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What is whiplash and how can it happen during a car accident?

Anyone who has ever slept “funny” on their pillow or turned their head too fast to one side may have experienced the excruciating pain of a neck injury. From pulled muscles to slipped vertebrae, damage to the neck can be debilitating and agonizing. However, there is one type of neck injury that is common to car accident victims and may be familiar to readers of this Kentucky personal injury blog: whiplash.

Whiplash is an injury caused by the head being thrown in opposing directions in rapid succession. For example, imagine a vehicle stopped at a red light that is struck from behind by a second vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. The victim in the stopped vehicle may have their head thrown forward by the force of the impact but then experience the also forceful throw of their head in the opposite direction when it hits and bounces off of their steering wheel airbag.

The strain placed on the neck during this rapid application of force is whiplash. Whiplash itself can be painful and require victims to endure long recoveries, but whiplash can come with accompanying side effects. A whiplash victim may suffer cognitive problems, such as memory loss and concentration challenges, and they may suffer from headaches, back pain and other forms of significant discomfort.

It is important for victims of car accidents to seek medical treatment for whiplash and other accident-related injuries. The documentation they receive from medical practitioners can help build their cases for damages when they choose to pursue their losses from the parties whose actions caused them to suffer harm.

If you or someone you know have been injured in a car crash, speak with a Lexington car crash attorney to review your legal options.