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The dangers of whiplash after a traffic accident

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries suffered in New Jersey car accidents. Whiplash is often only identified by descriptions of the victim's pain and not by distinctive cuts, fractures or bruises. This has led many to believe that whiplash is not a real condition and is only used as justification for pursuing litigation. However, it is a real medical issue that can lead to a number of symptoms and harmful disorders. Clinical studies have shown that if left untreated, whiplash might lead to long-term disability.

Whiplash is usually caused when a stationary individual is hit with substantial force from behind. For example, when a car is hit from behind, a sitting passenger's torso is pushed forward and their neck and head are thrown back. Then, the head and neck then whip forward. This motion places considerable strain on the head, neck and spine.

A doctor may take x-rays and do a physical examination. However, it is possible that someone may suffer from whiplash if there are not any visible cracks, bruises or other symptoms. For treatment, a physician may place the individual in a neck brace for a short time and then prescribe physical therapy and other range of motion exercises to help the neck and spine regain strength. It is possible that the individual may always suffer some level of pain.

In addition to pain, a person who has experienced whiplash could suffer from dizziness, headaches, ear ringing and fatigue. If their symptoms keep them bedridden, they may face other related conditions, such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and dependence on painkilling drugs. Such conditions may drastically reduce a person's quality of life, and the cost of treatment for these conditions can be high in some cases. However, it may be possible for a person to seek compensation for those damages in court through a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: MedicineNet.com, "Whiplash", November 29, 2014

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