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Colorado and Wyoming car accident injuries: What is whiplash?

Whiplash -- a word heard frequently in reference to car accidents -- but what does it really mean? Even victims of car accidents often do not know what it means when a doctor tells them they have whiplash. Part of seeking personal injury damages following a car accident is fully understanding the nature of your injuries. It helps with the eventual success of your legal efforts and also relieves anxiety about what is actually wrong with you.

Common in rear-end collision car accidents, whiplash damage typically occurs when the tissue in the neck area is whipped forwards and backwards due to an abrupt change in motion. For example, if someone collides with your car from behind, the force of the collision could whip your head first forward and then backward, resulting in whiplash. This type of neck injury causes a great deal of pain and also limits the victim's movements.

The most common symptoms of whiplash include:

-- Neck pain and/or stiffness-- Headache pain, often beginning at the base of the skull-- Limited range of motion in the neck area-- Neck, shoulder and arm pain or tenderness-- Blurry vision or dizziness-- Unusual fatigue and/or depression-- Problems with memory and concentration-- Numbness or tingling in the arms

Whiplash, which may also be called neck strain or sprain, often disappears in a few months, but some victims may continue to experience chronic pain or other difficulties. Further, symptoms of whiplash often do not appear right away, making it extremely important to get a medical opinion when the symptoms do occur, even if it has been a day or two since the accident.

Do you believe you have whiplash? If so, you should probably seek advice from a personal injury attorney serving the residents of Colorado and Wyoming. Attorneys can help with personal injury claims as well as dealing with auto insurance companies.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Whiplash," accessed Aug. 27, 2015

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