Time and again, people attribute serious injuries to serious accidents. While serious injuries are common in these scenarios, do not think that just because you were in a minor accident, your injuries are also minor. Often, medical professionals suggest visiting a doctor after an accident, regardless of how you feel.

In the minutes following an accident, your adrenaline levels may be high. This will distract you from injuries or pain. Additionally, your injuries may not become apparent until later. Whiplash, for instance, is one of the most common injuries after an accident. According to Mayo Clinic, you may not experience symptoms for 24 hours.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is a neck sprain or strain in which the back, neck or nerves suffer damage. While some patients may feel better within weeks, others may suffer for months or years.

Warning signs of serious whiplash include:

  • Headaches
  • Arm pain
  • Severe neck pain

In addition, for older patients or those who have existing lower back or neck pain, the symptoms can be more severe and the condition may last longer.

Whiplash often occurs in rear-end accidents. These do not have to be high-speed accidents. In these accidents, your head jerks forcefully back and then forward. This can potentially injure the bones in your spine, ligaments, nerves and disks between the bones.

No matter the car accident, there is no clear way to determine how long it will take each person to recover from whiplash. However, the sooner you seek medical help, the sooner you can begin treating the condition.

None of the above information is intended to be legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.