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What Are the Symptoms of Late Whiplash Syndrome?

Senior male driver with whiplash injury getting out of car after traffic accident.

Whiplash vs. late whiplash syndrome.

Whiplash is a common injury sustained in car accidents, occurring when the neck experiences a sudden back-and-forth motion, typically during a rear-end collision. Late whiplash syndrome, on the other hand, manifests after an initial period, and its symptoms may not become apparent until days or weeks after an accident.

Whiplash is not just a "pain in the neck" — rather, it is a serious injury with potentially severe consequences if not treated promptly. In the aftermath of a car accident, untreated whiplash can lead to long-term health issues, affecting victims physically, emotionally, and financially. For instance, chronic neck pain, headaches, and even cognitive difficulties can emerge.

Experienced car accident lawyers understand the gravity of whiplash injuries. They can guide victims through the legal process. This support is vital in ensuring that victims receive the compensation they deserve for their suffering and losses.

Identifying delayed whiplash

Whiplash is a prevalent injury after a car accident, and its symptoms can vary widely. Signs of delayed whiplash may not surface immediately, but the sooner medical treatment is started, the better.

That is why everyone should see a doctor for a thorough medical evaluation as soon as possible after a car accident. A physician may be able to identify injuries before symptoms appear.

Even if it's a day or two after a crash, it is still worthwhile for a victim to see a doctor - especially if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms of delayed whiplash injuries:

  • Neck pain and stiffness. Persistent discomfort and limited movement in the neck.
  • Headaches. Intense and recurring headaches, possibly evolving into migraines.
  • Dizziness or vertigo. Lightheadedness, unsteadiness, or spinning sensations affecting balance.
  • Fatigue. Prolonged tiredness or lethargy impacting daily activities.
  • Difficulty concentrating. Memory lapses and mental fog.
  • Shoulder and upper back pain. Pain in other parts of the body may indicate a whiplash neck injury.
  • Jaw pain. Pain or stiffness in the jaw joint.
  • Arm tingling or numbness. Arm weakness can be a sign of whiplash.
  • Sleep disturbances. Difficulty falling or staying asleep.
  • Mood swings. Increased irritability and emotional sensitivity.
  • Blurred vision. Light sensitivity, difficulty focusing.
  • Tinnitus. Persistent ringing, buzzing, or other noises in the ears.
  • Difficulty swallowing. Impaired ability to swallow, sometimes with a feeling of a lump in the throat.

What causes delayed whiplash injuries?

The causes of delayed whiplash injuries are, in essence, an extension of the causes of immediate whiplash. The forces exerted on the neck during a collision can lead to microscopic damage that becomes more apparent as time passes. While the mechanism of injury is similar between delayed and immediate whiplash, the key difference lies in the timing of symptom onset.

In regular whiplash, symptoms often appear promptly after the accident, whereas delayed whiplash symptoms may not manifest until days or weeks later. Additionally, delayed whiplash may involve secondary factors such as delayed inflammation and the gradual development of muscle spasms, contributing to the delayed onset of symptoms.

Insurance companies will use any excuse to make lowball settlement offers. That's why the later onset of symptoms can make it challenging to link delayed whiplash injuries directly to car accidents. That's why successful whiplash injury claims often require a skilled attorney who understands the gravity of the injury and the intricacies of personal injury law in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Fighting for car accident victims since 1958

Founded in 1958, Recht Law Offices has decades of experience helping crash victims with their injury claims. Our firm offers free case evaluations to understand the specifics of your case. If you have whiplash after a car accident, get started on securing the justice and financial compensation you deserve. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.

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