Whiplash is often more serious than most people realize. If you’ve been in a whiplash car accident, you may not have realized the extent of your injury. Whiplash can lead to long-term neck, head, and back injuries.
The problem is people are often unclear on what to do when they’ve suffered whiplash in a car accident. Just because you get up and walk away, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t receive medical care or financial compensation. Here are some tips on what to do when you’ve been in an accident.
Seek Medical Attention
It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible when you’ve been in a car accident. Even if you feel perfectly fine, you could still be injured and not know about it. Many people with whiplash feel no initial pain immediately after an accident.
That’s because the body releases adrenaline and cortisol that stop you from feeling pain. These hormones are natural pain killers which can fool people into thinking they’re uninjured.
When the adrenaline wears off, you may begin to feel pain but you may not think it’s worth being seen by a doctor. Whiplash injuries can become dramatically worse if they’re not treated as quickly as possible. Simple daily tasks can make the condition much worse and cause long-term damage.
Although whiplash can be difficult to diagnose, your doctor will be able to help you with your treatment. Describing the pain to your doctor and a few simple evaluations, like moving your body in certain ways, will help your doctor to prescribe the best course of action.
This may involve massage therapy, physical therapy, and chiropractic sessions. For symptoms like neck spasms or cervical sprains, your doctor may prescribe an epidural injection to allow your soft tissue to heal.
Caring for Yourself
It’s important to care for yourself properly while you’re at home after an accident. Taking some time off work to heal properly is wise. Each injury is different so you’ll need to listen to the advice that your doctor gives you.
Generally, after a whiplash accident, patients are asked to ice the injury for the first 24 hours. Your doctor may also recommend that you take painkillers like ibuprofen to decrease swelling.
You may be asked to rest for a specific period before slowly introducing exercise back into your daily routine. If you have a neck injury, sleeping with a neck pillow can help you to comfortably stay in a suitable position while you sleep.
Even if your injuries are minor, you still deserve justice for what you’ve been through. Being in an accident can cause all sorts of damage: physical, psychological and of course, damage to your vehicle.
The best thing you can do is speak to an auto injury lawyer as soon as possible. This isn’t just so you can get a claim started quickly but also because your memory of the events will be fresh.
If the other party’s insurance company or lawyer gets there before you, you run the risk of saying or doing something that could cause you problems or cost you money.
What Not to Say
There are a few things you should never say to the other party or their representatives. In the days after an accident, it can be easy to feel emotional and traumatized. This may lead you to say things like, ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘I take part of the responsibility’.
You should never say anything without the guidance of your own lawyer. If you’re making a claim, you should state that you’re in pain and receiving treatment from the beginning and always follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter.
If an insurance company sends you documents to sign, do not sign them without consulting your lawyer beforehand. Similarly, if an insurance company tries to speak with you on the phone, do not answer any of their questions. Direct them to your lawyer instead.
After an accident, the other party may offer you cash to settle the problem quickly. It may be tempting to take the offer and get your vehicle fixed so you can forget about the accident. However, you won’t be fully compensated for what you’ve been through.
Don’t be tempted to settle there and then because you may regret the decision in hindsight. People who have to deal with a claim often become better drivers as a result. You could help to stop someone else from going through the same thing with the same careless driver.
Finding the Best Lawyer
The last thing you want to do after an accident is scramble for a lawyer. Resting after you’ve been injured is important, so make the search process easy on yourself.
The first thing you need to remember is to find lawyers that specifically works on accidents after road traffic collisions. The second thing you need to do is ask for references. A good lawyer will always be able to provide you with references.
Then, all you need to do is rely on word of mouth. If someone has had a bad experience with a lawyer, you’ll certainly be able to find out about it.
Getting Over a Whiplash Car Accident
Getting over your whiplash car accident may not be as easy as you would assume. Some people never return to driving once they’ve been in a car accident.
Take your time to process what’s happened and make sure the right people take responsibility for it. Take a look at some more advice on making a claim after you’ve been involved in an accident.