A whiplash injury is almost universally understood to be a neck and shoulder injury, and when we think of whiplash, we often picture someone wearing a neck brace. Whiplash is caused by a forceful jolt to the neck that results in a rapid and severe back-and-forth motion. This motion is similar to cracking a whip. Medical professionals and scientists have known for decades about the effects of whiplash on the neck, spine, shoulder, and other areas of the body. In recent years, researchers have begun to discover the effects of whiplash injury on the brain.
It is estimated that three out of every 1,000 people suffer from whiplash, and one out of every four whiplash sufferers have chronic symptoms. When the whiplash injury occurs at a lower speed, it may be difficult to notice the symptoms immediately. Oftentimes, symptoms do not start showing up for days or weeks afterward. These symptoms can be both physical and cognitive; the whiplash motion can twist, distort, and compress the brain within the skull, often resulting in symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI).
One study published in 2016 suggests that there is a close interaction between the neck and brain, and that whiplash injuries can result in changes in blood flow to the brain. The study found that blood flow changes were in areas of the brain that are involved in pain perception and processing sensory information from within the body.
Recent studies have helped establish a connection between whiplash injury and the brain, and we now know that many who suffer this injury have cognitive symptoms. However, additional research is needed to understand in further detail how disruptive injuries to the neck can impact brain function.
What Causes a Whiplash Brain Injury?
There are several events that can result in a whiplash injury. Some of the most common causes include:
- Motor vehicle crashes are among the leading causes of whiplash injuries. The impact of the crash can cause a forceful jolt to the neck of a vehicle occupant, resulting in the whiplash motion. These types of injuries are especially common with crashes in which one party is caught by surprise and has not had time to brace themselves. The best example of this is a rear end collision.
- There has been a lot of publicity lately about concussions in certain sports because of blows to the head, such as a helmet-to-helmet collision in football. A blow like this can result in a whiplash motion, causing both head trauma and neck injuries. Collisions and tackles in contact sports that do not involve head contact can also cause a whiplash motion.
- Certain types of falls can result in whiplash brain injury if they cause the neck to be thrown back and forth before the individual hits the ground. One of the best examples of this is horseback riding when the horse stops suddenly or bucks the rider, causing the rider to be thrown off the horse.
- Various types of violence can cause whiplash brain injury. Examples include being punched, hit in the head with an object, or shaken rapidly. Infants and toddlers are particularly susceptible to serious injury from being violently shaken, and this type of incident is all-too-common in domestic abuse cases.
Symptoms of Whiplash Injury
Individuals who suffer from whiplash can experience a wide range of symptoms. These may include:
Have you Suffered a Whiplash Brain Injury? Contact an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has experienced a whiplash injury and you believe it was the fault of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. Before accepting any settlement from an insurance company, it is best to have a skilled accident injury attorney review your case and advise you of your legal options.
At Whibbs Stone & Barnett, we have in-depth experience representing individuals who have sustained whiplash injuries and other types of personal injuries in the Florida Panhandle. We work closely with our clients, and we have the knowledge, skills, resources, and dedication to provide the strong personalized representation our clients need and deserve.
For a free consultation with one of our Florida accident injury attorneys, call us today at 1-888-219-4561 or send us a message through our online contact form.