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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

414-272-3636 877-412-7409

Whiplash mechanism of injury and symptoms

Whiplash mechanism of injury and symptoms are caused when the head and neck are suddenly and forcefully whipped forward and back, placing excessive stress on the cervical spine. McCormick Law Office attorneys get the best results by knowing automobile accident injury and symptoms.  By carefully going over the accident facts in an honest and trustworthy manner the attorney can see the injury connection to the motor vehicle collision.

Rear-end whiplash automobile accident impacts cause traumatic rim lesions, horizontal tears in the very outer Sharpey's fibers of the annulus.  Rim lesions may cause small osteophytes (bone spurs) and stimulate disc, vertebral end-plate and facet joint degeneration.

Annular tears in the disc produce leakage of chemicals, that could irritate tiny nerves in the disc as well as seep out into epidural space affecting adjacent nerve roots, constituting the primary mechanism of radiating pain in the absence of a herniated disc.

Damage causing a neck bulging or herniated disc causes pressure on the nerves as they exit the spinal neural foramina.  The pressure or irritation can be felt as skin numbness, muscle weakness, or pain along the path of the nerve, down the arm. Often called a slipped disc or pinched nerve, its cervical radiculopathy.

Soft tissue around the facet joints can be injured. Many of the pain-sensing nerves of the spine are in the facet joints. The normally smooth surfaces on which these joints glide can become rough, irritated, and inflamed causing pain.

Neck muscles sense sudden changes in tension and respond quickly to protect the head. The muscles react instantly to hold against the sudden shift in position and result in self-protective spasm.  This is in addition to the mechanical hyper-extension and flexion caused by the collision forces.  Muscle strains are tears in the muscle fibers with resultant spasm, swelling and stiffness.  Tears in ligaments (ligaments connect bones to bones; tendons connect muscle to bone) are called sprains.

Whiplash mechanism of injury and symptoms can be aggravated by:

Head turned at time of the impact 

Getting hit from behind (rear-impact collision)

Previous neck injury or surgery

Being unaware of the impending impact

Poor position of the headrest or no headrest

Crash speed under 10 mph

Being in the front seat as opposed to back seat of the car

Collision with a vehicle larger, heavier vehicle

Being of slight build

Seatbelt use is law and should be used; may increase injury at lower impact speeds

Money damages for neck auto accident whiplash injury are not to be demanded or awarded with frivolity.  These are significant injuries which demand serious attorney representation and top-rated case preparation by McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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McCormick Law Office
829 North Marshall Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Toll Free: 877-412-7409
Phone: 414-272-3636
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