The term “whiplash” is commonly used to describe multiple injuries that result from the forceful, rapid, back and forth movement of the neck and head. When a rear-end car accident happens, the people in the car hit from behind often experience this type of injury. The impact of a vehicle from behind jolts passengers forward with intense force, causing their heads to move suddenly backwards; and then forward again in a whip-like motion as seatbelts stops the passengers’ forward momentum. The back-and-forth motion causes extreme stress and overextension of the cervical spine, causing whiplash.
If you have been rear-ended in a car accident and feel pain in your neck and shoulders, there is a good chance you have experienced whiplash. Whiplash can be difficult to recognize because the pain doesn’t always show up right away, and the shock and adrenaline of being in a car accident may also mask symptoms. Some common symptoms of whiplash include:
In most cases, whiplash typically resolves itself within a few weeks or months. Rest and immobilization of the neck and shoulders can allow for a fast and full recovery in some situations. Some people need physical therapy to regain strength in the neck muscles and tendons. Whiplash can also cause permanent damage. Regardless of the scope of your injury, it can be helpful to speak with legal counsel in you suffered whiplash in a rear-end collision to determine whether you are entitled to recover damages for your injuries from the other driver or his or her insurance company.
If you have been rear-ended in a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention, even if the damage seems minor. Remember that whiplash doesn’t always present itself immediately and can become progressively worse over a few days, turning into extreme pain. If you wait too long to see a doctor, an insurance company may claim that your injuries were not related to the accident.
Additionally, make sure to file a police report to document the accident. The official police report can often help support your case with the insurance companies involved, particularly in a rear-end collision, as the other driver typically receives a citation that establishes fault for the accident. If you are unable to collect information, photos, and witness statements yourself, a police officer may document this information for you.
If you have suffered whiplash in a collision, the aftermath can be difficult. Even a short-term case of whiplash can make any movement painful and limit your physical activities. The experienced lawyers at Piazza, Simmons & Grant, LLC are ready and available to help you work through a personal injury claim after a car accident. We will help to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance companies involved, and if necessary, bring your case to court. Call us today at 203-348-2465 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.