Whiplash Injuries Caused By Auto Accidents
Florida auto accidents can cause severe pain for the victim and may result in whiplash, back injuries, spinal cord injuries or neck injuries. The most common injury for people involved in motor vehicle accidents seems to be whiplash.
A whiplash injury is defined as a “hyperextension (over-extension) injury to the neck, often the result of being struck from behind, as by a fast-moving vehicle in a car accident.” It is thought to be caused by the victim being pushed forward, which pushes the body forward, but the movement of the head is momentarily delayed. This delay can cause the head to rock up and back, consequently some muscles and ligaments are stretched or even torn. As a reflex and to prevent excessive injury, these muscles contract to bring the head in a forward position again. Overcompensation can occur when the head is moving forward, while the vehicle decelerates.
Individuals who have suffered a whiplash injury from a car crash know how painful it can be. Auto accidents are the most frequent causes of whiplash. Even a rear-end crash where the car was traveling as slow as 15 miles per hour before it struck the vehicle ahead, can produce enough force to cause whiplash. Whiplash is not considered a life threatening injury, but it can turn into a period of partial disability.
Symptoms of whiplash can include:
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Neck swelling
- Back pain
- Muscle spasms
- Pain from neck to either arm or shoulder
- Jaw pain
There are many more symptoms associated with whiplash. An injured auto accident victim should seek medical care immediately if he or she feels as though a whiplash injury may have been sustained.
Treatment of whiplash depends on the severity of the automobile collision. Emergency medical providers may place a cervical collar around the victim’s neck and the body will then be strapped to a long, firm board to prevent any further movements until the patient is seen by a doctor.
The doctor may recommend a treatment plan that includes bed rest, neck rest, immobilization of the neck with a cervical collar and early range of motion exercises with heat therapy 72 hours after the injury. Doctors may also prescribe pain relievers or muscle relaxers and may advise the patient to use heat therapy and cold therapy.
When to Seek Legal Advice
If you have been involved in an auto accident that was caused by the other driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Whiplash injuries can range in severity and some victims are not able to immediately return to work and they incur significant medical expenses during the recovery. A Florida accident victim can recover damages for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses. Contact our offices today to speak with an experienced attorney.