What Is Whiplash?

After  an auto accident, you may suffer from a plethora of aches and pains. Common injuries include bruises and sprains, facial injuries from airbags or shattered windows, head injuries, like concussions, and even psychological injuries, such as emotional trauma. One of the most common car accident injuries, though, is whiplash.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when a person is suddenly jerked backward or forward because of a collision. It even occur in minor accidents, like a rear-ending, because of the sudden and surprising force.

Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain or stiffness, headaches, lower back pain, pain or numbness in arms or hands, dizziness, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating or remembering. It can take up to 24 hours after an accident for whiplash symptoms to begin occurring. Causes of whiplash include damage to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, and nerve roots in the neck. It is hard to diagnose with just an x-ray, because the damage occurs within the soft tissue, so an MRI is often required to determine if a person is suffering from whiplash. Whiplash is typically not a fatal injury, although it can cause long-term neck pain.

Prevent whiplash

Makethat your vehicle has a proper head restraint. Like airbags and seat belts, the head restraint acts to prevent injury in the event of an accident. You should also make sure that your headrest is positioned properly for your height. The ideal position is with the top of the head restraint level with or above the top of your head. It should be about 2 inches from the back of your head when you are sitting in the car.

Whiplash, while not always life-changing, is still a very common injury that can cause pain and distress. Drive carefully and take precautions to prevent whiplash and other injuries. If necessary, talk to an attorney about further legal action to compensate for your injuries.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.


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