There is no direct answer for how long after an accident you can get whiplash. However, the symptoms may not manifest for days, weeks, or even months after your car accident.
Consequently, it is imperative that you seek medical treatment immediately after a crash, even if you do not believe you sustained any serious injuries.
What Symptoms Might I Experience with a Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash may manifest in one or more of a variety of symptoms. Accident victims with whiplash may experience:
- Severe headaches
- Pain or stiffness in the neck, shoulders, or upper back
- A feeling of “pins and needles” in the arm and hand
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Jaw problems
- Disruption in your hearing or vision
You might also have difficulty with memory, concentration, or sleeping. If you are suffering from any combination of these symptoms, seek medical attention straightaway.
Although you may recover from the bulk of your physical symptoms in a matter of weeks or months, it sometimes takes years. In other cases, car accident victims experience long-term or permanent discomfort.
What Treatment Might I Need for a Whiplash Injury?
In most cases, you will only need:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
For more severe cases, you might need physical therapy or even surgery.
Why Does Whiplash Pose a Challenge in Filing an Insurance Claim?
There are three reasons it is difficult to prove whiplash for an insurance claim.
- It is usually not possible to document whiplash on an imaging scan. To diagnose whiplash, your doctor will often rely on your description of your symptoms.
- The symptoms are subjective and can stem from many different things. Without a clear diagnosis, the insurer will likely claim that your symptoms are due to another ailment.
- Symptoms might not appear for weeks.
After an accident, you should seek immediate medical evaluation and treatment. Getting checked out by emergency medical technicians at the accident scene, followed up by a more thorough evaluation from a specialist will help ensure you get the right type of care and treatment.
It will also help to establish the link between your accident and your symptoms, which is the basis for an injury claim. If you wait weeks to get medical attention, it can be difficult for the doctor to determine whether the symptoms stem for your accident or not.
Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. to Discuss Your Whiplash Case
The New York statutes give you three years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. However, the sooner you can get started on filing a claim, the better.
Contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. today to learn more about the long-term effects of whiplash and other injuries common to auto accident victims. We offer a free consultation with one of our Long Island car accident lawyers to answer your questions and help you decide on your next step.
Call us today at 800-550-0000 to get started.