Whiplash from Car Accidents

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“Whiplash” is used to describe a range of neck injuries. It’s used most commonly in rear-end car accidents, but can result from other incidents.

Rear- End Accidents

In a rear-end accident the impact propels the driver’s and passengers' bodies forward while their heads stay in place. This action exposes the neck to sudden, extreme extension and flexion that follows a whip-like motion. Opposite to popular belief, whiplash is commonly caused by low speed, low impact, rear-end automobile collisions.

Other Types of Whiplash Incidents

Whiplash can also occur in other types of accidents not limited to but including the following:

  • car and truck accidents that don’t involve rear-end impact
  • contact sports such as football, hockey, and soccer
  • intentional assaults
  • skiing and snowboarding accidents
  • repetitive stress injuries that occur at work
  • child abuse (shaken baby syndrome, for example), and
  • slips and falls that occur in stores and homes or on poorly-maintained sidewalks.

Symptoms of Whiplash

If you’ve been involved in an accident you should look for signs of a whiplash or neck injury. It may take several days for symptoms to appear. Symptoms include:

  • neck pain and stiffness
  • decreased range of motion
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • shoulder, arm, or back pain
  • unusual sensations such as burning, prickling, or tingling in armssleep disturbance, fatigue, or trouble concentrating, and
  • other cognitive or psychological difficulties.

Legal Note: Personal injury attorneys will often avoid using the word “whiplash” due to the fact that in recent years the word “whiplash” has come to be associated with fake or exaggerated personal injury claims.  These types of injuries are now commonly referred to by more technical names like hyperextension/hyperflexion injury, myofascial injury, neck sprain or strain, and cervical strain or sprain. If you have been involved in an accident it might be a good idea to avoid using the word in your personal injury action or insurance claim.

If you’re involved in a car accident involving whiplash, you need the advice of expert car accident attorneys.

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