The Most Common Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash can be a serious injury, and its most common symptoms may not show up for several days.

When a person's neck and head are quickly forced forward and backward to the point where too much stress is placed on the person's cervical spine, a whiplash injury results. The symptoms of this injury vary from person to person; however, there are several common signs and symptoms associated with this medical issue.

Neck and Upper Back Pain

The most frequent complaints after an automobile accident are pain in the neck and upper back as well as a limited range of motion in the neck due to muscle and ligament damage. Pain may radiate up the neck, between the shoulder blades and across the shoulders.

In addition, the spinal nerves may become torn during the incident. Torn spinal nerves can cause disc herniation or degeneration and lead to compression and irritation. When the nerves are compressed or irritated, the sufferer can experience muscle weakness, limb numbness, upper back pain, shoulder pain and arm pain.

Lower Back Pain

The upper back is not the only part of the back that may be injured. Although the lower back is not whipped back and forth as violently as the upper back, the discs in the lower back can also become compressed particularly in side-impact collisions.

Headaches and Dizziness

Second to neck and upper back pain, headaches are the most common sign of a neck injury. Usually, headaches after an accident stem from spinal, ligament and muscle damage. In some cases, headaches are a sign of a serious brain injury. Dizziness is sometimes another sign of a brain injury; however, dizziness may also be due to an injury of the cervical spine's facet joints.

Traumatic Brain Injury

People who suffer from a severe case of whiplash may also have a traumatic brain injury. If the neck is jerked hard enough during impact, the brain can bounce against the walls of the skull causing the brain to bleed or bruise.

A few signs and symptoms of a brain injury are mental confusion, forgetfulness, concentration problems, trouble sleeping and mood changes. Sometimes, a person who has a brain injury may notice vision disturbances and an altered sense of taste and smell.

Likelihood of Whiplash Injury

Certain people are more likely than others to develop this type of neck injury including:

  • Children and teenagers
  • People who have had a neck injury in the past
  • Those who are hit while their car is at a stop
  • Those whose car is hit from the rear
  • Women

Duration of Whiplash Symptoms

For many people, the pain from a whiplash injury desists anywhere from several days to three months. However, some people still experience neck pain for year or more after a car accident. The signs and symptoms of this neck injury can also take up to a few months to present themselves.

By the time a victim realizes the full extent of his injuries, he may have already settled his personal injury claim with the insurance company without the help of an attorney, losing out on a significant amount of compensation for his pain and suffering.

Importance of Consulting a Car Accident Attorney

After a car crash, whiplash sufferers face a painful recovery while worrying about expensive medical bills and lost wages. The first step after being in an automobile accident is to seek medical attention, and the second step is to contact a Colorado personal injury attorney. An attorney can help hold the responsible party accountable for his actions by filing a lawsuit so the victim can receive the compensation he or she deserves.

If you have been injured in an accident, contact the Babcock Law Firm. We have the determination and the know-how to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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