Whiplash: The Most Common Injury in Rear-end Crashes

Whiplash: The Most Common Injury in Rear-end Crashes

May 18

Drivers and all other vehicle occupants are vulnerable to many kinds of injuries during vehicular accidents. But while some injuries are no more serious than bruises or small cuts, some others, like broken bones, internal injuries, and injury to the spinal cord, head, face, or neck, are severe enough to require emergency medical treatment and long rehabilitation period.

Of the many different types of injuries that motor vehicle accidents result to, the one most commonly suffered by drivers and passengers, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), is whiplash. Whiplash is damage to the ligaments, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues in the neck area. It is caused by a sudden, forceful blow which causes the head to jolt back and forth or sideways. This jolting of the head causes the neck to move beyond its normal range of movement, resulting to overstretched and damaged soft tissues. While being rear-ended by a speeding vehicle can definitely result to a serious whiplash injury, most whiplash injuries are actually caused by vehicles running only at 5 to 10 miles per hour.

Tailgating and inattentive or distracted driving are the top causes of rear-end crashes. These kinds of driving error cause majority of the 120,000 whiplash injuries recorded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) every year.

Usually, the symptoms of whiplash become manifest shortly after an accident. There are cases, however, when symptoms are delayed, becoming manifest several days after the crash. Thus, while a neck X-ray may be advisable, there is no guarantee that this will help detect possible sustained injuries, especially if the injury is a torn ligament. It is, therefore, important that the victim in an accident be very observant of the symptoms associated with whiplash. These symptoms include swelling at the neck area, nausea, dizziness, pain on the shoulder and arms, back pain, blurred vision, lack of energy, difficulty swallowing, and headache that radiates from the base of the skull to the forehead.

In its website, Houston Taxotere lawsuit lawyers points out that though motor vehicle accidents are the major causes of whiplash injuries, the number one contributing factor to these accidents is still recklessness or negligence, the basis of a tort (or civil) lawsuit wherein a victim is allowed to seek compensation for whatever damages and losses he or she has been made suffer.