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Whiplash injuries: What all drivers should know

Rear-end collisions are an everyday occurrence in Florida. Sometimes these events have minor outcomes, and other times serious injuries result. The injury most commonly noted following a rear-end car crash is whiplash. You may have experienced whiplash yourself after a vehicle accident.

Whiplash injuries are all over the board when it comes to severity and long-term effects. There are those who will feel fine in a few days, others who may suffer for months and even those who will feel the effects for years.

What causes whiplash?

Whiplash is the result of a person's neck being forced in a swift and harsh backward and forward movement. When this occurs, the tendons, ligaments and muscles in the neck can stretch too far and tear. This is why whiplash is also referred to as a neck sprain. Pain and discomfort are some of the most common symptoms of a neck sprain. Others include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Back, neck, shoulder pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nerve damage

Symptoms may not immediately appear. So, even if you think your injury is not severe, if you experience any of these or have an increase in symptom severity, it is wise to seek medical attention.

Diagnosis and treatment options

If you seek treatment after your rear-end crash, your doctor will first ask questions and perform a physical exam of the injured area. If he or she feels it is necessary, your doctor may order an X-ray, MRI or CT scan to get a better view of what is going on and how bad it is.

If you test positive for whiplash, there are various treatment options available. Some of these include:,

  • Neck stabilization
  • Pain medication, either prescription or over the counter
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery in the most severe cases

If your injuries do not improve with traditional medical methods, you may also try alternative care such as massage, electronic nerve stimulation and acupuncture, among others.

Can I seek compensation for my losses?

Compensation might be a possibility. According to the state of Florida, those injured in accidents caused by the negligence of others may have legal recourse.

The physical, psychological and financial damages that accompany a neck sprain can be quite significant. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you fight for relief by filing a civil claim against the individual believed responsible for your rear-end car crash, if it is deemed the appropriate course of action for your case.

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