Car Accidents and Whiplash: Understanding Neck Injuries

Apr 16, 2018 @ 09:35 PM — by dtaw

A whiplash injury in a car accidentWhen people are involved in car accidents, they may suffer from any number of injuries. If those injuries were caused by the negligence of another motorist, our Oklahoma City, OK attorneys can definitely help. We have years of experience we will put to work, holding these parties accountable for their actions.

Whiplash injuries are perhaps the most well known kinds go injuries associated with auto collisions. That are often misunderstood as well. Let’s take a moment to consider the basics of these kinds of incidents.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash refers to a type of neck injury in which the neck moves back and forth suddenly, rapidly, and forcefully. This places an extreme amount of stress on the various structures of the neck, including the vertebrae, the muscles, and so forth.

Rear End Auto Accidents and Whiplash

While whiplash can occur in all kinds of collisions, it is most commonly associated with rear end accidents. A rear end collision forces the head back and the body forward. The head then recoils against the headrest or seatback before snapping forward again.

Given the nature of rear end collisions and how the body reacts to them, you can understand why whiplash is so common with these kinds of collisions.

Low-Speed Collisions and Whiplash

You would expect that whiplash would only occur in high-speed collisions or crashes that involve a great deal of force. However, even just a slow rear end crash can cause whiplash. The nature of the crash and the body’s reaction to it can still result in harm, even at a low speed.

Whiplash can occur in just 5 mile per hour accidents. That means these neck injuries may occur in parking lots and even in stop-and-go traffic during rush hour.

Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash

Signs and symptoms of whiplash may not be immediately apparent after a collision. Keep an eye out for these symptoms following a collision:

  • Neck pain
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Pain is severe during movement
  • Headaches starting at base of the skull
  • Pain radiating in the shoulders or upper arms
  • Numbness in the arms
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

Other potential signs of whiplash may include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Difficult concentrating
  • Depression

Treating Whiplash

In most cases, whiplash can be treated through the use of cold compresses, heat packs, and pain medications. Heat or ice can be applied in 15-minute intervals up to six times a day for pain management. Medications should only be taken as instructed by your physician. For any muscle strains or tears, your best bet for treatment is the use of muscle relaxants or the use of lidocaine to numb the muscle pain.

Some people may be given a foam collar to help stabilize the neck following their whiplash injury. Physical therapy can also be recommended depending on the severity of the accident and injury.

Your Legal Rights and Options

If you whiplash injury was the result of another driver’s negligence, it’s important that the driver be held liable for any lost wages and medical bills incurred at part of the collision. An attorney can help you hold that negligent motorist accountable and ensure you receive damages for the hardships you have had to endure.

Contact Our Team of Personal Injury Lawyers

If you would like more information about your legal rights and options following a car accident, we encourage you to contact the attorneys of the Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC. Our team is here to provide you with comprehensive information about all of your legal rights.

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