Whiplash Injuries from Car Accidents

whiplash injuries from car accidents

Most people have heard of whiplash, but very few understand it. Whiplash injury occurs mostly during a car crash which causes your head to whip back and forth swiftly. The problem lies in how your neck muscles react to this sudden movement.

Your neck muscles and ligaments could stretch out and tear, and the bones in your cervical spine jarred out of place. As a result, you will experience severe neck pain lasting for weeks or even months.

This post will discuss everything you need about whiplash injuries from car accidents. Read on to learn more.

What Is Whiplash?

A commonly asked question among the public is, what is whiplash injury?

In medical terms, whiplash is a neck strain injury. It is a soft-tissue injury sustained when a car comes to an abrupt stop or turns suddenly due to a collision.

Whiplash is a painful injury that you can hardly ignore. If you sustain whiplash from a car accident, you will experience such symptoms as:

  • Pain when moving your head and neck
  • Muscle tightness or tenderness around the neck
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Headaches that radiate from the base of the skull to the forehead.

Whiplash injuries

While whiplash is a painful injury, symptoms don’t always appear immediately. The disorientation and stress of the situation can mask the pain from whiplash, so you might not even realize you’ve been injured. It can take hours or even days to feel the pain.

Seek medical treatment after a car accident even if you feel fine. Early diagnosis will increase your chances of attaining full recovery and prevent pushbacks with the insurance company when you file a personal injury claim.

How Do I Get a Whiplash Injury?

During a car accident, the seatbelt secures your body in place. But since your head is free, the force of the crash forcefully throws it back and forth. This sudden force pushes the head and neck, resulting in stretches and tears to the muscles and tendons around the neck region.

There is a common misconception that whiplash injuries occur during rear-end collisions. Most people assume that only the driver and co-driver are at risk of whiplash.

Whiplash injury

That’s far from the truth, though. While whiplash occurs more during rear-end collisions, the impact of a crash can come from any direction and ‘whip’ your head. You are at risk of whiplash injuries whenever there is uncoordinated movement on the head and neck.

Whiplash doesn’t break your neck at all. But even so, the injury can be so severe that it takes months to heal.

Whiplash Facts and Statistics

Do you know how many people get whiplash from car accidents? Here are the statistics:

  • About three million Americans suffer whiplash per year.
  • More than 300,000 Americans are disabled thanks to whiplash.
  • The neck takes up to 17 weeks to become steady after a whiplash injury
  • Up to 45 percent of whiplash sufferers become symptomatic 12 weeks after the injury
  • Most whiplash injury victims need at least eight weeks of recovery time before returning to work
  • Seven percent of employed whiplash injury victims don’t return to work.

Another thing, women are at higher risk of whiplash injuries because their neck muscles are weaker than men’s.

Medical Help – How Do You Treat a Whiplash Injury?

Any car accident injury recovers better if diagnosed and treated on time; whiplash is no exception. Your doctor will prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin or acetaminophen if you sustained minor whiplash injuries from a car accident.

Treatment options for severe whiplash injuries include prescription pain relievers, applying ice to the injured area, and muscle relaxants to reduce muscle spasms.

Physical therapy cannot be overemphasized when it comes to recovering from whiplash. Your doctor will assess how extensive your injuries are and refer you to a specialist.

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Whiplash injuries from car accidents

Besides, recovery calls for maintaining a good posture, physical exercise to build strength, and relaxation techniques to prevent your muscles from straining.

A foam collar could also be given if the injury is severe to keep the neck stable. But you shouldn’t wear a foam collar for more than three hours daily.

Legal Help – When Do I Need to Get a Lawyer?

Whiplash is so hard to prove because it is not a specific neck injury. A doctor might treat 50 individuals with whiplash cases who experience it differently.

Here’s the drift- insurance companies take advantage of this variation to push back against whiplash injury claims and pay a lower settlement amount.

Besides, insurance companies know that whiplash is common and that more injured persons are likely to claim it after a car accident. Now that insurers are alert to the potential for fraud, they often make it difficult for you to convince them of your injuries. In the meantime, your whiplash pain will worsen and affect your life.

Hire a lawyer

That means receiving compensation for whiplash after a car accident will not be a walk in the park. You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to prove that you have whiplash and sustained these injuries from your car accident.

A personal injury lawyer will represent you during the claims process and negotiate fair compensation with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

So, if you suffer whiplash from a car accident, you need to get a lawyer immediately to help you through your whiplash injury claim.

What Is the Average Settlement for a Whiplash Injury from a Car Accident?


The amount of insurance settlements for whiplash from car accidents is influenced by several factors. It varies depending on the severity of the injuries, income lost, and whether you have suffered any long-term complications.

Generally, the more severe your whiplash injury is, the higher the settlement. The settlement payouts range from $10,000 to $100,000 for minor cases and $1 to $5 million for life-changing cases.

Whiplash injuries from car accidents

If you lose your income or suffer long-term complications, you might also be eligible for punitive damages. These are damages designed to punish the at-fault driver for negligence and discourage others from engaging in such behavior.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you or your loved one has been involved in a car accident and sustained whiplash injuries, it’s important to seek legal help as soon as possible.

An experienced car accident lawyer will guide you through the claims process and negotiate fair compensation.

At Legal Giant, we strive to give our clients the best possible legal representation. Our experienced car accident lawyers are ready for you any time of the day. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation review of your case.

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