What Is a Whiplash Injury?

AUTHOR: A.J. Bruning | May 19, 2021
What Is a Whiplash Injury?

Have you recently been injured in a car accident?

Car accident injuries come in all shapes and sizes, and they range from mild to deadly. One common injury that's often the result of a car accident is whiplash.

But what is a whiplash injury anyway? How do they happen, and how do you know if you have one? We're here to explain so you're ready to seek out the compensation that you deserve.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is a Whiplash Injury?

A whiplash injury (or "whiplash" on its own) is an injury to the neck. When your neck is pushed back and then pulled forward, that force causes your muscles and tendons in your neck to stretch beyond what they're normally capable of.

While this doesn't often result in serious damage, it does cause pain and could lead to more serious problems in someone who already has neck or back complications.

How Does Whiplash Happen?

Whiplash is one of the most common types of car accident injury. It can happen regardless of where you are in the vehicle.

It's most common in rear-end collisions. When you get hit from behind, your head may go backward against the seat before being shoved forward. If you're wearing your seat belt, you may then be flung back again.

You'll feel an immediate soreness around your neck and shoulders that may intensify over time as your adrenaline wears off.

What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

If you're not sure if you've experienced a whiplash injury, pay attention to how you feel after the accident. While some discomfort is normal, if you're experiencing pain, muscle spasms, knots that radiate out from the neck, you may have a whiplash injury.

You may also have abnormal headaches.

Symptoms usually dissipate over a few weeks, but it's never a bad idea to seek out a physical therapist if you're concerned.

Are Whiplash Injuries Dangerous?

While it's true that whiplash injuries tend to go away after several weeks, this isn't always true (and even if they do go away, that pain is still real).

A doctor will diagnose your whiplash and determine what your next steps should be. For an otherwise healthy and able-bodied person, whiplash can be treated with pain medication and stretches.

Anyone who has spinal problems or pre-existing neck injuries may have a harder time. Whiplash could result in arthritis or disc herniations which will require long-term treatment.

Do You Need a Whiplash Injury Lawyer?

If you've been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Don't assume that whiplash isn't a significant enough injury to qualify.

When you've suffered a whiplash injury (and that's likely if you're looking up "what is a whiplash injury?" already), you may have to pay for pain medication, doctor's visits, and physical therapy, among other things.

Don't pay for these things alone.

We want to help you. Contact us for a free evaluation so we can determine if you have a strong case. Don't hesitate.

A.J. Bruning


I was born and raised to represent individuals who have been needlessly injured. I mean that literally. At a young age my father would tell me about the clients he was representing. I would meet them and take pride in their admiration of my father. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer and represent clients that needed my help.

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