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Unlike movie depictions, traffic accidents don’t always involve explosions or catastrophic dives off of cliffs. In fact, the majority of accidents don’t look like much. A few dents might not seem so destructive, but minor crashes can still create major injuries for drivers and passengers.

One of the most common injuries of an accident is whiplash. The sheer force of colliding cars is enough to cause whiplash, which occurs when the neck jerks back and forth. This force is so strong and sudden that the neck muscles are unable to keep the head steady.

The symptoms of whiplash usually include neck or shoulder pain, stiffness, headaches and an unusually limited range of neck motion. You might not experience these symptoms immediately after an accident, but you could still connect the injury to the crash for legal purposes later.

If your children were in the vehicle during the crash, they might also experience whiplash. As with many kinds of injuries, it’s often hard to detect symptoms in young children. Watch for increased irritability and whether the child rubs around their head and neck. If you are concerned, you can take your child to the doctor for physical and imaging tests soon after the accident.

Often, accident victims can recover from whiplash over time with the help of pain medication and physical therapy. In other cases, this pain and difficulty can be permanent.

Although your vehicle may barely suffer external damage, whiplash can still hurt you and your passengers. You might be eligible for compensation to help with medical fees and other costs. Whiplash, like other crash injuries, can be a good reason to reach out to a personal injury attorney.