Many car accidents that occur in Texas and across the U.S. result in whiplash injuries. Whiplash is a type of injury that affects soft tissue in the neck. This type of damage occurs when sensitive neck muscles and ligaments are suddenly forced beyond their natural range of motion, causing strains or tears. As the force of a vehicle collision can cause passengers to be suddenly propelled in multiple directions, whiplash injuries are most commonly associated with car accidents.
The ligaments and muscles in the neck provide protection to the spinal cord by preventing sudden, excessive movement of the head and neck. However, the force of a car crash can be so violent that these tissues are unable to prevent overextension or rapid movement. When this occurs, the tissues are unable to cope with the strain. As a result, the tissues may split, tear or be bruised. In severe cases of whiplash, nerves in the neck or spinal cord may be damaged.
The most common symptoms of a whiplash injury include pain, stiffness, soreness and headaches. Although these symptoms usually subside in a few weeks, they may last much longer. More troubling symptoms can include dizziness, confusion, memory loss and vertigo.
Most whiplash injuries can be treated with massage, pain medication and stretching. In the case of severe tissue damage, surgery may be required to repair torn muscles or ligaments. Recovery may also include the use of a medical device that restricts movement of the neck to prevent further injury.
When a car accident leads to a whiplash injury, the driver who caused the accident may be required to pay compensation. By studying accident reports and consulting medical experts, an attorney may be able help an injured client pursue compensation for any accident-related damages.
Source: American Chiropractic Association, “Whiplash,” Accessed on Jan. 19, 2015