Whiplash is one of the most common types of injuries sustained in car accidents. Whiplash occurs when the head and neck are thrown rapidly back and forth. This violent motion can cause injury to the soft tissues - ligaments, muscles, nerves and the disks between the vertebrae of the neck. In particularly serious cases, the bones in the neck can be injured.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common cause of whiplash is rear-end car accidents. Many Louisiana residents who have been in a car that was hit from behind know first-hand what whiplash is like.
Symptoms of whiplash do not always appear immediately after the crash. But, within 24 hours, most victims will begin experiencing neck pain and stiffness. The pain will often increase when the neck is moved. The victim will typically experience loss of their range of motion in the neck. Other common symptoms include pain and tenderness in the shoulder, arms and upper back; numbness or tingling in the arms; dizziness; fatigue and headaches.
Some whiplash victims experience other symptoms including memory problems, difficulty concentrating, depression, irritability, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and difficulty sleeping.
Anyone experiencing whiplash symptoms after a car accident should seek medical attention promptly. Many people recover from whiplash after several months. Others, however, will experience chronic pain and stiffness for years after the accident, even for the rest of their lives.
Whiplash injuries can be debilitating. They can result in lost time from work and loss of enjoyment of life. Those who have suffered a whiplash injury due to another driver's negligence are entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Source: Mayo Clinic, "Whiplash," accessed Feb. 5, 2017