According to the Mayo Clinic, you typically show signs of a whiplash injury within hours or days of being involved in a car accident. While it is more common to recognize the signs of whiplash within 24 hours of an accident, symptoms may not appear until a few days go by. As a result, how long after a car accident you can get a whiplash injury may differ among people who have been in car accidents.
In many cases, after a car accident, you initially may not feel as if you have a whiplash injury or any injuries at all. Since whiplash and other injuries can develop days after a car accident has occurred, you should wait a few days to see if you have any symptoms and then get medical treatment as needed.
Whiplash Signs and Symptoms
Whiplash is a type of common neck injury that often results from car accidents, although it can have other causes. This injury occurs when your neck forcefully and quickly jerks forward and backward, like cracking a whip or nodding.
Rear-end car accidents commonly cause whiplash injuries, as well as other types of car accidents.
Some of the symptoms of whiplash may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness that worsens with movement
- Pain, tingling, and numbness in the arms, shoulders, and upper back
Other possible signs of whiplash are blurred vision, ringing in the ears, sleep problems, issues with memory and concentration, and depression.
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The Duration of Whiplash Injuries
Many people who develop whiplash after a car accident will heal within a few weeks of treatment, which often includes pain medication, application of heat and ice, rest, and exercise. Physical therapy to help increase the range of motion in your neck also may be helpful in some cases.
However, some people will continue to have symptoms, such as chronic neck pain for months and experience long-term complications as a result of whiplash.
The Cleveland Clinic reports that between 12% and 50% of all whiplash victims continue to have neck pain for up to a year following their accidents. Aside from pain, individuals who continue to suffer from the effects of whiplash may have a limited range of motion in their necks.
Due to the variations in when car accident victims begin to experience symptoms of a whiplash injury, you should seek medical treatment as soon as you develop these symptoms.
Although you may be experiencing only mild symptoms immediately following an accident, you could have more severe pain and other symptoms as time goes on.
Whiplash Injuries and Personal Injury Cases
Some people may think whiplash injuries are not serious enough for you to have a personal injury case following a car accident. They may assume they are solely responsible for their medical bills and not bother getting legal advice about their situations.
However, if the negligence of another driver or other party caused you to suffer a whiplash injury, you may have a legal case against them.
Whiplash injuries can be severe and lasting. They also may require lengthy or ongoing medical treatment, which can be expensive. Your injuries also may cause you significant pain and leave you unable to engage in your regular activities.
In some cases, they may impact your ability to work or cause you to miss work for treatment.
If careless or reckless behavior of another driver, for instance, led to your whiplash injury in a car accident, you may have a case for compensation against that driver. Car accidents resulting from drunk driving, speeding, and driving while texting all may be situations involving negligence on the part of the other driver.
As a result, you may be eligible to pursue compensation from the driver and any other responsible parties.
Deadlines for Filing Whiplash Personal Injury Lawsuits
All states have deadlines or statutes of limitations that govern how long you have to file personal injury lawsuits following car accidents. Considering how long it can be after a car accident that you can get a whiplash injury, you should be aware of the deadlines in your state for filing personal injury lawsuits.
You have only a specific timeframe in which to seek compensation, so you likely will benefit from getting legal advice about your situation as quickly as possible following your accident.
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Contact Us Now for More Information About Your Case
If you or a loved one has suffered a whiplash injury in a car accident in Pennsylvania, you may qualify for compensation from the liable parties. It may take hours or days after a car accident to get symptoms from a whiplash injury.
Since your time to seek compensation is limited, contacting Berger and Green today by calling (412) 661-1400 can help you meet all relevant deadlines.