Information on Whiplash

by allan46 on October 22, 2011

Whiplash is the most common car accident injury in the United States. The reason so many people suffer from it is because it can hurt the occupants of a vehicle without doing any damage to the car itself. This injury affects the tendons, muscles and ligaments in the neck and can be very painful and irritating. Recent studies have shown that 1 in every 5 rear-end collision victims had complaints of neck pain. There are 1,000,000 accidents that result in whiplash every year, with 25% of them affecting the victims for the rest of their lives.

Whiplash happens when the neck flings backwards and then jolts immediately forwards. When the head moves against the body’s momentum, it experiences hyperextension, which is quickly followed by the opposite, which is known as hyperflexation. Whiplash is most common in rear-end collisions. The reason for this is that when the car is hit from behind, the occupants of the vehicle will have their bodies move forward, while their heads basically stay in the same place. As the seatbelt restrains the body, the neck flings forward as the body is held back. This quick jolting causes strain to the ligaments, tendons and muscles that make up the neck. When these tissues are strained or torn, the neck and shoulders can become very stiff and sore. Regardless of severity, almost every victim of whiplash will feel some sort of headache. There may also be some tingling or numbness in the arms and hands if the nerve is damaged in the accident. Depending on the extent of the nerve and brain damage, this may result in more serious symptoms such as: loss of mental function, poor concentration, and loss of memory.

There are various methods that doctors employ for treating different types of whiplash. Ice and heat packs can help the strained tissue recover in minor cases, whereas doctors may prescribe a soft collar for more severe injuries, along with medication for the pain. For the most part, whiplash injuries are temporary, and will heal within a few months. For the most severe cases, the injury may leave a permanent mark and may require physical therapy, and massage for an extensive period of time.

To heal as quickly as possible, it is crucial for whiplash victims to seek medical attention immediately. You may have grounds to take legal action and get the money you need to treat your injuries if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. Most personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations, so you can get the advice you need without paying a dime.

Jason Epstein is a partner at the Seattle and Bellevue based personal injury law firm Premier Law Group. As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, Renton auto accident attorney and Kent car crash lawyer, Jason has fought insurance companies for over 10 years. You can also get his books on Washington auto accidents for free by clicking on the preceding link.
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