatments.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company, but avoid admitting fault or providing recorded statements without legal advice.
  • Consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can assess your case and guide you in pursuing a claim.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me?

A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can guide you through the legal process and pursue compensation for your whiplash injury. They can:

  • Investigate the circumstances of the accident to determine liability.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to seek a fair settlement.
  • Advocate for your rights in court if a settlement cannot be reached.

Contact Our Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks for Legal Guidance

If you have whiplash caused by a motor vehicle crash, contact our experienced Delaware County car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. for knowledgeable guidance and support. We serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County. To learn more, call our Media or West Chester, Pennsylvania, office at 610-565-3701 or submit our online form.