What Should I Do if My Neck Hurts After a Car Accident?

It’s common to experience neck pain, often referred to as “whiplash,” after a car accident. The first step you should take is to seek medical care.

If everything checks out, then you should contact our New York City personal injury lawyers. Waiting too long can rob you of your chance to obtain fair compensation for your medical bills and other expenses.

Common symptoms of whiplash

Whiplash is a catch-all term for injury-related neck pain. Most often caused by an automotive collision, it can also stem from work or sport mishaps.

Some of the typical symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain or stiffness: Usually accompanied by a “knotty” sensation in the related muscles.
  • Restricted range of motion: Whiplash victims often have difficulty rocking their head back and forth or side to side.
  • Numbness or tingling: Caused by muscular tension, nerve damage, or both.
  • Head or neck pain: Often starting at the base of the skull and spreading throughout the forehead and face.
  • Dizziness or faintness: Be sure to mention this symptom to your healthcare provider. It can signal the presence of a concussion, a fractured skull, or even brain trauma.

First aid for whiplash

After your medical exam, your healthcare provider may offer self-care tips to relieve your discomfort and speed healing. Usually, these include:

  • Applying ice to your neck: A common course of treatment is to apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to your neck for 15-minute intervals. Do this every three hours or so for several days.
  • Taking painkillers: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often used. Your doctor may also prescribe other medications if your pain is severe. Never take any medicine without your healthcare provider’s approval.
  • Wearing a neck brace: These products can speed healing in many cases. However, long-term use can weaken your neck muscles, so use them with care. Remember to follow the directions precisely.

Some whiplash victims achieve relief through physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, or various forms of alternative medicine such as acupuncture.

If your neck continues to hurt

Sometimes even experienced physicians can miss the warning signs of a serious condition. If you follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations and still get no relief, then you should schedule a follow-up appointment as soon as possible.

Why it’s important to seek legal advice

After receiving medical care, the next important step is to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your options for obtaining compensation. You should do this even if you receive a settlement offer from an insurance company or the at-fault party. Here’s why:

  • Most initial offers are far too low: The other side is hoping that you’ll jump at the chance for a small amount of compensation now, rather than going after what you deserve. If you take this route, then you’ll lose your right to pursue action later.
  • Trying to deal with professional negotiators on your own is rarely a good idea: Insurance adjusters are trained to put their company’s interests first. Sometimes they resort to high-pressure tactics to promote their bottom line.
  • Injuries take more out of your budget than you may expect: The costs of recovering from an accident go beyond medical bills and lost wages. You may need to pay a third party to perform tasks that you normally take care of yourself, like preparing meals, caring for children, or running errands.
  • Talking to an attorney sends a clear message: It lets the other side know that you’re serious about receiving fair treatment.

Choosing the right auto accident law firm

Selecting an attorney takes a reasonable amount of time and consideration. Here are some tips for choosing wisely:

  • Ask about their track record: There’s nothing wrong with a law office stating how much money it has recovered for its clients. For example, the attorneys at Douglas and London have recovered more than $4 billion over their years of practice. Can others say the same?
  • Ask about their fee structure: A good auto accident law firm will offer free consultations, as does Douglas and London.
  • Ask about their client terms: It’s important to choose a practice that works on contingency. That way, you’ll never have to worry about paying out-of-pocket fees.

Contact us today

Get in touch with Douglas and London today to learn more. Our New York City car accident lawyers are available 24/7 for your convenience. We are not afraid to take on difficult cases and produce extraordinary results. There is no fee unless we win. Contact us today.