While many injuries occur in car accidents, whiplash is among the most common. This injury happens when the force of an accident causes a person’s head to move quickly forward and backward. The resulting muscle strains and soft tissue damage can cause intense pain and significant disruption to an individual’s life.

Because many people are unaware of the symptoms of whiplash, they may not seek the early treatment they need to optimize their recovery. Recognizing the effects of whiplash can help you understand what steps to take to recover your health and attain the compensation you deserve.

What Are the Primary Symptoms of Whiplash?

The symptoms of whiplash can vary, depending on the circumstances of the crash and the affected individual’s unique physiology. Some instances of whiplash may be relatively mild, while others can be severe enough to turn a person’s life upside-down.

The first symptom to be aware of is pain and stiffness in the neck, where damage to muscles and ligaments can cause soreness and a decreased range of motion. However, the pain does not always remain localized. Sprains in the soft tissue can also affect the nerves, causing pain that radiates into the arms. Many people experience muscle weakness, tingling, and numbness in the shoulders and hands.

This neurological damage can cause other symptoms, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
  • Emotional effects, such as irritability
  • Cognitive effects, such as problems with concentration or memory
  • Sleep problems, such as insomnia

All of these symptoms have the potential to create challenges in a person’s ability to work, run errands, and enjoy the activities of daily life.

When Will Symptoms First Appear?

The shock of an accident causes a surge of adrenaline to rush through your body, which can mask the pain of any injuries you may have sustained in the collision. For this reason, many people who suffer whiplash in a crash feel fine in the immediate aftermath. Symptoms such as soreness and stiffness of the neck often begin to appear after 24 hours, but many people may not begin to feel anything for several days. Additional symptoms may begin to appear or worsen in the days that follow.

Should I Go to the Doctor for Whiplash?

If you suspect you have whiplash when noticing any of the above symptoms after a car accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. A doctor can diagnose your condition and prescribe medication, physiotherapy, or other forms of treatment to help you on the path toward healing.

However, even if you do not have any symptoms, visiting a medical professional as soon as possible after an accident is always advisable. A thorough examination can detect injuries before you become aware of them, improving your chances of making a complete physical recovery and optimizing your ability to receive compensation for your losses. If you wait too long to see a doctor after the accident, the insurance company representative may argue that your injury was caused by an unrelated incident.

Contact an Atlanta, Georgia, Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you suspect you have suffered whiplash in a car accident due to another party’s negligence, an experienced car accident lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia, can fight for the compensation you deserve. The legal team at W. Winston Briggs Law Firm understands how difficult life can feel after suffering a whiplash injury, and we are here to stand up for your rights. Call our offices today at (404) 522-1500 or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.