WHAT IS WHIPLASH?
We all have seen the loads of fraudsters pour out of their barely-tapped vehicle grabbing their necks acting as if they are in agony, and none of us buy it.
I also, as an injury attorney that sees crash victims every day, see another type of neck injuries from a crash: real ones.
True, the X ray might show no fractures. The Emergency room might release you back to work. You may not be bleeding or have a broken bone or even a bruise. That does not mean all is well. The next day, when you cannot turn your head and cannot believe you are hurting, you have discovered “whiplash.”
Whiplash is the common term for “cervical strain” from cervical “hyper flexion and hyper extension.” It is pretty descriptive though. Attached to the end of whip is small string that actually breaks the sound barrier, causing the loud “pop.”
Getting hit, from the front or rear, can cause your neck to snap through a similar scenario. We were not built for that when we were created naked in a garden. Our necks are very flexible and our heads are quite heavy and pull the neck with it.
A rear end crash into your vehicle when you are sitting still is the classic case. Your are going 0 mph until your car is hit. Lets say the at-fault driver has only slowed to 30 mph when he hits your car. Suddenly, your car goes from 0 to almost 30 mph in a spilt second. When your car moves, so will your seat, and thus your pelvis and torso. But, for just a sliver of time, your head stays still. Thus your neck is pulled backwards as your head remains in place, as your torso accelerates forward violently. But for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction: now your head is thrown forward.
Biomechanical experts study whiplash injury using live human subjects and even corpses. Whiplash is real and often seems to heal less completely even than other injuries from crashes that have been traditionally viewed as more severe.
Be sure not to settle cases “Assuming you’ll get better.” You might not recover as quickly as you hope. You have only one year to sue in Tennessee for a car crash, and the sooner you treat the better chance of recovery you enjoy.