Whiplash is a term for injuries that can occur to a person’s head, neck and spine in a motor vehicle accident. Researchers believe that whiplash happens when the impact of a crash forces the lower vertebrae in the neck into hyper extension while the upper vertebrae in the neck are hyperflexed. The combination leads to an abnormal S-shape in the spine, which can cause damage to the soft tissues that hold the neck vertebrae together.
Whiplash may be most associated with rear-end accidents. These injuries can occur after low-speed accidents. The condition is not typically life-threatening, but it can have a significant effect on a person’s life and ability to function. Symptoms of whiplash include:
- Pain in the neck, back, shoulders or jaw
- Arm pain or weakness
- Ringing in the ears
These symptoms can affect a person’s quality of life, ability to work and generally live his or her life. It’s estimated that whiplash costs billions of dollars each year for inability to work, disability pay, sick leave, medical care and other expenses.
Most people respond quickly without any lingering side effects, but not all do. In some cases, injury victims develop a condition called whiplash associated disorder, resulting in symptoms such as depression, anger, frustration, drug dependency and other problems.
If you are suffering from whiplash after a car accident or other motor vehicle accident, an experienced attorney can help you pursue damages against the at-fault driver.
Source: MedicineNet.com, “Whiplash,” Jason C. Eck