whiplash injuryIf you have recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may have suffered a whiplash injury.  When it comes to car accidents, whiplash is a very common injury.  Though it may not seem that serious, and many people do not seek out treatment for whiplash, this injury can have lasting consequences.

It is important both for your own health and for your potential legal case to seek out medical treatment right away if you have a whiplash injury from a car accident.  If you were injured in an accident and believe the other driver was at fault, contact California personal injury attorney Johann Hall today.  You may be due compensation for your personal injuries resulting from the car accident.

Immediately After Experiencing a Whiplash Injury

It is common for people who have sustained a whiplash injury to feel minimal or no pain right after the accident, even if the injury is serious.  This occurs because right after the car accident, your body produces cortisol and adrenaline which are hormones that temporarily help block your pain so that you have a clear mind during an emergency situation.  Once these hormones wear off, you may start experiencing significant pain.  This is why it is very important to get medical care right away after an accident, even if you think your injuries might be minimal.  Your injuries might be more serious than you initially thought.

If you are not able to see a doctor for your injuries right away, you can take some steps to care for your injury yourself in the meantime.  For a whiplash injury, it can be helpful to ice the injury area and take an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen to help with pain and swelling.  Additionally, you will want to rest the injured area and avoid performing any physical work.

Causes and Symptoms of a Whiplash Injury

Whiplash typically affects your muscles and ligaments in your neck, back, and shoulders.  The cause of whiplash in a car accident is the sudden motion of your body moving forward and backward in the car during an accident.

Within 24 hours of a whiplash injury, you may experience some swelling.  The swelling, while it is a protective response from your body, also results in added pressure to your injuries and may cause soreness and stiffness to your muscles and ligaments.

Diagnosis for a Whiplash Injury

In order to diagnose a whiplash injury, your doctor will typically perform a physical examination and will ask you questions about the accident you were in and the pain you are feeling.  Your doctor may also ask you specific questions regarding what triggers the pain, such as whether it is more painful if you move a certain way or look in a certain direction or if it hurts more while you are lying down.  Since a whiplash injury does not involve broken bones, rather it is a soft tissue injury, you probably will not have an x-ray done unless additional injuries are suspected.

Treating a Whiplash Injury

Depending on the severity of your whiplash injury, there are different ways to treat it.  Your doctor may prescribe a course of physical therapy, massage therapy, or chiropractic treatments.  These treatments may include strengthening and stretching exercises involving the injured areas of your body.  You may also be prescribed a cervical collar, known as a neck brace to help with the healing process.  Additionally, depending on the pain you are experiencing, you may also be prescribed pain medication.  If the injury is more severe, and you are not responding well to more conservative forms of treatment like physical therapy or chiropractic treatments, your doctor may also prescribe a pain injection, such as an epidural steroid injection which has the effect of blocking pain impulses.  This injection helps the tissue to heal.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

After you have received medical care for your injuries, it is a good idea to then speak with an attorney that has experience handling personal injury cases.  You will likely have some medical bills associated with your treatment for your injuries from the accident and having an attorney on your side can help ensure that you get reimbursed for these bills, along with other forms of personal injury compensation.  Other forms of personal injury compensation can include money to reimburse you for lost wages (due to taking time off work to heal from the accident) and may also include money for the pain and suffering you experienced.  Call us right away at (707) 360-8717 or fill out our online contact form right away to set up a free consultation and get started with your personal injury case.