What Is “Whiplash”?
Whiplash occurs when your head and neck are abruptly forced backward and then forward (or vice versa). This sudden movement puts your cervical spine through extreme stress and lightening-quick motions. Since “whiplash” has recently become more commonly associated with exaggerated personal injury claims, knowledgeable whiplash injury attorneys use the more medical names, such as:
- Neck sprain or strain
- Cervical sprain or strain
Causes of Whiplash
There are many types of accidents that can cause a whiplash injury:
- Car accidents and truck accidents, most commonly from rear-end collisions
- Contact sports like soccer, hockey, and football
- Intentional assaults that involve head trauma, like being hit by a bat
- Snowboarding or skiing accidents
- Repetitive stress injuries at work
- Child abuse, like shaken baby syndrome, and
- Slip and fall accidents in stores, home, or poorly-maintained sidewalks
People have the misconception that whiplash injury occurs due to high speeds and serious collisions. In reality, a whiplash injury is commonly caused by low impact, low speed, rear-end impacts. Causes of whiplash are complicated and relate to many factors, such as:
- Position of your head at the time of impact
- Your seating position, height and gender
- The position of seat and head restraints
- Relative size and weight of your vehicle involved in the accident
- Force of impact
Because whiplash is a soft tissue injury, people mistakenly believe that it is a minor injury. In truth, based on medical evidence, soft tissue injuries can be serious with lasting effects, especially if left untreated. This is why it is imperative to seek treatment from your doctor if you were in an accident.
Whiplash Injury Symptoms
You may have a neck or whiplash injury if you are experiencing any one of combination of the following:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Decreased range of motion in your neck
- Blurred vision
- Back, shoulder or arm pain
- Unusual sensations, like tingling, prickling or burning sensation in your arms
- Sleep disturbance, fatigue, or trouble concentrating
- Other psychological or cognitive difficulties
You may not feel whiplash symptoms right after your accident. It could take several days before you come symptomatic. It is important that when there is an onset of symptoms, you immediately seek medical attention.
Get medical treatment. Neck injuries can have serious effects that lead to other health problems if the injury does not receive proper treatment. If you are sent home from the Emergency Room or by your doctor, seek immediate medical treatment if you experience whiplash or new symptoms.
Prepare a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. If you suffered a whiplash injury in an accident, you may consider filing a personal injury claim. To strengthen your claim, you should keep a diary, recording the accident, your symptoms, and your medical treatment and expenses.
Contact a Whiplash Injury Attorney
Before speaking to the insurance company or the opposing party, it is best to retain an experienced whiplash injury attorney. Insurance companies deal with accident injuries on a daily basis. Not only will adjusters give you a low-ball offer, but they will use any statements you make can later against you. A seasoned whiplash injury attorney with Russell & Lazarus APC can help you negotiate or litigate your personal injury case to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call 949-851-0222 for more information.