How Long Does Whiplash Last After a Car Accident?
Whiplash is one of the most common kinds of injuries in car accidents. Especially in rear-end car accidents, drivers and passengers alike can receive whiplash injuries. The neck pain associated with whiplash can make it hard to focus at work and keep you from being able to do daily chores.
Most people think of whiplash as a minor, temporary injury, but it can be surprising how many people face long-term or permanent effects of whiplash. For many, whiplash pain lasts longer than a year or results in permanent stiffness and pain.
Because whiplash injuries can be surprisingly severe, it is important to have a lawyer help you with your whiplash case. For a free legal consultation with our car accident whiplash lawyers, call The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083.
When Does Whiplash Go Away After a Car Crash?
Most people do not feel whiplash (or do not experience severe effects) immediately after a car crash. Adrenaline covers injuries, making it harder for the injury victim to feel what’s happened to them. This can be helpful in a flight-or-fight scenario, but when you’re trying to assess how bad your injuries are, it can be challenging. Additionally, whiplash sometimes takes some time to “set in” after the injury takes place, and many people do not experience whiplash symptoms until the morning after their accident.
The type of injury you face can drastically change the recovery time. Whiplash is often a combination of different types of injuries, potentially including muscle strains, ligament sprains, and stretching, pulling, or tearing of other tissue in the neck. In some cases, injuries to the bone and nerves might also occur. Because of the wide-ranging variety of injuries, whiplash can also range widely in how long it takes for recovery.
Some of these injuries could heal up after a few days while others might take weeks or even months to get back to normal. Statistics analyzed by the Cleveland Clinic state that 12-50% of people with whiplash even report having pain more than a year after their injury. For some, the pain never goes away.
Factors that Make Whiplash Injuries from Car Crashes Last Longer
There are many reasons that whiplash could last longer for some people than for others. First of all, the severity of the injury would drastically alter the time it takes to heal. A minor pull in the neck could occur from something as simple as a strong sneeze, let alone a serious car accident or truck accident. Minor pulls and strains might heal quickly, but a severe strain, a muscle tear, or a slipped disc in the neck from whiplash might take much longer to recover from.
Because whiplash is often a combination of various injuries, you might have to wait for multiple injuries to heal. It is sometimes difficult for doctors to determine the specific injuries you face without a CT scan, and even then, multiple injuries might show on the scan. Sometimes the symptoms become more manageable as some of the injuries begin to heal, but there may still be lasting effects as the more serious injuries in your neck take longer to heal.
The condition of the victim is also a significant factor in how long the injury will last. The Mayo Clinic says that some common factors that lead to “a worse outcome” involve age, previous injuries, and what speed the accident occurred at. Older adults and people with preexisting back and neck problems are more prone to severe cases of whiplash, as are people who already had a case of whiplash in the past. Injuries that occur in high-speed car accidents are often some of the worst cases of whiplash, though you can also receive whiplash in a low-speed crash or a rear-end collision at any speed.
Dealing with Long-Term Back and Neck Injuries from Whiplash
Especially when dealing with back, neck, and spine injuries, predicting the outcome can be difficult. In some cases, these injuries become permanent aches and pains regardless of how minor the injury seemed at the time. Often, people with chronic back pain and back or neck injuries build up minor injuries over time, and it takes an accident or acute injury to cause all those minor injuries to flare up. For many, a car accident whiplash injury is that acute, instantaneous injury that highlights years of neck pain and minor injuries. For others, their whiplash becomes the basis of ongoing back and neck issues.
Even if your whiplash is exacerbated by preexisting conditions, the person who caused your accident can be held responsible for all effects of the injuries you suffered because of their fault.
Suing for Whiplash Injuries in a Car Crash
Because whiplash is such a common injury, it becomes part of many car accident lawsuits and insurance claims. For those suffering from long-term whiplash effects, the pain and suffering associated with the injury can be severe. Additionally, it can be difficult to work while suffering from a whiplash injury, especially if you need to keep your head on a swivel while driving or operating machinery as part of your job. Even craning your neck to sit at a computer screen can be challenging with a whiplash injury.
In many cases, whiplash can form the basis of increased damages in your injury case, from ongoing lost wage damages to long-term pain and suffering damages. Talk to a personal injury attorney about how these injuries could affect the value of your case.
Call Our Whiplash Injury and Car Accident Lawyers for Help with Your Injury Case
If you or a loved one received a whiplash injury in a car crash, call The Carrion Law Firm for help with your damages. Our personal injury lawyers help victims manage their cases and get the compensation they need, whether their injuries are minor or severe. Call us today at (718) 841-0083.