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What should I know about whiplash after a car accident?

After you are in a car accident, you might feel fine for a little bit. The morning after the accident, you might start to feel sore and achy. You may start to notice neck pain at some point after the accident. That neck pain might be serious, so seeking medical assistance is vital. In some cases, the neck pain might be whiplash.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the neck is subjected to swift forward and backward movements that are common during automobile accidents. Rear-end accidents are the most common accidents that can cause whiplash.

How serious is whiplash?

Generally, whiplash isn't a life-threatening injury. Instead, it can make life miserable for the victim. In the past, immobilization was the primary course of treatment. Now, it is known that exercises to improve range of motion can help to improve the recovery time after whiplash.

Are other problems possible?

When victims of whiplash aren't properly treated and educated about their condition, it can lead to anxiety or depression. These chronic psychosocial conditions can often outlast the physical symptoms, which aren't usually chronic.

What are the economic impacts of whiplash?

Sick leave, medical care, lost productivity, disability and litigation are all economic impacts of whiplash. On average, these expenses can trend upwards of $30 million in the United States.

The period of partial disability can often be prolonged. If you suffer from whiplash, you might opt to seek compensation for the expenses of the injury. Knowing about different types of compensation and learning about how to seek compensation will likely make the process easier.

Source:, "Whiplash," Jason C. Eck, DO, MS, accessed July 13, 2015

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