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What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash From a Rear-End Collision?

Female driver rubbing her aching neck after long drive

Low-impact rear-end collisions, aka fender-benders, are some of the most common car accidents. They happen at stop signs, in parking lots, on suburb cul-de-sacs, etc. While the accidents can appear minor, even low-speed collisions can lead to whiplash syndrome, which can have serious lasting effects on the health and wellbeing of crash victims. Higher-speed collisions carry even greater risks. Whiplash is the most commonly-cited injury following rear-end collisions. Read on below for a discussion of the prevalence of whiplash and how to identify whether you are suffering from whiplash after an accident. Contact a dedicated Glendale auto accident attorney with any questions or if you have been the victim of a traffic accident.

Whiplash can occur even at slow speeds

According to medical journals, rear-impact collisions at speeds even as low as five miles per hour can cause significant neck and cervical injury, including whiplash and herniated discs. The reason is physics: A sudden rear impact can cause an occupant’s neck to hyperextend as the seat pushes their midsection forward while their head and neck fall backward. Hyperextension of the neck followed by hyperflexion leads to whiplash injury. The whipping function causes the head to flail at a much higher speed than the car; peak head acceleration can be more than 2.5 times as fast as the peak acceleration of the vehicle that was hit. This means that the people inside the vehicle can be much more severely harmed than the apparently minor damage caused to the vehicle.

Common symptoms of whiplash syndrome

If you have been in a minor or major rear-end collision, you should seek immediate medical attention. You may have a latent injury that will present more in the future, and you want to identify the cause and the treatment as soon as possible. If you experience any of the symptoms of whiplash after an accident, seeing a doctor immediately is even more important. Whiplash symptoms include the following:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Anxiety
  • Memory disturbances
  • Shoulder, arm, or back pain
  • Strange sensations such as prickling or burning

In mild cases, neck pain and stiffness should largely dissipate within a few days or within three months at the latest. However, studies have shown that anywhere between 12 and 50% of people have persistent neck pain for more than a year, in addition to the other symptoms noted. If you identify the more serious symptoms like memory loss or severe pain, especially pain that shoots into your extremities, your condition may be more severe and long-lasting. If you are suffering from whiplash injury, you should seek recovery from the person who injured you. An experienced California car accident lawyer can help you get the damages you are owed.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent driver in California, get help seeking damages from a seasoned professional by contacting the dedicated and compassionate Glendale personal injury attorneys at McReynolds Vardanyan LLP for a free consultation at 818-855-2115.

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