Whiplash after a car accident is not uncommon, and in most cases, the soreness and stiffness fades away within a week or so. But what if it doesn't? If it has been more than a week since your car accident and you are still struggling with pain, stiffness, soreness, and an inability to use your neck properly, then you may be dealing with chronic whiplash. Here are five things you should do ASAP.
1. Contact an attorney.
Hopefully your car insurance company or the insurance company of the other driver covered your original medical costs related to the whiplash injury. Sadly, the insurance company may not be as open to the idea of paying for additional treatment for ongoing whiplash symptoms. They may argue that your symptoms are only still present because you did not follow doctors' orders for earlier care, or that you must have sustained a second accident to result in the ongoing symptoms.
Because it can be tough to get coverage for ongoing or worsening whiplash symptoms, you should contact a car accident attorney the moment you start to suspect chronic whiplash. Your lawyer can help you sue the insurance company or the other driver for compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injuries.
2. Follow medical care orders closely.
If you haven't already been doing so, make sure that from here on out, you follow your doctor's orders and instructions regarding treatment as closely as possible. If they say to take ibuprofen every four hours, take it every four hours. If they say to stretch your neck three times per day, stretch it three times per day. Not only will this give you the best possible chance of actually recovering from your whiplash, but it will also make it harder for the insurance company to argue that your ongoing symptoms are due to a lack of proper care.
3. See a specialist.
Ask the doctor who has been treating you to refer you to a specialist. You can either see a neurological specialist or a chiropractor. There are many chiropractors who are very skilled in dealing with whiplash. Your vertebrae may have been pulled out of alignment by tight muscles following the crash, and a chiropractor can put them back in place, granting you relief.
Seeing a specialist also helps demonstrate to the insurance company that you are serious about treating your injury. If you win your case, you should receive compensation to cover the cost of your specialist visit.
4. Stay off social media.
There is a good chance that you will end up in a legal battle with the insurance company regarding who is responsible for paying for your whiplash-related medical costs. If this happens, you do not want any information on social media sabotaging your case. A simple picture of you swinging with your child or walking down the street with a smile on your face could be presented as evidence that you're not as injured as you claim to be. It's best to just stay off social media until your case is finalized.
5. Get plenty of rest.
The stress of realizing that you have a potentially ongoing injury and that you may have to file a lawsuit can really get to you, and wallowing in that stress won't make your whiplash symptoms any better. So, make sure you set aside some time to rest and recover. Take a few extra days off of work if you must, spend an extra hour lounging at night, and stay out of the gym until you're feeling better.
If you follow the tips above, you'll have better luck not only healing from your ongoing whiplash symptoms, but also getting the compensation you deserve for the injury. Contact a whiplash injury lawyer for more info.