When Do Whiplash Symptoms Appear After a Car Crash?

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A car accident ranges from mild to severe and from non-fatal to deadly. Regardless of its magnitude, auto crash victims pass through a lot of pain, stress, and suffering. Many victims suffer life-threatening injuries that they never heal from.

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that traffic crash victims receive. This type of injury can be Grades 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4.  Grade 0 is the mildest, and the injured party may not have any physical signs or complaints. Level 4 is the most complicated type of whiplash, with dislocation and neck complaints. A Grade 4 whiplash can also be fatal.

So, knowing what to do if you support whiplash right after a car accident is very important. Taking the right action immediately can ensure that you don’t complicate your injury. This article will let you in on all you need to know about helping yourself in a whiplash accident. If you have an Indianapolis car accident lawyer, you can get maximum compensation for your pain while at that.

What’s Whiplash? 

Whiplash is a neck injury; it results from the head jolting forward and snapping back.  It happens when you make sudden forceful back and forth neck movements due to the impact of an accident. Mayo Clinic describes this movement to be “like the cracking of a whip.” The vicious motion makes the neck tissues, ligaments, or tendons stretch, surpassing its natural motion range.

The symptoms of whiplash include headaches, neck pain, dizziness, blurred vision, loss of neck motion range, and stiff neck. For most patients, the neck pain worsens as they try to move their necks. Some others can experience tinnitus, depression, irritability, and memory troubles.

The complications can aggravate if the victim is an older adult or has earlier neck or back pain. Also, persons who had whiplash in the past, a high-speed accident, or fell from heights risk complicated injuries. The types of whiplash include joint, muscle, nerve, and disc injuries. Whiplash patients can feel some relief with proper medical treatment and chiropractic care.

How Long After an Accident Will I Notice Whiplash?

Usually, car accident victims experience injury symptoms like pain right at the crash site. However, other times, you may not notice any injury or feel the pain till after a few hours or days. Since whiplash causes damage to the soft tissues, you may only see the symptoms hours after the accident. Whiplash injuries are terrible because they can get worse with time before the victim knows to seek medical care.

Apart from being a soft tissue injury, whiplash symptoms can appear late because of the following reasons:

Your Body Is in Fight-or-Flight Mode 

Our bodies are structured to be resilient and to defend themselves in emergencies. As such, when our bodies perceive danger or attack, it responds psychologically to protect themselves. This psychological response to a perceived threat is called hyperarousal or the acute stress response. It’s more popularly known as the fight-or-flight mode.

In response to the detected danger, the body either tries to run away or fight to fend off the threat. Many auto crash victims enter this mode as an accident occurs. So, their bodies suddenly release certain hormones that trigger their sympathetic nervous systems. The nervous systems react by stimulating the adrenal glands and activating adrenaline release.

These reactions increase the victims’ blood pressure, heart rates, and breathing rates. It can also cause pale skin and dilated pupils. All these systems help in one way or another to prepare the endangered person for action.

The body returns to its pre-arousal state moments after the danger passes. It’s usually only then that the crash victim will begin to feel the pain due to whiplash. That’s because the flight-or-fight mode reduces the perception of pain due to the chain reactions that occur.

The Soft Tissues Take Time To Settle and Register the Swelling

You may not notice the injury on time because of the time the soft tissues take to settle. When it eventually settles, it causes significant pain that you can then feel. Again, the injuries may keep on swelling, and the body may take time to notice them. That’s why it’s always advisable to call for the medics, even if you don’t feel any symptoms or pain after an accident.

Talk to an Experienced Attorney About Your Whiplash Claim 

It’s painful to develop a whiplash due to someone else’s negligence in an accident. You deserve justice, and you need compensation for the hardship you’ve had to endure. You can only guarantee success in your whiplash claims when you consult with the best car accident attorneys available. Contact us at Stewart Phelps Wood today to get started.

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