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What Is Whiplash?

It’s become a personal injury cliché: On some street in New Orleans, a driver lightly bumps the car ahead of him at a stoplight and the other driver jumps out holding his neck and shouting, “Whiplash!” He then sues the other driver.

It is unfortunate the whiplash has become a word so associated with false claims of injury. Whiplash is an actual medical term referring to a hyperextension or over-extension injury to the neck.

It is thought to be brought about when a person’s body is pushed violently forward, causing the head to snap up and back. This may lead to stretching or tearing of some muscles and ligaments in the neck.

In response to the injury, the neck muscles contract to bring the head forward again and prevent excessive injury. Unfortunately, in situations such as automobile accidents where the body is rapidly decelerating, this can rock the head violently forward causing additional damage to the neck.

Obviously, this type of injury can easily occur in a rear-end collision and should be taken seriously. If you have been injured in a car accident in New Orleans and need advice, please feel free to call my office at 504-581-6411 or 877-581-6411. We would be happy to help you.