Low Speed Whiplash Collisions
Traffic collisions can cause injuries even at very low speeds, and one of the most common low-speed (and high speed) injuries is that of whiplash. Whiplash the term used to describe torn ligaments and muscle fibers within the neck following a sudden acceleration or deceleration of the head. It causes severe pain and immobility, and can linger for weeks, months, or years. However, it can be hard to prove just how severe your pain is, and you can be sure that the at-fault driver’s insurance provider will fight to devalue your injury claim.
Whiplash is a strain or sprain of the neck and is characterized by an injury to the intervertebral joints between vertebrae, ligaments, cervical muscles, discs, and/or nerve roots, according to WebMD. Whiplash most often occurs in car collisions, caused by the sudden forward and backwards motion of the head. It should be noted that whiplash can occur from a hit in any direction; whiplash occurs in head-on collisions, rear-enders, rollovers, and side-impact crashes. Symptoms of whiplash
- Neck pain;
- Shoulder pain;
- Back pain;
- Pain or numbness in the hand or arm;
- Neck stiffness;
- Headache radiating upwards from the base of the skull;
- Memory loss and difficulty concentrating;
- Insomnia; and
Recovery From Whiplash
There is no specific cure for whiplash. Only time can heal the damage caused to your muscles, joints, and ligaments. While some patients are given a neck brace to wear for a given period of time—and some report reduced pain with a neck brace—neck braces have not been proven to speed healing in the long term, according to research published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. In fact, “soft cervical collars” or neck braces can cause muscle atrophy and weakness in the neck, prolonging full recovery in many patients. Depending on the severity of the whiplash damage, as well as the health, age, and physical characteristics of the victim, whiplash can last anywhere from weeks to years. Some victims never fully recover.
How Slow Can The Collision Be And Still Cause Whiplash?
Various studies have shown that low speed collisions can cause whiplash. In one study, some participants who volunteered to be in a rear-end, lab-controlled collision at just 14 kilometers per hour (8.7 miles per hour) suffered whiplash that lasted up to seven days. Another study found that participants had whiplash symptoms that lasted up to 12 days—longer for some participants—in another low-speed rear end volunteer collision. But speed is not the only relevant factor. Force is comprised of mass and acceleration, therefore the larger the mass of the vehicle that hit you, the greater your whiplash may be. As such, it is not unreasonable for a car crash victim to suffer severe whiplash symptoms from a low crash speed of 10 or 15 miles per hour, especially when the other vehicle was larger than their own vehicle. The victim’s age and health also have a larger impact on whether or not they suffer whiplash. Older victims, ill victims, and those with less muscle mass are more likely to be injured in low speed collisions.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer in The Villages Today
Whiplash can occur at virtually any speed of motor vehicle collision; for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists, whiplash (and other injuries) can certainly occur at speeds under 10 miles per hour. If you were hit by another driver, call a The Villages personal injury lawyer at the Glover Law Firm today at 352-484-0775 to schedule a free consultation.