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What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash from a Car Accident?

Whiplash is the common term for a neck injury caused by a forceful and rapid movement of the head back and forth or side to side. Whiplash most often happens in rear-end car accidents, but can also result from a side-impact T-bone crash. Symptoms of whiplash do not always manifest immediately; the victim’s rush of adrenaline can mask the injury for a time, but pain generally sets in within hours.

Mild whiplash can produce the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Dull, radiating pain from the neck to the arms
  • Tenderness and pain in the shoulders and upper back
  • Tingling and numbness in the arms
  • Fatigue and dizziness

People with mild whiplash can usually recover in a matter of weeks or months with a course of pain medication, physical therapy and osteopathic or chiropractic care. But severe whiplash can have lasting complications, including these:

  • Concussion — Symptoms of concussion can include severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, blurred vision, tinnitus and mood swings.
  • Torn muscles — Mild whiplash may produce a stretch injury, making movement uncomfortable or painful. But when the muscle is actually torn or ruptured, the head will be completely immobilized. Surgery is generally required, with a recovery period from four to six months.
  • Torn ligaments — Ligament tears often require surgery and a long convalescence.
  • Disk damage — Severe whiplash can cause a disk to “slip,” putting pressure on the spinal cord and producing debilitating pain. Extended therapy and/or surgery will be required.
  • Sharp, radiating pain — Pain from the neck can extend across the shoulders and down the arms and back.
  • Spinal cord damage — The spinal cord itself can undergo trauma, producing numbness, weakness and fatigue in the body below the point of injury. If pressure on the cord is relieved, these symptoms can often be reversed.
  • Cerebral hemorrhage — In rare cases, the rapid movement can cause tearing of brain tissue that produces bleeding, which is immediately life-threatening.

If you are a victim of whiplash, seek medical care immediately. Do not attempt to drive. Wait for an ambulance or have someone else drive you. Go to the emergency room and have a qualified physician check you thoroughly. Immediate care will reduce the chance of complications and give you documentation of your injury, which you might need for a lawsuit.

For experienced representation for whiplash injuries, call Seigel Law at 201.444.4000 or contact us online. We offer free consultations for injured clients in Bergen County and throughout New Jersey.

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  • (61 Reviews)

    By Teresa R Perez - January, 2018

    I have had a great experience thus far. The personal injury process is stressful and they have been helpful and courteous in getting me the right referrals. I was injured while visiting NJ and live in another state, my case is not an easy one but they are working diligently to help. I appreciate the personalized attention and highly recommend this firm.

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    By Miriam Smith-Leone - December, 2017

    The law office was great with my back and neck injury. They directed me to the right doctors and got me a huge settlement. Being a single mom, it help pay off all my debt and bills. Me and my kids can have a bill free christmas, with plenty of food and happiness, stress free. They are the best ever and I would highly recommend them to anyone rich or poor, who has been in an accident and need legal help...

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    By L C - October, 2017

    After the misfortune of suffering an injury, I had the good fortune to choose Seigel Law to represent me. During my initial meeting with Jan Seigel, I found him to be extremely confident and reassuring---he totally put me at ease. I was represented by Mark Mc Bratney---an EXCELLENT attorney. He was supportive and professional through the entire process, and provided an excellent outcome for my case.

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    By Liliana Paredes - October, 2017

    Honest, trustworthy and very straight forward. In unvarnished truth Jonas Siegel will tell you exactly where you stand and what direction you should go. Jonas has tenacity coupled with a degree of tenderness, but never losing site of the end goal, which is to protect, defend and have the best outcome for his clients. I defenetly recoment this law firm. Thanks for helping me out in my case.

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    By Oren Goldshmidt - September, 2017

    I'd like to thank everyone at segal law for the amazing experience they provided me. From the moment I stepped in to the end of the case , segal and his team delivered exactly what they promised. I couldn't have received any better treatment from a law firm. Any concerns, questions or problems I had were addressed and dealt with accordingly...

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  • "After my car accident, my life turned into a disaster. Dealing with everything became impossible. Jan Seigel and his people helped me with every aspect of my injuries and the insurance companies so I could focus on healing. They helped me through everything and they got me what I was due." - M.P.

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