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How to Tell if You Have Whiplash After a Car Accident

On Behalf of Rush Injury Law

Chances are you’ve heard of whiplash, a fairly common car accident injury that occurs when the impact of a collision causes the neck to suddenly extend forward and backward. The sudden movement can injure the joints in your neck and the muscles in your upper back and shoulders. Many people who have been involved in a car accident will immediately feel pain and discomfort in their neck, but others won’t start to experience symptoms for hours or even days later. How do you know if you have whiplash?

Look for the common symptoms.

Whiplash symptoms may vary, but the most common signs of this injury include tightness in the neck and upper back, muscle spasms, burning or tingling in the neck and upper back, and general pain in this area.

Learn about whiplash associated disorders.

You may be familiar with the common symptoms of whiplash, but many people are unaware of other symptoms that may signal there’s a problem. These lesser-known symptoms are referred to as whiplash associated disorders, or WAD. Symptoms of WAD can include dizziness, ringing in the ears, heavy limbs, fatigue, vision changes, anxiety, depression, poor concentration, and difficulty sleeping.

Visit a doctor.

It’s recommended that you seek medical attention immediately following a car accident even if you don’t think your symptoms are severe. A doctor will most likely perform X-rays to eliminate the possibility that your symptoms could be caused by another injury. If nothing turns up on the X-rays, the doctor can order a MRI, which will show if there is soft tissue damage to the neck, back, or shoulders.

If a doctor diagnoses you with whiplash, you may have to wear a brace to keep your neck still while you recover. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe medications to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and control muscle spasms. Doctors may recommend that you attend physical therapy to regain the full range of motion in your neck. No matter what the doctor orders, be sure to document every expense you incur as a result of your injury. You may be able to recover compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company for these medical expenses, but first, you’ll need an attorney.

Are you suffering from whiplash as a result of a negligent driver? Contact attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law to discuss your case today. James Rush will be by your side through every step of the legal process so you can focus solely on your recovery. Contact us today by filling out the online form on our website,, to request a free consultation. You can also contact our office by calling 415-897-4801.

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