The most common cause of whiplash is a motor vehicle accident in which a vehicle is struck in the rear, or rear-ended, by another vehicle. It can also occur when a car suddenly stops after striking a fixed object, such as a pole, a wall, or another car. A whiplash lash injury can also result when one car is broad-sided by another vehicle.
Each year, whiplash effects more than 3 million people and costs Americans about $23 billion. Although whiplash injuries pose a low threat to life, they occur more frequently and often result in long-term consequences. More than 25 percent of all rear-end collisions that occur in the United States result in a whiplash injury and 66 percent of all insurance claims for bodily injury include a whiplash injury. Of the 6 million injuries suffered per year due to automobile accidents, approximately 50 percent are whiplash injuries. Of these, 500,000 to 900,000 people will develop chronic pain.
When a person suffers a whiplash injury, significant damage to the ligament, discs, and joints can result. This damage and the pain that goes with it can even occur in a low-speed crash. In fact, research shows that if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of whether the vehicle is totaled or sustains no damage, you have a one-in-three chance of suffering chronic pain due to a whiplash injury. Studies also show that those who have the worst whiplash injuries are those who were totally unaware of and unprepared for the crash.
What is most troubling about whiplash is that a person can be in persistent pain and have no other specific medical findings after being examined. For example, on examination, a joint may look normal, but nevertheless, be a great source of pain. Unfortunately, this pain could last a lifetime. A person who suffers a whiplash may not have any symptoms for hours or even days after the accident. Once the symptoms occur, however, they gradually worsen. The most common symptoms of whiplash are:
- muscle spasms in neck
- increased neck pain with movement
- neck pain at the base of the neck that increases over time
In addition to these symptoms, many whiplash patients show other symptoms that often times seem unexplainable including:
- ringing in the ears
- shoulder pain
- pain between the shoulder blades
- pain in arms
- heaviness in the arms
- sleep disturbance
- poor concentrations
- low back pain
- poor memory
- blurry visions
No lawyer can tell you at the beginning of your claim how much your case is worth until he or she has all the medical records, bills and wage loss analysis in hand. However, by calling 800-437-2571 anytime and explaining the specific circumstances of your accident and injuries, one of our experienced personal injury attorneys, may be able to give you a “ball park figure,” or if you prefer, may also use our convenient Free Case Evaluation submission form.