Whiplash and Car Accidents

People rarely think about the implications of a whiplash injury until it happens to them. Because whiplash can often happen in seemingly minor car accidents, this type of injury is often overlooked and under-reported. While just about any car accident can induce a neck injury, whiplash injuries are especially common in rear-end car accidents.

What is Whiplash?

According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash occurs when a person’s head suddenly moves backward and then forward. This type of injury is called ‘whiplash,’ because the neck’s motion mimics the motion of a cracking whip. These neck injuries can be mild, moderate or severe. In some cases, people are left with chronic pain.

Whiplash Symptoms

• Neck pain
• Stiffness in the neck
• Blurred vision
• Fatigue
• Headaches
• Ache at the base of the skull
• Memory issues
• Irritability
• Disturbances in one’s sleep pattern
• Ringing in the ears
• Difficulty concentrating

What’s so Bad About Whiplash

It’s more than just a sore neck. Although whiplash isn’t something that is regularly discussed as a debilitating injury, victims are often facing mild, moderate to severe pain that can become chronic. Whiplash involves both hyperflexion and hyperextension of the neck, so a variety of tissues can be strained, sprained and damaged. The symptoms that accompany a whiplash injury, even if only experienced for a relatively short period of time, can have a serious impact on a person’s daily life. Fatigue, chronic pain, sleep loss, blurred vision and memory loss are just a few devastatingly scary issues that can happen to somebody after a seemingly minor car accident.

What to do After an Accident

After any car accident, you need to see a doctor. A medical evaluation is critical after any crash, no matter how minor it seems. In many cases, people may initially feel fine after a wreck and experience painful whiplash symptoms days later. Even seemingly minor crashes can leave victims feeling initially ‘fine.’ Your body is riding high on adrenaline. You might not notice the pain for a day or two as you wind down from the crash. After you’ve been medically evaluated by a doctor, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to offer low-ball settlements to injured victims. After any wreck, it’s absolutely critical to get properly compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage or loss and other damages associated with the crash.

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