Craig P. Tiller, Esq. PLLC

Whiplash injury: causes and costs

Whiplash is the term used to describe the constellation of injuries that can occur in the muscles, ligaments or tendons in the neck. Whiplash injuries can range from very minor to quite severe and are generally caused by rear-end automobile collisions, though any fall that jolts the head rapidly back-and-forth can result in this type of injury.

Each year in the United States, approximately 120,000 people suffer whiplash injuries in accidents each year. In Virginia, about 200 new cases are reported annually. The estimated costs associated with whiplash is approximately 29 billion dollars in the U.S. alone.

The symptoms of whiplash can have a delayed onset and may not appear until hours or even days after the crash, so it is important to consult a physician if you've been in a car accident. Minor symptoms of whiplash include headache, stiffness, limited movement and soreness in the neck, shoulder, back and arms. More serious symptoms include problems with balance, memory or concentration. Most symptoms will disappear within a couple of weeks, but in more serious cases they can last weeks, months or even years.

When someone suffers a whiplash injury in an automobile accident and another driver is believed to be at fault, the injured party may want to considered filing a personal injury claim in order to get financial support to help defray the costs associated the injury. This type of lawsuit is also intended to compensate injured victims for lost wages, the loss of future earnings and the emotional trauma they may experience as a result of the accident. The courts will also take into account the prognosis of the individual over the long-term. An attorney who is knowledgeable about personal injury suits may provide sound information to help injured victims make informed decisions.

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