How do I know if I have whiplash?

Did you get into a car accident and head home thinking that everything was okay, but the next day you felt a horrible pain and stiffness in your neck? This might be the symptoms of whiplash, one of the most common car accident injuries that Alabama residents can suffer from. Let’s take a moment to look at what whiplash is exactly.

Whiplash is known as a “soft tissue injury” in the medical field. A soft tissue injury isn’t one that affects the bones, but rather the softer tissues of muscles and ligaments.

When a car accident happens, a vehicle that may have been traveling at a fast speed will come to a stop very quickly. This action exerts intense gravitational forces on the occupants of the vehicle. Often the head and neck will jerk forward and back with a lot of force at the moment of the initial impact, and during any other subsequent impacts. This action can strain the muscles and ligaments, causing tearing, ripping and other damage to these soft tissues.

Sometimes, the effects of whiplash are not immediately apparent. Just like it takes a day or so for you to feel sore after physical exercise, it might take a day or so for the symptoms of your whiplash to manifest. These symptoms can be extremely painful — even permanent — resulting in chronic headaches, neck pain, back pain and other difficulties.

If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. You may also have a viable claim to pursue personal injury damages in court if another party was to blame for your accident. An Alabama personal injury attorney can assist you in evaluating the potential strengths and weaknesses of such a lawsuit.

Source: FindLaw, “Whiplash related injuries,” accessed June 09, 2017