A driver in can sustain several types of injuries in a vehicle accident. The most common is whiplash, a soft tissue injury commonly caused by rear-end accidents. After car accidents in Norwich, Connecticut, drivers may think that they didn’t get injured because of the delayed symptoms that whiplash can present.
Overview of whiplash
Whiplash causes the head to jerk back and forth, which hyperextends the spine and hyperflexes the neck from the force of the crash. According to statistics, around 3 million people are injured by whiplash each year with 85% caused by a motor vehicle accident. Contrary to popular belief, whiplash can occur at vehicle speeds of only 10 mph or less.
Some drivers may feel neck pain after the accident, but others may not notice symptoms for several days. Other common symptoms of whiplash include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, shoulder pain, less range of motion in the neck and tinnitus.
A doctor commonly diagnosis a whiplash injury based on medical history, imaging and physical examination. They may test the patient’s muscle reflexes, range of motion in the neck and neck tightness. Since whiplash doesn’t always appear on imaging, the doctor may perform other imaging tests to determine if the pain has another cause.
Soft tissue damage seldom shows on X-rays, but an MRI can pick it up on muscles, ligaments and the brain. Recent developments have made it possible to detect whiplash easier through imaging so that doctors can devise better treatment plans.
Whiplash seldom causes long-term effects; many patients get better in several weeks with treatment. However, each driver’s case varies, and it could still cause ongoing symptoms. Regardless of severity, a patient may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver to recoup their medical expenses.