Whiplash Causes and Physical Damage

The human body is ill-equipped to absorb certain types of impacts, particularly those caused by automobile collisions. The reason for this is physiological. The human head weighs roughly 10 – 15 pounds, and rests upon the most flexible and least reinforced part of the spine: the neck. Your neck contains 32 joints (among other muscle and ligaments) and is easily stretched and injured if too much force is applied in any direction. When the joints of the neck are stretched or strained beyond their normal limitations, they can lose their ability to return to their original length.

Automobiles, on the other hand, are heavy, solid objects weighing roughly two tons. These structures are designed to absorb impact and minimize energy transfer. However, the amount of force exerted when one automobile strikes another is equal to thousands of pounds. This tremendous force can cause extensive damage to the necks and spines of the vehicle’s occupants.

The neck cannot support or control the weight of the head under such circumstances, and the head is forcefully thrust in the direction of the vehicle causing the impact. The sudden movement of the head, backwards, forwards or sideways, is referred to as whiplash.

Whiplash is more accurately called cervical acceleration/deceleration (CAD) trauma or syndrome, which describes the rapid movements that can injure the vertebrae of the neck and the muscles and ligaments that support them. As the muscles and other tissues within the neck stretch toward their physical limits, extreme tension builds and the muscles “snap” (or “whip”) with a violent spasm in the opposite direction.

During this violent process, the soft discs between the spinal bones can stretch or tear, and vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing range of motion. The spinal cord and nerve roots in the neck can get stretched and become irritated. The result is injury to the muscles, ligaments, nerves (soft tissues) and joints within the neck.

Problems from Whiplash

Whiplash injuries can lead to headaches, dizziness, pain in the shoulders, arms and hands, reduced ability to turn and bend, and low back problems. Bruising of the brain can also occur when a vehicle occupant experiences a severe case of whiplash. Bruising of the brain causes some victims to experience blurred vision, ringing in the ears, nausea and numbness.

We Understand the Pain and Resulting Injuries from Whiplash

Whiplash is a real and serious medical event. The effects from whiplash can be long-lasting. We understand.

When a client experiences a whiplash injury, we work with physicians and other medical experts to understand the severity of the whiplash on our client, and the likely prognosis for the whiplash injury. It is important to note that in a personal injury lawsuit, there is only one opportunity to recover full compensation. It is therefore important that any settlement consider not only the past and present injuries and damages, but also those that are likely to continue or occur in the future. Similarly, at trial, a jury needs to be made fully aware of the future impact that a whiplash injury will have on an accident victim in order that full compensation can be awarded.

We Work to Obtain Full Compensation for Clients

With decades of experience representing personal injury victims, we are experienced in advocating on behalf of our clients who have been injured due the negligence of others. If you have been injured, please call us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at your convenience. At this consultation, when we learn about your accident and injuries, we can advise you about your legal rights to seek compensation, and how we can help. We normally represent injury victims on a contingency fee basis – this means that there is no fee to us unless we recover compensation for you.

103 W. Seneca Street, Suite 301
Ithaca, NY 14850
Telephone: (607) 272-5590
Fax: (607) 272-5594

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
By submitting this form Friedlander & Friedlander, P.C. will take no action to protect your interests. Submission of this form does not estalish an attorney-client privilege. Please do not submit any confidential information through this form.