Claiming Whiplash After a Car Accident – What You Must Do Next

Whiplash is a painful soft tissue injury that can seriously disrupt your life, but thankfully, can be treated. In this article, we provide you with a comprehensive guide to whiplash after a car accident, which will help you learn what to do next.
Woman holding her neck because of whiplash after a car accident

How to Claim for a Whiplash Injury After a Car Accident

Claiming whiplash after a car accident is a common type of personal injury claim for people involved in a motor vehicle accident. If this is your situation, you will know how scary it can be when the unexpected happens on the road. Even a collision at low speed can cause you to be harmed. When you suffer a whiplash injury following a collision, you will likely want to know what to do next.

In Australia, a common road injury many people experience after a car accident is whiplash. Whiplash is a painful soft tissue injury that can seriously disrupt your life, but thankfully, it can be treated. You’ll find all the information you need to know about whiplash after a car accident right here in this article, where we provide you with a comprehensive guide to whiplash after a car accident, which will help you learn the following:

  • The symptoms of whiplash,
  • How it is diagnosed
  • The various treatment options available
  • Legal options for Whiplash compensation

This helpful information will help you know the recommended steps to recover from your injury and get your life back on track.

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Understanding Whiplash Injuries: What Happens in a Car Accident

Whiplash following a car accident is a typical type of personal injury, particularly in rear-end smashes. During a car crash, the sudden impact of vehicles colliding can make your head jerk backwards and forward in a sudden whipping motion. This violent action can cause damage to the soft tissues in your neck, including muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Furthermore, even though car accidents (and especially rear-end collisions) are the leading cause of whiplash, it can also occur as a result of:

Remember that you might not feel the effects of a whiplash injury immediately after an accident. Be aware that Whiplash pain is caused by muscle swelling, which can take time to develop after a collision (though you may feel some pain immediately after).

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Read on to understand the feeling of whiplash pain after a car accident.

What Does Whiplash Pain Feel Like?

Whiplash pain is different for everyone, but it often feels like a deep aching pain or burning sensation in the neck and shoulders. It is frequently associated with a reduced range of motion and stiffness in the area. Headaches are a frequent symptom, with some people also feeling numb or tingling sensations.

Next, in our guide to car accident whiplash injuries, we review signs and symptoms.

The Symptoms of Whiplash: How to Identify Them After a Car Accident

The signs and symptoms of whiplash may not appear immediately after a car accident. Generally, soft-tissue damage takes time to swell, so you may not have symptoms for a few hours or several days. Typical whiplash signs and symptoms include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms
  • Back pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Difficulty sleeping

We examine diagnosis procedures in the following section of our comprehensive whiplash guide.

Diagnosing Whiplash Injuries

Car accident whiplash is typically diagnosed after a thorough physical examination and evaluation of the patient’s injury and trauma history. Firstly, your doctor will move your head and neck as part of the physical exam to detect any soreness or tenderness. If the treating physician suspects more serious damage, they may recommend imaging tests like X-rays, CT, or MRI scans.

Secondly, once your medical professional has established that you have a whiplash injury, they could recommend a further evaluation to understand the full extent of your damage. These assessments might include a neurological examination and a test of your range of motion, where they usually ask about your symptoms and how they impact your life in general.

Keep reading to understand treatment options for whiplash injuries.

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How Whiplash is Treated

How whiplash is treated after a car accident is specific to the nature and severity of your injury. Typically, whiplash can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, ice packs, and rest. However, in cases of severe or prolonged pain, a doctor may recommend alternatives, such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Prescription pain medication
  • Injections to numb the affected area

Top Tips for Preventing Whiplash in a Car Accident

If you frequently travel by car, you might be interested in learning how to lower your risk of suffering a soft-tissue neck injury. Here are our top tips for preventing whiplash.

Wear a Seatbelt

Please wear a seatbelt correctly when driving or riding in a motor vehicle. This will keep your body in place during an unexpected collision, reducing your risk of whiplash.

Adjust Your Headrest

Adjust the headrest in your vehicle to the right height for you. Ideally, it should be the same height as your ears and near your head, providing firm neck support during a traffic crash.

Maintain a Safe Following Distance

Maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles when driving. Allowing space between cars will give you more time to stop if someone in front of you slams on their brakes.

When the unforeseen happens and you have a motor vehicle collision, get medical treatment immediately, even if you have no symptoms. Documenting your condition is essential, as whiplash can take days or weeks to be detected.

Can Car Accident Whiplash Be Serious?

Yes, whiplash after a car accident can be serious. Soft tissue damage, like whiplash, can sometimes lead to long-term medical complications like chronic pain and stiffness. Furthermore, your condition can prevent you from working, resulting in a significant financial loss. In this circumstance, you could seek compensation by making a road traffic accident claim for your harm.

Splatt Lawyer’s personal injury legal team provides informed advice on a 100% no-win, no-fee basis. Our No-Pay legal funding means you pay fees when you win and nothing if you lose. Learning your right to claim compensation is free, so contact us now. Get immediate support by calling 1800 700 125.

Next, in our guide to whiplash injuries following a car accident, we examine how long this type of injury typically lasts.

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How Long Does Whiplash Last After a Car Accident?

The extent of harm to your neck muscles determines how long your whiplash condition lasts after a car accident. Severe injuries can sometimes result in chronic whiplash, causing serious neck pain and recurring muscle spasms that impact your quality of life and lead to earnings loss. This type of injury could be a long-term neck condition lasting a year or more.

Alternately, minor injuries may involve mild symptoms like a stiff neck, persistent pain, and a recovery time of a few weeks. Typically, the duration of this type of soft tissue injury is generally under 12 months, with most people making a full recovery.

Regardless of the extent of your damage, when you are harmed in a car accident that was not your fault (like a rear-end car crash), you could make a CTP insurance claim for your loss. Contact our car accident compensation team now for informed legal advice.

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Can I Make a CTP Claim for Whiplash Following a Car Accident?

Yes, if you have suffered whiplash after a car accident, you may be able to claim against a CTP insurance policy. Generally, all Queensland motorists have compulsory third-party insurance. This driver insurance means that when you are injured in a road accident, you could lodge a whiplash injury claim against the CTP insurer of the at-fault party.

Furthermore, this type of personal injury claim could help you receive compensation for your legal costs, medical expenses, lost wages, lost superannuation, medical expenses and general damages for pain and suffering.

The skilled personal injury solicitors at Splatt Lawyers have 28+ years of expertise in helping injured Queenslanders motorists get their lives back on track. It’s free to know if you have a valid whiplash compensation claim and you owe us nothing until we win your case. Call Now 1800 700 125.

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What to Do Next for Whiplash Injury After a Car Crash

So what should you do next when a rear-end car crash leaves you with the suspicion that you have a whiplash injury? Here are some actions to take:

Immediately Get Medical Help.

Please get medical attention as soon as possible for whiplash after a vehicle accident, even if you don’t notice any pain or discomfort. Whiplash symptoms may not appear for a few days, but a doctor can diagnose, document and treat any physical damage. Some medical symptoms can take hours or days to appear, and a medical professional will help identify any problems and provide necessary treatment.

Follow Your Doctor’s Orders

The next recommended step for whiplash injuries after a car accident is to follow your doctor’s orders and attend all appointments. They might advise physiotherapy treatment or chiropractic care, which can help reduce pain, increase the range of movement, and accelerate the healing process.

Rest and Take Care of Yourself

Please take the time to rest and care for yourself after a car accident. This means avoiding strenuous activities that may worsen your injury and getting plenty of sleep to help your body heal.

Document Everything

Be sure to document everything related to the traffic accident, including medical bills, insurance claims, and any missed work. You will need compelling evidence to build a strong case when you must file a claim or pursue legal action.

Get Legal Advice from a Skilled Whiplash Lawyer

Knowing your legal rights is an essential step for whiplash following a car accident where you weren’t to blame. An experienced whiplash lawyer will help you understand the legal process and justice for your loss.

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Getting Back on the Road: How to Safely Return to Driving After Whiplash

Understanding Whiplash and How It Can Impact Your Ability to Drive

Whiplash can significantly impact your ability to drive safely. Pain or stiffness in your neck and shoulders can make it difficult to turn your head while driving or react to unexpected changes in traffic. We recommend you take the necessary precautions and seek medical attention before returning to driving after experiencing whiplash following a car accident.

Preparing Yourself Mentally and Physically for Returning Behind the Wheel

mentally and physically prepare themselves before returning to the road. You could start by practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation to help ease any anxiety or fear you may have about driving again. Physically, ensure you have completed all recommended treatments and exercises to strengthen your neck muscles and improve your range of motion. When you do start driving again, start with short trips during low traffic times and gradually increase your driving time and distance. Please ensure you wear your seatbelt properly and adjust your headrest to the appropriate height to prevent future injuries.

6 Tips for Driving Safely While Recovering from Whiplash

  1. Start Slow: Take short trips around your neighbourhood before attempting longer drives.
  2. Adjust Your Seat: Make sure your seat is adjusted to support your neck and back properly.
  3. Use Supportive Devices: Consider using a neck pillow or seat cushion to provide extra support.
  4. Avoid Sudden Movements: Try to avoid sudden stops, starts, or turns while driving.
  5. Take Breaks: If you start to feel discomfort or pain, pull over and take a break.
  6. Communicate with Passengers: Let your passengers know about your injury and ask them to help you avoid sudden movements or distractions while driving.

Driving safely and recovering from whiplash can feel like a challenge, but you can make the process easier and less stressful by taking some simple steps. Remember to start slow, adjust your seat and use supportive devices, avoid sudden movements, take breaks when needed, and communicate with your passengers about your injury. By following these tips, you can safely return to driving after experiencing whiplash in a car accident.

Get Expert Whiplash Legal Advice After a Car Accident

When you have a whiplash injury after a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, you must protect your rights and get expert legal advice. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you understand your options and remove the stress you might otherwise experience.

Splatt Lawyers has over 28 years of expertise in helping injured motorists access justice. Our compensation legal team will guide you through the CTP claim process, ensuring you get your deserved whiplash injury payout. All our legal services are 100% no win, no fee, which means you pay fees only when we win and nothing if you lose. It’s free to start, so call now – 1800 700 125.

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