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What To Do After Car Accident Neck Pain?

neck pain after car accident

After you’ve been in an auto accident, especially if you were rear-ended, you may very well have experienced whiplash. Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs because of a rapid and forceful back-and-forth movement of the neck. It’s extremely common in car accidents.

One of the major symptoms of whiplash is neck pain. A person can suffer from this neck pain for a few hours following their car accidents to even several months. So what should you do if you’re suffering from neck pain after a car accident?

Continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

What Should You Do Immediately Following the Car Accident?

If you feel that you’re suffering from whiplash, you should treat it seriously, no matter how mild the neck pain may be. This is because you may have suffered from whiplash without even realizing it. There are a few reasons for this.

In the seconds following an accident, the body releases both cortisol and adrenaline. These are hormones meant to stop you from feeling pain so you can make it through the dangerous situation. But after the effects of these hormones subside, you will likely feel pain.

You also might experience swelling in the impacted areas of the body over the following day. This swelling is executed by your body for protective purposes but it can also lead to soreness and stiffness.

A whiplash injury can often mean that the ligaments and muscles of the neck were injured. If you don’t treat these injuries immediately, your symptoms may get worse.

And if the force of the accident was strong, you may have even sustained a concussion. That’s because the forceful shake of the neck and head could lead to your brain hitting the walls of your skull.

This is why it’s so important to seek professional medical treatment after an accident.

What Can a Doctor Do for You?

When you suffer from whiplash, you may end up with whiplash-associated disorder (WAD). There is no definitive test, evaluation, or X-ray that can let you know if you have WAD. That’s because WAD usually doesn’t involve broken bones but soft tissue.

With that said, a doctor can do a series of evaluations to see how much pain you’re experiencing and what’s causing it. Some treatments they may suggest can include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Strength exercises and stretches
  • Pain medication and NSAIDs
  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic treatments
  • Using a soft cervical collar (“neck brace”)
  • Injections to allow tissues to heal and block pain impulses (pain management)

The specific treatment they recommend will depend on what type of injuries you have and how severe the pain is.

Self-Care Treatments

First and foremost, you should follow the treatment regimen that your doctor prescribes to you. In general, there are certain measures you can take to relieve the pain when you’re home. These treatments include:

  • Taking an NSAID like ibuprofen for swelling and pain
  • Avoiding intense physical work
  • Icing the injured area
  • Using a neck pillow while sleeping

As helpful as these treatments are, you should never try to treat whiplash or neck pain yourself without consulting an auto accident doctor.

The Legal Steps to Take

It’s highly recommended that you speak with a car accident attorney immediately after getting into an accident. This is because the hours and even days following an accident can be hectic and difficult to navigate.

The insurance company isn’t necessarily on your side, so you’ll want someone who you can trust and consult with.

This is also why you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. It can take a while for you to feel enough neck pain following an accident that you decide it warrants visiting a doctor. If you wait too long to see a doctor, you will be weakening your claim that your injuries are due to the car accident.

Soon after a car accident, the police will likely arrive. Let them know what happened and what you intend to seek medical treatment. Also, tell the police officer about any pain at all that you might be feeling at that moment.

After you see a no-fault doctor, you must follow their orders completely. By disregarding your treatment regimen, you can weaken your case.

And if you’re not happy with your doctor’s treatment plan or their diagnosis, you should find a new doctor that you are more comfortable with.

Also, never sign anything that the insurance company sends to you or give a recorded statement without first talking with your personal injury lawyer.

Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you. If the insurance company calls to ask you questions, let them know you have an attorney and give them your attorney’s contact information.

And if you were injured while driving for work, you very well may have a workers’ compensation case on your hands.

You should also never accept “fast cash” from the insurance company. This is because whiplash is a complex medical condition and you simply don’t know what all of the symptoms are going to be and how long the recovery period you will need.

The Importance of Knowing What to Do When You Experience Neck Pain After Car Accident

Experiencing neck pain after a car accident is something that should never be taken lightly. For your own health as well as for legal safety, you need to make sure that you act quickly.

Were you recently injured in an accident and need assistance?  Call 1-800-897-8440 to find an experienced auto injury doctor near you. Don’t delay, some car injuries can be hidden, call now and get help!


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