Highway driving around Massachusetts and Rhode Island can be hectic during the holiday season, which may lead to an uptick in distracted driving and rear-end car accidents. These types or motor vehicle accidents often happen in traffic when a distracted driver isn’t paying attention to the road and plows into another vehicle from behind. You can get “rear-ended” at both high and low speed scenarios resulting in a variety of back and neck injuries, the most common being whiplash.
What Causes Whiplash?
A rear impact car accident causes movement of the structures within the neck changing the normal curve of the upper back and neck. The sudden backward movement (extension) and forward movement (flexion) can cause the joints of the neck to be injured and can also cause the muscles and ligaments of the neck and upper back to be over-stretched. The neck is particularly vulnerable to this type of injury because of its ability to move in many directions.
How Whiplash is Diagnosed
Even if your neck pain is only mild, you should be examined by a doctor as soon as possible. It can sometimes take days or weeks for the true severity of your injury to come out. They may take x-rays to rule out any bone fractures. A CT scan or MRI may also be done if there is concern of you having a herniated disc or ligament injury. These tests are better able to identify soft tissue injuries than plain radiographs.
Symptoms of Whiplash
The primary and most common symptom of whiplash is neck or upper back pain. The pain may start immediately, but sometimes develops days, weeks, or even months later. Symptoms can vary widely. Here are some common symptoms:
- Tightness or spasms of the muscles the neck or upper back.
- Pain with movement of the neck, headache and dizziness.
- Difficulty swallowing and chewing and hoarseness.
- Abnormal sensations such as burning or tingling.
- Shoulder pain.
Fortunately, with time, the vast majority of people who have had a whiplash injury fully recover.
New Bedford – Fall River – Providence Auto Accident Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one were injured in a rear-end motor vehicle accident or any other car accident, contact one of our experienced attorneys. We will walk you through the details of your claim and help you to get the compensation that you deserve.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.