Whiplash results from the extension of the spine beyond its normal range of flexibility. It can occur when the victim’s car is hit from behind, from the side, or even from the front. Upon impact from behind, the head is thrown forcibly backward. Then, just as abruptly, it recoils forward when the vehicle comes to a sudden stop or strikes something in front of it. Whiplash can be a serious medical condition resulting in many complications.


  • Stretching and tearing of muscles and ligaments
  • Pinching, stretching, and tearing of nerves
  • Muscle spasms and locked joints
  • Tearing of blood vessels
  • Bulging or rupture of discs in the spine

Whiplash injury may affect the mandibular joint (jaw) or other joints. In severe cases, vertebrae may be compressed, break or the spinal discs may rupture, spilling matter into the spinal canal. These injuries are very painful and frequently require surgery.


  • Headache; confusion; loss of concentration
  • Blurred vision; ringing in the ears; dizziness; loss of balance
  • Pain, spasms, or stiffness in the neck or back
  • Nausea; gastrointestinal upset
  • Anxiety; sweating
  • Pain across the shoulders or radiation down arms or legs
  • Hoarseness; difficulty swallowing

“Whiplash can be difficult to detect. It may not show up on x-rays or routine examinations. It may even not be immediately evident to victims. I frequently see neck and back surgery cases resulting from what people thought were minor accidents. The equivalent of thousands of pounds of force can tear through the body upon impact in an automobile accident—often causing significant injuries to the ligaments and discs in the spine. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the significance of a neck or back injury. Seek medical care and contact the Injury Law Center.” - Hayden I. DuBay, Attorney at Law, Injury Law Center

Injury Law Center : 4360 Shore Drive : Virginia Beach, Va. 23455 : 757-460-6200