Whiplash” is among the most common terms associated with car accidents and other vehicle accidents.  The term is often heard in accident in which one car is “rear-ended,” i.e. a collision when one vehicle hits the back of another vehicle that usually has slowed or stopped.

When “whiplash” occurs, it has the potential to be a serious medical issue.   The occupants of the vehicle that gets “rear ended” have their heads and necks bent forcibly backward and forward. During the motion, various muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons in the neck are involved.  While many factors dictate the extent and severity of the whiplash, the force of the collision is a primary factor.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) defines “whiplash” in the following manner:

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash-a soft tissue injury to the neck-is also called neck sprain or neck strain. It is characterized by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck, usually because of sudden extension and flexion. The disorder commonly occurs as the result of an automobile accident and may include injury to intervertebral joints, discs, and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots. Symptoms such as neck pain may be present directly after the injury or may be delayed for several days. In addition to neck pain, other symptoms may include neck stiffness, injuries to the muscles and ligaments (myofascial injuries), headache, dizziness, abnormal sensations such as burning or prickling (paresthesias), or shoulder or back pain. In addition, some people experience cognitive, somatic, or psychological conditions such as memory loss, concentration impairment, nervousness/irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue, or depression.

While “whiplash” seems most commonly associated with vehicle accidents, as mentioned by various sources (including Healthline’s Whiplash overview) it can also occur in other circumstances, such as during sports, physical abuse, and other incidents.

Two prominent Chicago hospitals provide information concerning whiplash.

The Rush University Medical Center of Chicago has information concerning whiplash titled “Five Things You Should Know About…Whiplash.”  The page defines whiplash, and then discusses five factors regarding the injury.  The first point mentions front- and rear-impact car accidents as the “most common cause of whiplash,” but also points out other potential causes.

Northwestern Medicine of Chicago also has a page devoted to whiplash injury.  On this page, whiplash is defined, and diagnosis and treatment is discussed.  As well, the symptoms of whiplash are listed.  As seen on this page, as well as other medical resources such as Mayo Clinic’s Whiplash Symptoms page, common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue / tiredness
  • Blurred Vision
  • Concentration / memory problems
  • Irritability
  • Sleeplessness / Sleep problems
  • Ringing in the ears

Should you be in an accident, it is very important that you receive a thorough medical check by qualified medical personnel, even if you do not believe that you were injured during the accident.  There are various reasons why this check is important.  From a health perspective, the reasons are discussed in the “Important Reasons For Getting A Medical Exam After An Accident” page.   From a legal perspective, should you be injured in an accident, you want to have the doctor or other medical professional document your injuries and other condition(s) so you can seek compensation for these accident injuries and other harm that occurred due to the accident.

Should you suffer whiplash in a car or vehicle accident – or any other type of accident – there may be a range of damages for which you may be entitled to compensation.  The types of compensation may include medical costs; future medical costs; pain & suffering; physical impairment; lost earnings, impairment of earnings capacity, and other damages.

Elman Joseph Law Group has been handling Illinois and Chicago area accident personal injury lawsuits for over 20 years.  During this time, we have built a reputation based upon our court performances.  Our clients benefit from this court trial capability because this capability may well lead to higher compensation for accident injuries.

To speak immediately to a distinguished Illinois trial lawyer, call Tony Elman, Lead Attorney of the Elman Joseph Law Group, at (773) 392-8182 at any time.  This initial legal consultation is free and confidential.

Elman Joseph Law Group handles Illinois legal cases on a contingency basis, meaning that clients never pay legal fees unless and until they receive monetary compensation.