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Understanding Whiplash Injuries After a Seattle Auto Accident

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on September 21, 2015

Injury Incident“Whiplash” is the common name given to soft tissue injuries to the neck and shoulders, like a strain or sprain. Whiplash injuries are so named because they often result when the head snaps quickly forward and back, as it does when one vehicle collides with another. These injuries are common in rear-end and other types of car accidents.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), not all whiplash injuries are immediately obvious after a car accident. Many patients don’t begin to experience symptoms for hours or even days after the initial injury happened. Pain, swelling, stiffness, headache, dizziness, or sensations like burning or prickling may appear after the accident is over. Some patients also struggle with memory loss, difficulty concentrating, nervous or irritable moods, sleep disturbances, or fatigue after a whiplash injury.

Treatment for whiplash injuries is similar to treatment for other strains or sprains. Medications that relax muscle spasms and control pain and swelling may be used, along with a support device like a cervical collar. Physical therapy may be recommended once the tissues have healed in order to strengthen them and restore proper function.

According to the NIH, most whiplash injuries can take from several weeks to several months to heal. However, an injury that does not receive proper treatment may take longer to heal or it may not heal correctly. Even with prompt and proper medical care, some patients also continue to experience headaches, neck pain, or other symptoms even after the muscles and other tissues have fully healed. Medical researchers continue to examine whiplash in order to improve their understanding of these residual impairments and how best to prevent or treat them.

At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., our experienced Washington personal injury lawyers can help you protect your legal rights after a car accident or other serious injury. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation. We can be reached at (888) 228-3860.

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