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Driving in Florida can be a pleasurable experience, especially if you’re near the coast. However, it can also be highly stressful, in part, due to the large number of tourists that are constantly sharing the roadways, often creating heavy traffic. When people are in a hurry, they sometimes get distracted or careless at the wheel, which creates a high risk for collision.

One minute you might be heading to work as usual or going to the beach with your family for some weekend fun, and the next minute, you’re hit from behind by a careless driver. It’s important to remember, in such situations, that not all injuries are immediately apparent, such as whiplash, which may not be noticeable for hours or, perhaps, days.

These symptoms mean that you might have whiplash

It’s also important to note that “whiplash” is a general term that refers to a number of upper-body injuries. It’s not always a neck injury, although it is common for whiplash to cause neck stiffness or pain. The following list includes symptoms that suggest you might have whiplash:

  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing or hoarseness in the throat
  • Burning or tingling sensations in the body
  • Concussion-like symptoms, such as dizziness or head pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain or discomfort anywhere in the upper body, including facial or jaw areas

Whiplash can affect muscles, discs, tendons and nerves. You may find that pain medication helps reduce discomfort, swelling and muscle spasms that are often associated with these types of injuries. Some people undergo spinal manipulation to help realign muscles and joints following a whiplash injury.

Whiplash isn’t always collision-related

While it’s common for whiplash injuries to occur if you’re driving or riding in a vehicle that gets hit from behind, this isn’t the only way that such injuries can occur. For instance, you may be at risk for whiplash injuries if you play a contact sport. Such injuries can also occur during a physical confrontation.

Any time that you have sudden and forceful flexion and extension of the upper body (sudden movement forward then backward) whiplash can occur. Read-end automobile collisions are one of the most common causes of whiplash injuries.

Navigating recovery following a whiplash injury

Because you might have a substantial amount of pain in your neck, shoulders, back or other upper-body regions, you might have to take time off work following a whiplash injury. Not being able to work, in addition to medical bills and other expenses associated with a vehicular collision can cause a severe financial crisis.

There is recourse for Florida residents who find themselves in this type of situation. When another person’s negligence causes a collision, and it results in whiplash or another injury or damages, the person affected is able to seek restitution in court, which may ultimately provide compensation than can then be used to offset expenses associated with the incident.