Signs of whiplash

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

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Drivers and passengers who are in a car accident in California should make sure they get the proper medical care soon after the crash. One of the more common results of an accident, especially in rear-end collisions, is whiplash. The symptoms of whiplash can vary from mild to severe, and sometimes they do not show up for hours or days after the crash. Ignoring the signs can lead to long-term and/or severe issues, so it is important to know what to look for.

According to KTAR News, physical issues due to whiplash can take days to show up. Neck stiffness or pain is a common symptom, as are headaches. Injury to the soft tissues in the back can lead to low or upper back pain, and this is more common in side-impact crashes. Numbness or abdominal pain can indicate more serious injuries. Whiplash can also affect the victim’s mental and emotional state, with symptoms including depression, memory impairment, mood changes and even PTSD.

The Mayo Clinic states that while some of the symptoms of whiplash may resolve on their own after a few weeks, pain can linger for months or even years after the accident. In order to prevent chronic issues, it is important to get medical attention right away from a doctor or chiropractor. Certain initial symptoms, such as headaches, severe neck pain and pain that radiates into the arms, are good indicators of persistent pain. Other risk factors involved with worse outcomes include:

  • Neck or back pain that was there before the accident
  • Older aged individuals
  • Previous whiplash injuries





Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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