How Long Does Whiplash From a Car Accident Usually Last?

how long does whiplash last

Dealing with the fallout of a car accident can be a pain in the neck — literally. Whiplash is one of the most common types of injuries we see, caused by the forceful forward and back motion of the head when you’ve been hit.

It often feels like a dull pain and stiffness and can even spread to your shoulders and arms. When you’re dealing with this type of pain, all you want to know is when will this all be over. Unfortunately, like with any injury, it depends.

If you’re in good health and can take some downtime, you may start feeling better within days. But if it’s a severe injury that damages the muscles in your neck, it could take weeks of work with a physical therapist to fully recover.

In either case, take it seriously. If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, discuss your options with our personal injury lawyers today.

What Does Whiplash Feel Like?

Whiplash symptoms can range from mild to severe and may not appear immediately after the accident.
Whiplash can feel like:

  • Neck injury pain and stiffness
  • Limited range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches, often starting at the base of the skull
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Shoulder or arm pain or tingling
  • Fatigue or sleep disturbances
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering

Whiplash can be tricky – you might feel fine right after the accident, but the pain and stiffness can sneak up on you days or even weeks later. Don’t wait to get checked out by a doctor, even if you think you’re okay. The sooner you get diagnosed and start treatment, the better your chances of making a full recovery.

How Long Will You Be Out of Work for Whiplash?

Some people might bounce back in a few weeks, while others could be dealing with symptoms for months on end.

It all depends on how bad the injury is and personal factors, like:

  • Age: Older individuals may take longer to recover due to decreased muscle and tissue elasticity.
  • Overall health: Pre-existing conditions or a weakened immune system can prolong recovery.
  • The severity of the injury: The extent of tissue damage and the force of impact can affect recovery time.
  • Prompt treatment: Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can accelerate the healing process.

In some cases, whiplash leads to long-term or chronic pain and limited mobility. Those who experience ongoing symptoms for more than six months may be at risk of developing chronic whiplash.

Seeking prompt medical attention and following a comprehensive treatment plan can reduce the likelihood of long-term complications.

Whiplash Treatment and Recovery

Getting whiplash treatment typically involves a combination of approaches to manage pain, reduce inflammation, and restore mobility.

Common treatments include:

  • Pain medication: Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers can help manage discomfort during healing.
  • Immobilization: A physician may recommend using a soft cervical collar or neck brace to limit neck movement and allow the tissues to heal.
  • Physical therapy: Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can help restore range of motion and regain muscle strength.
  • Alternative therapies: Chiropractic care, massage, and other complementary therapies may benefit some individuals.

You must follow the treatment plan your medical professional prescribes to ensure a successful recovery. In addition to medical interventions, there are steps individuals can take to aid their healing.

  • Rest: Avoid strenuous activities and allow the neck to rest and heal.
  • Heat and cold therapy: Applying cold packs or heat pads can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Posture awareness: Maintaining good posture can prevent further strain on the neck muscles.
  • Gentle exercises: Performing gentle neck stretches and strengthening exercises recommended by a physical therapist can help regain mobility.

Can You Get Compensation From a Whiplash Injury?

If you’ve recently been in a car accident and are suffering from whiplash, you may be entitled to compensation via a personal injury claim.

Compensation for whiplash injuries can help cover various expenses, such as:

  • Medical bills: Including doctor visits, medications, physical therapy, and any necessary medical equipment.
  • Lost wages: If your whiplash injury has caused you to miss work, you may be able to recover lost income.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the injury.

To increase your chances of receiving compensation, it’s essential to:

  1. Seek medical attention immediately: A proper diagnosis and treatment plan from a medical professional will serve as crucial evidence in your claim.
  2. Document the accident: Gather as much information as possible about the accident, including photos, witness statements, and a police report.
  3. Consult with a personal injury attorney: An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, communicate with insurance companies, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

The amount of compensation you receive will depend on factors such as the severity of your whiplash injury, its impact on your daily life, and the circumstances surrounding the accident.

By acting quickly and consulting a personal injury lawyer, you are better positioned to recover the compensation you deserve.

Contact Purely Legal for a Consultation Today

If you’re experiencing symptoms of whiplash or other injuries after a car crash, seek legal assistance from a skilled personal injury attorney.

Purely Legal is dedicated to helping car accident victims secure fair compensation for their whiplash injuries and damages. Our attorneys can help you gather evidence, build a strong case, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.

We understand the long-lasting impact of whiplash and other injuries and are committed to giving you the support and resources you need to recover physically, emotionally, and financially.
Contact us for a free consultation and personalized guidance.

Author Bio

Orlando Sheppard

Orlando Sheppard is a Co-Founder and Partner of Purely Legal, a multi-state personal injury law firm serving clients in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. He handles a wide range of personal injury matters, including car accidents, bike accidents, dog bites, premise liability, slip and falls, and wrongful death.

Orlando received his Juris Doctor from Florida A&M University College of Law and is a member of the Florida Bar, the Maryland State Bar Association, and the Orange County Bar Association.

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