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What is whiplash and how to respond?

When a driver is not paying attention, that driver can easily cause a car accident. One common type of accident is a rear-end collision. In these cases, a driver hits a person in front of them. While many rear-end accidents are minor, some can be very serious. For example, the recent accident in Nashville injured six people and killed two others when a woman rear-ended another car at a stop light.

However, rear-end accidents don't have to be serious in order to cause injuries. In fact, whiplash is a common car accident injury that can occur at any speed. Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissue of the neck. For people involved in a car accident, whiplash is just one of many injuries they can suffer. The symptoms may appear immediately or they may start in the days following the accident.

Generally, whiplash is accompanied by a variety of symptoms. If left untreated, people suffering from whiplash can be left chronic pain and leave people more likely to suffer injuries in the future. Symptoms of whiplash include memory problems, stiffness in the neck, serious neck pain, difficulty concentrating, headaches, dizziness and balance issues. In many cases, whiplash will heal in a matter of weeks. However, in some instances it can take up to a year to heal. If the whiplash is particularly bad it can lead to chronic issues and pain that can span decades.

People who have been involved in a car accident, even a minor rear-end accident, should seek medical help for whiplash. A medical professional -- like a chiropractor, neurologist or neck expert -- can help to treat the symptoms and ensure that no permanent damage is done.

This blog post should only be treated as informational. An attorney can help to explain a person's options following a car accident, including whether or not the person should file a personal injury suit.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Whiplash-Related Injuries," accessed Feb. 8, 2015

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