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Can you tell if you have whiplash after a car accident?

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Car Accidents

If you are involved in a car accident, you may suffer different types of injuries, including whiplash (a neck injury caused by sudden and forceful movements of the head in one direction and then back again quickly). These movements can force the neck beyond its usual range of movement, causing soft tissues to overstretch and sprain.

Whiplash can occur in any type of collision, but it’s more common in rear-end crashes. How can you tell you have sustained this particular kind of harm?

Seek medical attention

It’s crucial to get medical help after an accident to determine the injuries you may have suffered. This is the best way to tell if you have whiplash and to get treatment sooner rather than later. With that said, identifying a few symptoms can help you know if you have whiplash before you get to the hospital. These include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Pain on body parts near the neck, including the head, shoulder and back
  • Pain in the arm or hand
  • Difficulty moving the neck/turning the head
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness and, at times, sleep deprivation
  • Numbness
  • Vision problems

These symptoms result from the injury itself and its effects on the body’s nerve signals. They can be mild or severe, depending on the injury. Taking too long to get medical attention can also worsen whiplash symptoms.

How does a doctor diagnose whiplash?

If you experience any of the symptoms discussed above, inform your doctor when you get to the hospital to make their work more manageable. To diagnose whiplash, they will perform several tests. Since whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues, it may not show up on imaging scans. But your doctor may perform imaging in addition to other tests to rule out fractures and other conditions and, in turn, diagnose whiplash.

If you have sustained whiplash in a car accident, seeking fair compensation from at-fault parties can help you cover the costs of the medical help you need.