If you were rear-ended by a vehicle, there’s a fairly good chance you suffered an injury commonly referred to as “whiplash.” Here’s what you need to know about whiplash injuries:

What is a Whiplash Injury?

There are a lot of people who believe whiplash isn’t a real injury. It is real, and people who have it require medical attention. Some other names for whiplash are: neck sprain or strain, hyperextension/hyperflexion injury, myofascial injury or cervical strain or sprain.

These conditions occur because often, when a car experiences a rear hit, the force of impact propels people in the vehicle forward. Their bodies move abruptly forward while their heads generally stay in place. This movement occurs in a whip-like motion and inflicts major strain to the individuals’ necks. This can happen to the driver and any passengers in the vehicle, no matter where they are sitting in the car.

Common Misconceptions about Whiplash

One common misconception regarding whiplash is that it only occurs after a severe collision that happened at a high speed. In actuality, most whiplash injuries are caused by accidents happening at both low impact and low speed.

Another common misconception is that whiplash injuries aren’t a big deal. This is because they damage the soft tissue and are not especially obvious on the outside. Realistically, whiplash can result in serious health complications. In short: Never brush off your whiplash injury.

Common Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash injuries have a multitude of symptoms, and it is not uncommon for car accident victims to be unaware they are suffering from whiplash. Common whiplash symptoms include:

         Difficulty concentrating

         A decreased range of motion in any part of your body

         Feelings of dizziness

         Trouble sleeping

         Pain and stiffness of the neck, back, shoulders or arms

         General fatigue

         Difficulty seeing or blurred vision

         A headache or series of headaches post-accident

         Unusual feelings of burning or tingling in parts of your body

         Trouble focusing, thinking or psychological issues

See a Medical Professional

See your general practitioner or the emergency room to prevent your whiplash injury from becoming more serious. Keep a record of any medical attention, or help you receive, for your insurance claim. If you do not visit a doctor, the insurance company might try to claim your injury was actually not as severe as you are claiming. A lawyer will also encourage you to keep thorough notes of the accident as well as all related events. This will add credibility to your injury and strengthen your case.

Speak With a Car Accident Lawyer

If you are suffering from a whiplash injury following a car accident, you might benefit from speaking with a car accident lawyer. You may want to file an insurance claim with the insurance company of the driver-at-fault to cover your medical costs. Other losses incurred may include physical pain, emotional trauma and wages lost from missed work days due to recovery.

A car accident lawyer will provide you with invaluable advice, such as the recommendation to use a more technical term than “whiplash” in your claim. The terms listed above — neck sprain or strain, hyperextension/hyperflexion injury, myofascial injury or cervical strain or sprain — tend to be more effective. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer at Mitch Grissim & Associates for more information or for a case evaluation.