According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than three million people are injured in car accidents every year. In Illinois alone, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) finds that 88,900 people suffer accident-related injuries each year.
The severity and type of these injuries depends on many factors, including:
• The speed of the accident,
• Whether the vehicle was struck from the front, rear or side,
• Whether the car had functioning airbags,
• Whether the occupants were wearing seat belts, and
• Whether the occupant was facing straight ahead or turned in the seat.
Every car accident is different, and accidents that appear very similar can result in very different injuries. Some types of injuries are more common than others, however. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained after a collision.
Whiplash After a Car Accident
Whiplash occurs when the head is thrown forward or sideways abruptly. It may occur at high speeds or low speeds, and it is one of the most common injuries resulting from a vehicle accident. Whiplash causes soft tissue injuries of the spinal cord and bone in the back and neck.
The sharp motion of the head strains the muscles and ligaments in the neck beyond their normal range of motion, in some cases leading to sprains or strains that can last months. In more serious cases, disc herniation or torn ligaments can be the result, which often cause long-term pain and suffering, sometimes requiring years of therapy or surgery to treat.
Symptoms of whiplash include:
• Migraines or headaches
• Stiffness or neck pain
• Difficulty thinking or memory problems
• Numbness or tingling of the shoulders, arms or face
• Jaw pain, hip pain or pain in the lower back
• Impaired vision
Certain individuals are at a greater risk of suffering from whiplash, including those with a history of neck pain or neck injury, individuals with a low Body Mass Index (BMI), women, and tall drivers or occupants.
One of the most effective ways to prevent whiplash is properly adjusting and using the head restraint in the vehicle, especially for rear collisions. Studies have found that the height of the head restraint and the gap between the restraint and the head are important in determining risk of injury. The restraint should be level with the top of the occupant’s ears or higher with very little distance between the back of the head and the restraint.
Defensive driving can also prevent injury, although not all accidents are within our control.
If you were injured in a car accident, or you are suffering from whiplash, contact Mike Agruss Law, for a free consultation. We are a Chicago car accident law firm representing individuals and families who have suffered an injury in a car accident. Mike Agruss Law, will handle your case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you.
Lastly, Mike Agruss Law, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-¬fee promise is that simple. Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire us–just the opportunity to seek justice.