Automobile Accidents: The Mechanism of Whiplash

Jeremy Thurman on September 3, 2010


Whiplash by definition is an injury to the neck (the cervical vertebrae) resulting from rapid acceleration or deceleration. Webmd.com states that

Whiplash, also called neck sprain or neck strain, is injury to the neck. Whiplash is characterized by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck. In whiplash, the intervertebral joints (located between vertebrae), discs, and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots may become damaged.

As most people know, whiplash is an injury often associated with an automobile accident. In an automobile accident, depending on which direction one is hit, the neck is typically bent in rapid acceleration which causes damage to the cervical vertebra and that damage is diagnosed as “whiplash”. Whiplash can be forward, backward or side to side.

For those wanting a detailed animation, the following video demonstrates the mechanism by which whiplash happens.

Basic whiplash symptoms include the following:

  1. Neck pain and stiffness
  2. Headaches
  3. Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
  4. Low back pain
  5. Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand
  6. Dizziness
  7. Ringing in the ears or blurred vision
  8. Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  9. Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue

If you or a loved one has the above symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately.  Hopefully, you have soft tissue damage that can be healed through various modalities. However, some of the above symptoms are the result of and/or can lead to more serious injuries that can become debilitating.


Jeremy Thurman

Jeremy Thurman is an attorney at McIntyre Law who focuses primarily on semi-truck accident and catastrophic injury cases. He is known as a meticulous attorney whose work ethic and small town values translate into excellent results for his clients. Read more about Jeremy Thurman.


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