Whiplash and Other Common Car Accident Injuries | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

If you find yourself in a traffic accident then you are certainly not alone. A traffic accident while driving your car is fairly routine and can happen to anybody at just about anytime. Most car accidents aren’t too serious, with the vehicle suffering more bumps and bruises than any of its occupants, but the risk of injury is very real for anyone that is on the road.

Usually, the most common injuries stemming from a car crash are to the neck and back. The most common is whiplash and happens when the head is suddenly and violently thrust forward, then backwards when you’re the vehicle is rear-ended.  What actually occurs in a whiplash injury is when the neck hyper extends. The sensitive tendons and muscles can be damaged even at very low speeds, as low as 16mph.




Whiplash symptoms comes in all sizes and shapes, including: neck pain, swelling, tenderness in the back of the neck, muscles spasms in the side or back of the neck, difficulty moving the head and neck, headache, and sometimes a shooting pain from the neck down the arms. In addition, the neck can be sprained, strained, or even fractured.  Also, back pain is very common as an injury and symptoms such as pain and soreness can indicate a much more serious injury.

Particularly susceptible to injuries are your legs, knees, hands, arms, and head.  Usually this is because the victim comes into contact with a hard surface during the collision. Concussions are very common in collisions where the head hits against a hard surface. It is important that accident victims are monitored closely during the first 24hrs especially when it comes to possible head trauma. What’s tricky in regards to concussions is that they can get worse over time. A health care provider can instruct you on what symptoms to look for with a concussion.

It’s crucial to seek medical attention after a traffic accident if you feel pain or stiffness, even if it appears later. In some cases accident victims are in a state of shock and can get an adrenaline rush immediately following the accident. This can mask the pain of an injury. X-rays can help assist doctors in finding out if there are any fractures; however, more expensive MRI’s or CT scans might be needed to uncover soft tissue damage.

In mild injuries, sleep and rest may be the best thing to speed recovery. Of course, you may need a physician to prescribe muscle relaxers and painkillers in order to allow damaged muscles to get the rest they need. In severe injuries, physical therapy will be needed after time spent resting in order to regain your strength and mobility. Damaged muscles and tendons take some time to heal, so it’s imperative to follow your doctor’s advice for proper healing.

About the Editors:  Shapiro & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles  car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases  and more.  Our lawyers proudly edit the  Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.  Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.