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What is Whiplash and is it Serious?

Whiplash has been made something of a joke in television and media. People often think of whiplash as a fake claim made by someone who was not really injured in an accident but wants to claim damages. In fact, whiplash is not only real, it can be terribly painful and difficult to diagnose and treat.

Whiplash is a sudden neck injury that can occur when an automobile is rear-ended. Anyone in the car — not just the driver — can have his or her head suddenly slammed backward and then forward in a whip-like motion, straining the neck muscles and ligaments and causing pain in the neck, difficulty turning the head and even headaches.

Some of the reasons that whiplash can be an expensive, even dangerous problem include the following:

  • In very extreme cases of whiplash, the brain is essentially slammed against the skull, causing concussion, a serious condition requiring immediate medical attention. Victims of whiplash experiencing confusion, dizziness, nausea or loss of consciousness need to see a doctor immediately.
  • Even with no concussion, whiplash can be a costly and slow-healing condition. Simply diagnosing it may involve X-rays or CT scans, which can be expensive, depending on your insurance coverage.
  • Treatment ranges from simple ice to anti-inflammatories, to more costly options like ultrasound and physical therapy. Not all therapies may be covered by insurance.
  • Some people may not be able to work for a period of time, depending on their profession. Any occupation involving a high degree of mobility in the neck may be off-limits.

If you are experiencing headaches, neck pain and/or loss of mobility in the wake of a rear-end collision, you should see a doctor and consult a California accident attorney right away.

Categories: Auto Accidents
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Law Office of Michael & Michelle Mandel
1438 Market Street
San Francisco, California, 94102 USA
415.626.5400