Some of the most common car accident injuries are whiplash, soft tissue injuries (sprains and strains) and headache.
Whiplash is the term used to describe an injury to the soft tissues of the neck (the muscles, tendons and ligaments) and can also include injuries to the joints between the neck vertebrae, the discs in the neck and the roots of the nerves that branch out of the spinal cord.
Whiplash is cause by the sudden deceleration of a car during an accident, which causes a person's head to quickly jerk back and forth. The actual medical terminology used to describe whiplash is the sudden extension and flexion of the neck.
Whiplash can have many different symptoms. Generally, symptoms include neck or upper back pain/stiffness, shoulder pain or stiffness, headache, dizziness, or a burning/itching sensation in the neck, shoulders or arms. If your car accident was severe enough, whiplash symptoms can also include memory loss, difficulty in concentration, sleep disturbances, fatigue or depression.
Symptoms of whiplash often develop immediately after a car accident. Most people will get out of the car after an accident feeling some sort of twinge in the neck. However, it is not uncommon for a person who has been in a car accident to feel fine immediately afterward, and not experience whiplash symptoms for a day or two. Whiplash injuries can heal quickly, or can take weeks or months to fade.
In addition to the soft tissues surrounding the neck, the soft tissues surrounding your body's muscles, tendons and ligaments can become injured in a car accident and result in a sprain or strain, depending on what was injured. Symptoms can include muscle aches and pains, joint pain, as well as limited flexibility and range of motion in the injured part of the body. Like whiplash, these symptoms may develop immediately after the accident or lay dormant for several days. Typically, mild soft tissue injury will heal quickly, but a severe sprain or strain can linger for much longer periods of time.
Finally, headaches are common after a car accident, even if you did not hit your head. These can go away quickly, but some may not. If a headache linger for more than a day or two following a car accident, seek medical attention. It may be a sign of a more significant injury.
After a car accident, it is extremely important that you receive medical attention. Your medical records will help you should you need to file a personal injury claim. For more information regarding your rights following a car accident, contact a Chicago car accident lawyer from Nemeroff Law Offices – 312.629.8800.