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Whiplash and its Connection to Brain Injury

Posted on January 10, 2022 in

Accidents like motor vehicle collisions, slip and falls, and sports accidents can result in an injury called whiplash. This condition affects the muscles and soft tissues in the upper back and neck, causing severe pain and lasting symptoms. Recovery from whiplash can take weeks or months, and the injury may result in permanent complications—including brain injuries. 

Brain injuries can have a major impact on your life. If you sustained whiplash or a brain injury after an accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation. 

What Is Whiplash?

When you encounter a severe impact or a large amount of force, serious injuries can occur. When the impact hits, your body can be thrust forward and backward in a very unnatural way. This causes damage to the upper back and neck, often leading to a condition called whiplash.

Symptoms associated with whiplash include the following.

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back, or arms

Whiplash symptoms can last for months following the initial accident. They can be very painful and limit your daily activities. Whiplash may even result in permanent complications and limitations, including chronic pain, limited mobility, and cognitive impairments.

How Whiplash Can Lead to Brain Damage

In addition to affecting the upper back and neck, whiplash can also cause injury to your brain and spine. When you experience a sudden jolt or force, your brain can hit the sides of your skull with great impact. This can cause bruising, bleeding, and other life-threatening injuries.

You may not know that you have a brain injury after an accident, as many of the symptoms of a brain injury (headache, dizziness, etc.) are similar to whiplash symptoms. Other symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) include the following.

  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of balance
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Confusion or agitation
  • Slurred speech
  • Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears

A brain injury can result in permanent impairments, affecting memory, concentration, mood, and movement. If you experience any sign of a brain injury, it is critical to seek medical attention as soon as you can. 

What to Do If You Develop a Whiplash Injury

Symptoms of whiplash or brain injury may not appear until hours or even days after the initial injury. However, if you have experienced any type of collision or accident, you should always seek medical attention afterward. Without prompt treatment, damage to the brain can be fatal, and whiplash symptoms can worsen.

While at the doctor or hospital, save all records related to your treatment and injuries. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you could file a lawsuit or insurance claim against the person responsible for your injury. However, you are only eligible for a claim if someone else’s actions caused your accident.

In these situations, it is important to speak with a brain injury lawyer in Portland as soon as possible. Your attorney can evaluate your claim and help you understand your options for legal action. After you receive treatment, contact an attorney to discuss your case and strategize your next steps.