When a car accident occurs, it doesn’t matter how much damage is done to the car. That is not what determines what type of injuries you have. A seemingly minor fender bender could cause debilitating chronic pain if left untreated. To make sure that you are able to get back to normal after any type of car accident, here are a few things to remember.

  • Follow all legal processes. Make sure you exchange information with everyone involved. If you don’t follow all the rules, the insurance company could refuse to pay your claim.
  • Don’t let an insurance agent tell you that your injuries won’t be covered because the car has little damage. It is not only illegal for them to say that, but also false. Don’t sign away your rights. Just as some people walk away from an accident where the car is demolished, there are also cases where people are severely injured with only minor damage to the car. You are entitled to compensation.
  • Call our office to be seen by Dr. Hirst as soon as possible, even if it seems like the accident wasn’t a big deal. Dr. Hirst can do an evaluation and give you a treatment plan. If that plan includes follow ups with any other doctors, he can refer you as well as give you a copy of your x-rays to take with you.
  • If our office is closed and you have to go to the ER, get a digital copy of your x-rays. Often the doctor in the ER will give you a prescription for pain medication and send you on your way. That may help temporarily, but what about long term? Make sure that your injuries are properly documented after an accident.

Most people who experience whiplash will recover in the first two to three months. Fewer people may continue to have pain for several months — possibly up to two years — after the injury occurred. In some people, this chronic pain can be traced to damage in the joints, disks and ligaments of the neck. But in many cases, no abnormality can be found to explain this persistent neck pain.

In the more severe and chronic case of “whiplash associated disorder” symptoms can include: depression, anger, frustration, anxiety, stress, drug dependency, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and insomnia.

Complications can occur from seemingly minor injuries. Remember, make sure to follow all the proper procedures after an accident and come see Dr. Hirst as soon as possible for a total evaluation and treatment plan. Take control and feel better.