Does Whiplash After a Car Accident Have Long-Term Side

Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury that car accidents of every kind commonly cause. These injuries are unpredictable and often lead to long-term health consequences. If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury due to another driver’s negligence, the surest way to help protect your long-term recovery is by working closely with an experienced car accident lawyer from the outset.

What Are the Long-Term Side Effects of Whiplash?

Some long-term side effects of whiplash include chronic pain, ringing ears, dizziness, neck and back pain, headaches, numb or weak limbs, or jaw pain. Some people have limited motion in the neck or shoulders for a long time following a whiplash injury.

Whiplash symptoms and causes include:

  • Whiplash is an injury to the neck caused by the head being whipped back and forth forcefully on the neck (in the same way a whip cracks).
  • Rear-end car crashes commonly cause whiplash (but just about any car accident can do so).
  • Sometimes, whiplash leads to chronic pain and other serious long-term health complications.

Every case of whiplash is unique to the circumstances involved, but those whose pain is intense right from the start are more likely to suffer the long-term effects of chronic pain. Another potential long-term effect of whiplash is a severe reduction in range of motion. Both of these can seriously restrict your ability to live your life to the fullest post-accident.

Some of the primary components of treatment for severe whiplash cases include pain management and physical therapy for regaining range of motion to the degree possible.

Whiplash After a Car Accident Have Long-Term effectIf You Suffer Long-Term Effects

If your whiplash injury results in chronic pain or a significant loss in the range of motion (or both), you can expect your losses (or legal damages) to be that much more significant. Courts generally split such losses into three basic categories.

Your Medical Costs

The long-term pain and decreased range of motion that whiplash sometimes causes can lead to ongoing medical expenses, including effective pain management and physical therapy costs.

Keeping your pain at bay and maximizing your range of motion are both critical to living your fullest post-accident life, which makes keeping up with the medical care you require vital to your health and well-being.

Your Lost Earnings

Whiplash can seriously affect your ability to return to work and continue earning at your former level. If your job involves considerable physical labor, such as construction work, the effects can be that much more significant.

However, many people who suffer the long-term effects of whiplash even those who have desk jobs have a difficult time returning to work full time. If your whiplash injury affects your current earnings or your earning potential, your financial losses will be even more considerable.

Pain and Suffering

If your whiplash injury leads to chronic pain, you can expect your pain and suffering to be profound and ongoing. However, in addition to physical pain, consider your psychological pain. Someone else’s negligence put you in the position of coping with ongoing pain and decreased range of motion.

Coming to terms with this can present exceptional difficulties. You have undergone severe alterations to your life, while the person responsible may not suffer any adverse effects. This emotional component of your claim should receive the careful attention it deserves.

Rear-End Accidents

The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that, in a recent year, there were 2,346 fatal rear-end crashes, which accounts for 7.1 percent of all fatal crashes that year.

A comprehensive study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shares that:

  • Rear-end accidents account for nearly 29 percent of car accidents overall.
  • Most rear-end crashes happen when the forward vehicle stops or moves very slowly before impact.
  • Driver distraction plays a significant role in rear-end accidents. Those instances in which the rear drivers have their eyes off the road for two or more seconds are responsible for about 64 percent of all rear-end accidents.

This fact is especially significant because motorists who text behind the wheel tend to spend about five seconds each time, which leaves plenty of time for dangerous rear-end accidents.

The Other Driver’s Negligence

Whiplash often results from rear-end accidents, which usually stem from driver distraction, but just about any accident and any negligence may cause it.

#1. Distraction

As mentioned, distraction plays a starring role in most rear-end accidents, and it deserves a bit more attention. In those five seconds that drivers spend on average engaged in texting, they can travel about the length of a football field (when driving at highway speeds). With this vision in mind, it’s not difficult to imagine texting drivers causing more than their fair share of rear-end accidents.

While there are many driver distractions, texting manages to include all three primary categories in one dangerous activity, including:

  • Distractions that require the driver’s thoughts
  • Distractions that require the driver’s hands
  • Distractions that require the driver’s vision

Texting is about as dangerous as it gets.

#2. Impairment

Impaired drivers can suffer losses in reaction times, logical thinking, physical control, impulse control, and more, and any of these can make rear-end accidents more likely. Impaired drivers feature far too prominently in fatal car accident statistics of every kind.

#3. Exhaustion

Drowsy drivers have a more difficult time concentrating and making sound decisions, making them prime candidates for causing rear-end accidents. The fact that the impairments associated with exhaustion resemble those experienced by drunk drivers does not bode well for drowsy drivers in terms of safety.

#4. Excess Speed

Excess speed means that drivers require longer stopping distances, which plays nicely into rear-end accidents. When drivers exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for road or weather conditions, they increase the risk of causing accidents of every kind, including rear-end accidents, and increase the chances of deadly accidents. Drivers who speed don’t allow themselves the time necessary to avoid rear-end accidents safely.


Aggressive drivers take danger behind the wheel to entirely new levels. Because the hallmark of aggressive drivers everywhere is driving at daredevil speeds, they are prime candidates for causing rear-end accidents.

Aggressive drivers often attempt to engage other drivers in dangerous games on our roadways, and sometimes they go so far as actually tapping other vehicles from behind in the process. In other words, they are not afraid of engaging in life-threatening practices that can lead to severe rear-end accidents.

St. Louis Auto Accident Attorney

Chis Dixon, St. Louis Auto Accident Attorney

Discuss Your Legal Concerns With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

If another driver’s negligence caused you whiplash with long-term effects, a car accident attorney helps clients like you prevail and receive full compensation for their losses. Your case is important, so please don’t delay in seeking a no-cost case evaluation with a law firm near you.

Everyone can afford to hire a car accident lawyer due to contingency fee arrangements, so never let concerns about costs deter you from seeking the legal help you need. Reach out now and begin your whiplash-related car accident claim.