Whiplash: Serious Injuries in Low-Speed Accidents

There are many who think that because they were in a low speed accident and there was little or no damage to their vehicle that the likelihood of injury is minimal. This is NOT true!

Even minor accidents can cause some serious damage, including neck and spinal cord injuries. The range of collision speed in most (roughly 80 percent) rear impact whiplash injuries is 6-12 mph. And it’s these injuries (whiplash) that account for the most commonly reported injuries among U.S. insurance claims. As a matter of fact, they accounted for more than $8.5 billion in payouts in 2007 alone, or about about a quarter of all payouts, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers understand many injuries won’t result in symptoms immediately. Some can arise days, weeks and even months later. With whiplash, what happens is the victim’s body is initially pushed or accelerated forward while the head remains behind for an instant, making the head rock up and back, stretching and/or tearing muscles, tendons and ligaments. The muscles react automatically (reflex motion) to bring the heard forward – sometimes this is overdone and the head may rock forward violently, further stretching and/or tearing muscles, tendons and ligaments.

The best way to reduce the risks of these kinds of injuries is to make sure that you’re properly using a head restraint. You want to make sure that the top of the head restraint is lined up with the top of your head. If it doesn’t reach the top, you want to make sure that it’s as high as it can go. You also want to make sure that you’re keeping as small a distance as possible between your head and the head rest.

Some of the most common symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, jaw pain, fatigue, insomnia, headaches and more.

Studies have proved that close to 50 percent of victims remain symptomatic at 12 weeks and 25 percent remain symptomatic at 6 months. Most minor cases need roughly 8 weeks to recover. The time needed to stabilize in more severe cases took 17 weeks.

What should you do if you have been involved in an auto accident? First, you should follow all the correct procedures the law requires. Second, have a medical exam. Visiting a chiropractor may also be advisable. These doctors have the most experience and are best trained to diagnose and treat these kinds of injuries. Drugs can only mask the pain and surgery should be used only as a last resort and only in extreme cases. Chiropractic care, complimented by massage and physiotherapies, has been proven effective at treating soft-tissue whiplash injuries. The important thing is to get checked out as soon as possible after an accident. Take charge of your health and take positive action. Be safe, and be healthy.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.

More Blog Entries:

Las Olas Boulevard Pedestrian Improvements in Focus, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, October 29, 2013
Pedestrian Struck and Killed on South Federal Highway, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, October 10, 2013

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