How Auto Accidents Can Lead to Whiplash

Dec 20, 2016 @ 12:00 PM — by Kerry Steigerwalt

An accident victim in a neck braceCollisions can take place anywhere, and the injuries can be severe. Even minor injuries should not be taken lightly. If someone else caused the accident, they need to be held accountable for harming you and damaging your vehicle.

Our San Diego law firm has handled numerous injury lawsuits following car accidents, helping clients seek justice and receive damages. Many people in collisions suffer from whiplash. Let's explain what this neck injury is and how we can help on the legal side of things.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash refers to a type of neck injury that is caused by the sudden movement and hyperextension of a person's neck. This jarring and abrupt movement is similar to the cracking of a whip, which is why the injury is called whiplash.

When whiplash occurs, it can affect the various structures of the cervical spine, including the vertebrae, the vertebral discs, neck muscles, ligaments, and nerves. In very severe cases of whiplash, the neck injuries can be serious.

Common Causes of Whiplash

The most common cause of whiplash in vehicle collisions is rear-end accidents. The jerking motion of the body and neck when struck from behind are typically most severe with these kinds of accidents. This is why car seats head rests are helpful at preventing certain kinds of injuries.

How Common Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is more common than you think. The reason for that is these kinds of neck injuries can occur at very low speeds. Even a collision of 5 miles per hour has the potential to lead to a whiplash injury. Many whiplash injuries tend to occur at around 12 miles per hour.

This means that even a collision in a parking lot may lead to a neck injury. There is more than dents and scratches at stake when cars collide.

Symptoms of Whiplash

Common symptoms that people experience as a result of whiplash include the following:

  • Neck pain
  • Stiffness of the neck
  • Pain when moving your head
  • Limited range of motion in the neck
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Upper back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms

Keep in mind that a few days may pass before these symptoms become apparent.

How Whiplash Is Treated

In most cases, whiplash is treated through a combination of over-the-counter medications, neck braces, heat or cold pads, and proper rest. Injection therapy and muscle relaxants may be considered to help address pain and inflammation.

Does Whiplash Have Long-Term Effects?

Many minor cases of whiplash do not have long-term side effects or long-term repercussions so long as the injury is addressed in a timely fashion. However, serious cases of whiplash could be the sign of severe neck problems if they are not quickly addressed. This is why it's important to note any symptoms and meet with your doctor soon after a collision of any kind.

How an Auto Accident Attorney Can Help

Auto accident litigation can be complicated, and it can be difficult to understand what your legal options are given the circumstances of your collision. A skilled attorney can help hold the negligent party accountable, and offer expert legal counsel in your time of need. This can provide exceptional peace of mind, which is an invaluable part of recovery and healing following all kinds of accidents and injuries.

Learn More About Auto Accident Lawsuits

For more information about your legal rights and options following a serious neck injury, be sure to contact an experienced personal injury attorney today. We will work closely with you in your time of legal need.

Tagged with: Auto Accidents

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