Understanding Whiplash Injuries

Man with whiplash

“Whiplash” is used to describe a wide array of neck injuries. Whiplash injuries focus on the soft tissue of the neck and are commonly found after a rear-end collision. When a vehicle is struck from behind, the impact forces the driver’s and passengers’ bodies violently forward, while their heads stay in place. This exposes the neck to sudden extensions and flexions, causing a contortion similar to a whipping motion. The injuries that can result from this type of accident can affect an individual for weeks or even years after the accident, and therefore should not be taken lightly.

The Negative Stigma of Whiplash

Unfortunately, the term “whiplash” has a negative stigma surrounding it. In the past, it was associated with those who exaggerated or altogether faked their injuries, and with attorneys who used questionable business practices to represent their false claims. In reality, this is a scientifically proven  injury, and there are highly qualified, respected medical professionals who diagnose individuals with this type of injury on a weekly basis.

What Causes Whiplash?

Whiplash injuries are most commonly found in rear-end accidents, but they can also be seen in other types of incidents, such as:

  • Contact sports
  • Other types of auto accidents (front-end or “t-bone,” for example)
  • Assaults
  • Skiing or snowboarding accidents
  • Child abuse
  • Slip and fall accidents

It is important to note that whiplash does not just occur in a high speed impact. In fact, whiplash is more commonly found in low speed, low impact accidents. As long as the head and neck are forced to move at speeds greater than the body can handle, a person could suffer from whiplash injuries.

The Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash presents with a variety of symptoms, but the most common are:

  • Headache
  • Neck pain or stiffness in the neck and upper shoulders
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased range of motion in the neck
  • Back, shoulder, or arm pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue and difficulty sleeping
  • Burning, tingling, or prickling sensations in the arms, shoulders, and/or neck

How Long Can a Person Suffer from Whiplash?

Depending on the severity of the injury, along with other injuries sustained, a person will go through multiple treatments, such as using a neck brace or collar to stabilize the neck. They will also likely take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, ice the area, and receive other professional treatments such as massage, manipulation, or ultrasound.

Some cases of whiplash can resolve in just a few days, but more serious injuries can take weeks or months to fully heal. A person will often undergo rehabilitative therapy after their initial symptoms have subsided to help the muscles become stronger and more limber.

Do You Have Whiplash from an Auto Accident or Other Type of Accident?

If you have been diagnosed with whiplash following a car accident – or any accident that was the result of someone else’s negligence – you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Law Offices of Kevin J. Roach, LLC today for a free consultation by calling (866) 519-0085 or by filling out an online contact form.