Whiplash injuries occur when a sudden impact or jerking pushes a person’s body forward but the head and neck stretch backward and then snap back into place. This whipping motion can damage muscles, tendons and more in the neck. Mild whiplash may heal after a few weeks or months, but severe whiplash can cause chronic pain and diminished capacity that lasts for years.
The most common cause of whiplash is a rear-end collision. Whiplash and other neck injuries can be caused by any sharp jolt to the neck and head, including other types of car accidents, contact sports or an assault. Neck sprains and strains are the most frequently reported injuries in U.S. insurance claims, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
If you suffer a severe whiplash injury because of a car accident someone else caused, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering and other losses. The car accident attorneys of the Ginarte law firm have more than 150 years of combined experience helping car accident victims in New York and New Jersey obtain compensation to help them recover from whiplash and other neck injuries.
What is Whiplash?
The IIHS, an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization that investigates auto safety, says “whiplash” is a term used to describe a variety of neck injuries. The most common of these are mild muscle strain and minor tearing of soft tissue. Other injuries include nerve damage, disc damage and, in the most severe cases, ruptures of the ligaments in the neck and fractures of the cervical vertebrae.
Whiplash is caused by sudden movement of the head relative to the torso that results in hyperextension of the neck, or rearward bending beyond its normal range of motion.
The Mayo Clinic states flatly that rear-end collisions are the most common cause of whiplash.
Most whiplash symptoms develop within 24 hours of the injury, the Mayo Clinic says. They may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness.
- Headaches, most commonly at the base of the skull.
- Blurred vision.
Some people also experience:
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Memory problems.
- Ringing in the ears.
- Sleep disturbances.
Whiplash victims are typically told to apply heat and ice, to take over-the-counter pain relievers as needed, and to rest for a day or so before beginning light stretching exercises. Victims of severe whiplash may take prescription pain relievers or receive injections and may wear foam cervical collars to support their injured neck. They may need physical therapy.
Mild whiplash symptoms typically subside after a few weeks, but they may last for several months or longer. Severe whiplash can cause pain that never goes away. The IIHS says nerve damage, which can occur even when other injuries are mild, is probably responsible for long-term whiplash symptoms, such as chronic pain, headaches, dizziness and ringing in the ears.
Citing various studies, the IIHS says whiplash injury is more likely among:
- Taller car occupants, whose heads are not protected by the seat or headrest.
- Women, who are also more likely than men to develop long-term whiplash symptoms.
- Drivers, as opposed to passengers, because a driver is more likely than a passenger to be leaning forward away from the seat’s protection to observe traffic when an accident happens.
The Ginarte law firm’s car accident attorneys can help with your recovery from whiplash or other neck injuries suffered in a NY / NJ car accident. We know how to develop a case through medical records and other information so that we are equipped to negotiate with insurance companies for the maximum compensation car accident victims are allowed by personal injury law. If negotiations cannot settle the matter in your favor, our strong and successful litigators will be ready to present a convincing case before a judge and jury.
Contact a Whiplash Injury Lawyer in New York City and Northern New Jersey
If you have suffered whiplash or a similar neck injury in a NY / NJ metro area car accident, you may be eligible for help with the expenses and other losses related to your accident and injury. A Ginarte whiplash attorney can help you obtain all of the compensation you deserve.