Neck injuries are very common in car accidents and can cause a lot of pain, not to mention medical bills. And while neck injuries are always legitimate, they are sometimes taken less seriously than other car accident injuries. There are two main reasons for this:
- Victims don’t always realize how bad neck injuries are until some time has passed, as they can take time to manifest.
- Neck injuries like whiplash are harder to demonstrate, so insurance companies may not take them seriously.
Even if neck injuries don’t show up right away, they are serious. So, to protect your right to financial recovery for a neck injury after an accident, there are some things you should do right away.
Why a Neck Injury Can Take Time to Develop
Whiplash injuries, which result from the “whipping” back and forth of your head and neck during an accident, are some of the most common neck injuries from car accidents, especially rear-end collision accidents. It’s also very common for accident victims to not feel whiplash until some time after the accident.
There are a few reasons for this. First, your body releases pain-relieving hormones during the stress of an accident. It’s why sometimes accident victims sometimes won’t feel the extent of pain from their injuries until the adrenaline has worn off. But also, whiplash injuries don’t always fully manifest until the day after the injury. It can take time for your body to respond as pain and swelling sets in.
For these reasons, it’s vital to follow the steps below after suffering a neck injury from a car accident.
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Five Steps to Take for a Neck Injury from a Car Accident in Georgia
In the State of Georgia, the at-fault party in a personal injury accident is liable for all damages. If the other driver’s actions led to your car accident, they or their auto insurance company are responsible for covering your costs. Here’s what you need to do to best ensure that happens.
1. See a Doctor ASAP
Although whiplash and other neck injuries can take time to show up, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident. Let them know about any and all the pain you’re experiencing, even minor. If you suspect a neck injury, your doctor can give you instructions for how to nurse the injury at home. And if the neck injury worsens the next day, go back to the doctor for a follow-up and any necessary additional care.
Plus, having a record of the doctor visit and any medical treatment for your injuries is good for your insurance claim.
2. Make Yourself Comfortable at Home
Use your doctor’s instructions to care for your neck injury at home. They may advise things like:
- Icing the injured area
- Sleeping with a neck pillow to minimize movement
- Taking over-the-counter pain medication like Tylenol or Advil for any pain and swelling
- Avoiding tough physical movement of the neck during the following days
- Gentle stretching or neck exercise (in some cases)
Taking care of yourself, under doctor’s orders, can help prevent irritation and possibly making the neck injury worse.
3. Call a Car Accident Lawyer (Before Accepting ANY Insurance Money)
Set up an appointment with a car accident lawyer as soon as you can (most offer free consultations, so it’s no-risk to talk with them). The at-fault driver’s insurance company will likely work fast in reaching out to you about your case. They may even try to offer you money upfront or get information out of you about the accident.
It’s very important that you talk to a lawyer before accepting anything from insurance. Also, don’t apologize for the accident or answer any questions that could be used against you. An experienced lawyer will help ensure you file an insurance claim that accounts for all of your damages, including current and future treatment costs for your neck injury.
4. Document Changes in Your Neck Injuries
If your neck injury does worsen with time, note the changes and see your doctor for further treatment. These will need to be included in your claim, as your medical costs may increase.
5. File an Insurance Claim
Your car accident attorney can help you with this. You’re entitled to recovery for all costs related to the accident, including:
- Medical bills, doctor visits, and prescription medications need for your neck injury (and other injuries)
- Vehicle repair or replacement damages
- Lost wages for time taken off work
- Ongoing treatment like surgeries or rehabilitation costs
- Pain and suffering
These are the best steps to take if you’ve suffered a neck injury from a car accident in Georgia. Don’t wait to take action and seek the financial recovery you need to pay your bills and make up for your costs.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Neck injuries present some unique challenges after a car accident, but you deserve financial recovery for them just like your other damages. At John Foy & Associates, our attorneys have been helping car accident victims recover ALL of their costs for more than two decades now. Plus, working with us is risk-free: we don’t get paid unless we win you money. Schedule a FREE consultation with us today to discuss the details of your accident and your neck injury. Call 404-400-4000, or simply fill out the form to the right for your free consultation.