Rear-end collisions can cause numerous injuries, with whiplash being one of the most common. While whiplash is sometimes considered a minor injury, this frequently is not the case: whiplash can be a long-lasting disabling condition.
Causes of Whiplash
Whiplash is an injury to the neck caused by an abrupt jerking motion of the head, and it is common in rear-end collisions. Since the neck is so vulnerable to damage, even minor, low-speed accidents can easily result in whiplash. In a collision, the unanticipated and drastic forward movement of the vehicle causes your seat to push into your back. Your head flies backward into the accelerating seat, deforming your spine from its natural C-shape into an S-shape. When your spine then snaps back into position, it may throw your head too far forward, hyperextending your neck and causing additional whiplash injuries.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Some of the most common whiplash symptoms include:
- Neck pain and stiffness. Neck pain can range from mild to severe, and stiffness may result in a reduced range of motion.
- Shoulder and back pain. If muscles and ligaments in the neck are torn or strained due to whiplash, that pain can be referred to other soft tissues in the upper back and shoulders.
- Headaches, vision problems, and dizziness. Tightening of the neck muscles can cause headaches, while nerve damage and neck instability can lead to vision problems and dizziness.
Recovery From Whiplash
Most people who sustain whiplash injuries fully recover within three months, but many victims have chronic pain or other symptoms lasting many months or even years. Factors leading to more severe injuries and a prolonged whiplash recovery period include:
- The victim is female.
- The victim is over 65 years of age.
- The victim is intoxicated at the time of the accident.
Whiplash may not be immediately evident after a collision, but injuries resulting from whiplash won’t resolve on their own, and generally grow worse over time. If you’re suffering from whiplash due to a vehicle collision, you need professional representation by an experienced attorney in order to receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.