The Hidden Dangers of Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash from a car accident can have a lifelong impact

If you are driving a vehicle that is hit from behind by another vehicle, you are at high risk of suffering a whiplash injury. Whiplash is a neck injury that happens when your head is jerked back and forth rapidly. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash, but such injuries may also be the result of contact sports, physical abuse or assault, or other incidents where the neck is rapidly extended or flexed. Whiplash is sometimes referred to as neck sprain or neck strain, but not all neck sprains or neck strains are whiplash.

When you are in a motor vehicle accident, even though you may feel okay, you could have whiplash. There is often a delay in the onset of the signs and symptoms of whiplash. Typically, you’ll develop symptoms within 24 hours of your accident, but that is not always the case. For some people it takes even longer for symptoms to be felt. Since you don’t know the extent of your injuries at the time of your accident, it’s very important that you make no statements about your health to the other driver, insurance representatives, or the police until you have been seen by a doctor and talked to a personal injury attorney.

Symptoms of whiplash may be delayed for several days

Whiplash injuries may cause damage to back and neck joints, discs and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots. You may become aware of symptoms at the time of the injury or the symptoms may be delayed for several days. The most common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain that gets worse with neck movement
  • Neck stiffness
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms
  • Headaches that start at the base of the skull
  • Fatigue and/or dizziness

Additional symptoms that may appear include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Sleep problems
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Depression

If you have these symptoms following an accident, you should see a doctor to verify that it is whiplash and not another injury with similar symptoms.

Treatment and prognosis for whiplash victims

People diagnosed with whiplash usually feel better within a few weeks, but some people continue to have pain for years. Whiplash treatment may include:

  • Prescription drugs such as pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, and muscle relaxers
  • Wearing a cervical collar for two or three weeks
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Cervical traction
  • Heat to relieve muscle tension

Most whiplash victims recover within three months after their injury, but some continue to have neck pain and headaches throughout their lives.

Call for a free consultation with a Bronx personal injury attorney

Because your whiplash could last a lifetime, if your injury is the result of an incident involving other people or vehicles, Bronx car accident attorney Evan W. Kohn can help you get appropriate compensation for your physical, emotional and financial injuries. Contact The Law Offices of Evan W. Kohn online or by calling 718-409-5500 to arrange a free consultation about your whiplash case.

Attorney Evan Kohn
About the Author: Evan Kohn
Evan W. Kohn is an experienced personal injury attorney serving the New York City area. He handles cases ranging from auto accidents to personal injury, Slip and falls, truck accidents, and medical malpractice.