Whiplash – Causes and Misconceptions – What You Need to Know If You’re Injured in Massachusetts

Whiplash is the most common motor vehicle accident-related injury. However, it is also widely misunderstood. Unfortunately, the term “whiplash” has become associated with exaggerated personal injury claims. In fact, most attorneys refrain from using the term whiplash in the courtroom, instead referring to the specific injury’s technical name. Whiplash-related injuries may include hyperextension/hyperflexion or myofascial injury, neck strain or sprain, and cervical strain or sprain.

The term whiplash encompasses a number of neck injuries that are most commonly suffered as a result of a rear-end collision. When the body is propelled forward but the head and neck stay in place, such as in a rear-end auto accident, damage to the soft tissue of the neck may occur. This sudden jerking and stretching of the neck muscles occurs in a whip-like motion, hence the name.

Common Causes of Whiplash

Although rear-end collisions are the main cause of whiplash injuries, damage to the soft tissue of the neck can occur under many circumstances. These may include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents that do not involve a rear-end collision
  • High-contact sports and activities, such as football and soccer
  • Assault that results in head trauma
  • Skiing accidents
  • Work-related repetitive stress injuries
  • Shaken baby syndrome and other forms of child abuse
  • Slip and fall accidents due to another’s negligence

Misconceptions About Whiplash

Although high speed collisions often result in whiplash, the condition is just as commonly caused by low impact collisions that occur at low speeds. There are many circumstances affecting whether an accident will cause whiplash and what severity of whiplash will occur. Some of the factors affecting the potential and severity of whiplash are:


  • The position of the head at impact
  • The individual’s seating position
  • The individual’s height, build, and gender
  • The position of the seat
  • The position of the headrest
  • The size of the vehicles involved in the collision

It is also a common misconception that whiplash is a minor injury. Although minor whiplash injuries do occur, the condition can be extremely serious. Soft tissue injuries can be quite debilitating and can cause long-term damage if not properly treated. Our Boston car accident lawyers been handling these cases for years, and understand that complexities that are associated wit soft tissue injuries and how they can disrupt ones life.

Symptoms of Whiplash

If you’ve been injured in any type of motor vehicle accident, it’s important to get a thorough medical check-up without delay. Whiplash symptoms may not appear for days or weeks, and early detection is essential to preventing long-term damage. Some possible symptoms of whiplash include:


  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems
  • A decrease in range of motion
  • Shoulder or back pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Cognitive impairment


Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys

If you have been involved in any type of accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Time is of the essence when it comes to personal injury claims. For starters, details about the accident tend to fade with every passing day. You should also seek immediate medical attention. This is essential for your well-being, but it may also prove immensely beneficial if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit. Medical records serve as a great source of documentation and evidence in a lawsuit. The Massachusetts car accident attorneys at Altman & Altman, LLP have nearly 50 years of experience fighting for the rights of accident and injury victims. We have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients, and we want to help you. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free consultation about your case.


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