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What is whiplash?

Nebraska residents may know that whiplash is one of the injuries that could result after a crash. The injury occurs when the neck suddenly extends and flexes, causing a strain on the soft tissue of the neck. In some cases, discs, ligaments, intervertebral joints, nerve roots and cervical muscles could also be injured.

Symptoms might not be immediately present after an auto accident, but they could include neck stiffness and pain, burning or prickling sensations, dizziness, headaches and back or shoulder pain. Some individuals may also experience memory loss, fatigue, sleep disturbances, concentration impairment and depression.

Individuals who suffer whiplash may be prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, pain medication or muscle relaxants. Some people may also need to wear a cervical collar for approximately two to three weeks. For those with minimal injury, they may fully recover within a few days of their accident. However, a full recovery may take up to three months, and some individuals may still experience residual headaches or neck pain.

A person who has suffered injuries in a crash might face financial strains due to the sudden expenses that accumulated after the accident. Current medical bills for treatment may easily mount, and if an individual requires future surgeries for his or her injuries, the expenses may become significant. In such a situation, a victim might be able to pursue financial compensation, which could address some of those costs. Each case has unique circumstances, so speaking with a personal injury attorney might be of benefit to a victim if he or she would like more information about his or her legal options following a crash.

Source: NINDS, "NINDS Whiplash Information Page", October 20, 2014

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