Whiplash, while a very common injury occurring in automobile accidents, is both poorly understood and often mistreated as a result. The injury, caused by a violent jerking from either front-to-back or side-to-side of the head and neck, frequently occurs in rear-end collisions due to the sudden acceleration forward followed by the sudden deceleration backward of the vehicle.
Although some people will try to immobilize their necks using cervical collars following a whiplash injury, this is often not the best approach. Doctors instead recommend an early treatment involving physical therapy and range-of-motion exercises. Failing to appropriately treat whiplash can lead to chronic problems, including quality of life issues resulting from the ongoing pain experienced.
The severity level of whiplash can range from mild injuries to more serious ones, depending on the area injured and the resulting damage to surrounding muscles, tissues and vertebrae. Economic losses due to whiplash injuries in motor vehicle accidents average nearly $30 billion every year. While people may recover fairly quickly from a mild whiplash injury, those who have a more severe one may experience ongoing problems for years after the accident that caused the injury. People may suffer a loss of their range of motion, stiffness, pain radiating down from their neck into their arms and torsos and chronic headaches.
In many cases, whiplash injuries do not show up for several hours or even days after an accident. For this reason, it is important that people who are involved in a collision see their doctors soon afterwards, even if they do not initially think they were injured. In the event that a person has been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver, a personal injury attorney may be able to help secure damages through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. Through a lawsuit, injured people might be compensated for all of their losses sustained in the wrecks, including the cost of present and future treatment as well as other damages sustained.Source: MedicineNet.com, "Whiplash", accessed on Jan. 25, 2015