Can You Get Whiplash From a Minor Car Accident?
Even in a minor car accident, victims can get injured and suffer serious injuries.
When a minor car accident happens, victims mostly ignore their physical condition, thinking that they are unharmed. However, the fact that they do not feel pain right away does not mean that they are not hurt. The body’s flight or fight response can make one feel invincible after a minor accident. It’s only when the adrenaline rush has subsided that neck pain and other symptoms of injuries usually appear.
Thus, when you get involved in a car accident, do not immediately conclude immediately you were not injured. Also, even if the property damage is negligible, make sure to include it in the report. If you declare that you are well and able, you might not be able to recover compensation.
What Is a Minor Car Accident?
A minor vehicular collision happens when two vehicles traveling at a slow speed collide with one another. A minor car accident is classified as a low-speed accident.
According to the basic speeding law, a driver must drive at a “careful and prudent” speed in all driving conditions. In addition, the car driver should be able to stop within a clear distance from the vehicle in front of it. Also, a vehicle should not exceed the speed limits defined under the Vehicle Code.
Rear-end collisions are examples of low-speed crashes. In a rear-end collision, the car at the back collides with the vehicle in front. The result is usually physical damage in the front and rear ends of the cars involved. A whiplash injury is prevalent in rear-end collisions.
Minor Injuries Vs. Serious Injuries in Personal Injury Cases
When injuries happen as a result of a car accident, they can either be minimal or severe. A serious injury often involves permanent damage to the victim. It can also result in broken bones, dismemberment, or loss of bodily functions. Major car crashes result in serious physical injuries.
On the other hand, minor car accidents often result in minimal injuries to the body or small damage to properties. Usually, the muscular or soft tissues are the ones affected in this type of car accident. Other minor injuries include neck pain and pain in the shoulders and muscles.
Whiplash Injury: Facts And Statistics
A whiplash is a form of neck injury affecting the soft tissues of the neck region. When a person’s body is hit with a sudden impact, the head and neck are forcibly moved back and forth or vice versa. Because of the unexpected force, the neck is stretched beyond its usual range of motion, thus resulting in a neck sprain.
In the United States, approximately 3 million cases of whiplash happen every year. Whiplash injuries are often the result of rear-end collisions, especially in vehicles running at a speed of 14 miles per hour or less. However, whiplash can also result from playing contact sports, physical abuse, slip or fall, and other types of traumas.
What Are Some Common Whiplash Symptoms And Signs?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, watch out for whiplash symptoms. Here are some signs that you need to look out for after a car accident:
Neck Pain or Stiffness
Pain in the neck is often due to strained or sprained muscles, ligaments, and tendons brought about by the overextension of the head and neck. Sudden force can cause the body to move forward and backward abruptly. This impact can cause misalignment to the neck structures and result in sharp neck pain, stiffness, neck movement loss, or muscular aches.
Stiffness and pain may develop 24 hours after the car accident. Nevertheless, a neck injury due to whiplash is expected to improve within the next few days.
Pain, Tingling, or Numbness In The Arms And Hand
Loss of feeling in the arms and legs is a symptom of whiplash. It is also usual for victims to experience a tingling sensation in their arms. Arms fatigue, dizziness, and arms tingling happen if the accident caused some damage to the neck or spinal column.
If the tingling and dizziness are due to a whiplash injury, most likely, there are pinched nerves and damage in the body due to intense pressure. If left untreated, the person can suffer from severe pain as well as other complications.
According to one study, it is common for people with whiplash injuries to suffer from headaches. Headaches caused by whiplash occur at the base of the skull. The degree of pain depends from person to person. Usually, the person may feel pain on one side of the head and towards the back. Others experience pain all over their heads. Headaches on the forehead or behind the eyes are also considered whiplash symptoms. Expect the condition to improve within a few weeks.
A study by the Oregon Health and Science University and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs showed that tinnitus could also result from head and neck injuries like whiplash.
Tinnitus is often described as a constant ringing in the ears. When it occurred after a car accident, it could be due to pressure in the head because of the sudden impact of the accident. Other symptoms that may accompany ringing in the ears include dizziness and loss of hearing.
If left untreated, tinnitus can also cause impairment in a person’s ability to concentrate. It can also cause confusion, depression, irritability, and sleep disturbance.
Other Related Symptoms
A whiplash injury may have symptoms similar to other conditions and medical problems. Other known whiplash symptoms include: