Is there a difference between whiplash and a concussion?

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Following an accident, it is imperative to seek medical attention even if your injuries seem minor as some injuries are not visible and have delayed effects. Two of the most common injuries car accident victims suffer that may not have immediate effects are whiplash injuries and concussions. Many confuse these two serious injuries because they are often caused by similar incidents and have overlapping symptoms. However, regardless of their similarities, they are two different types of injury. It is important to understand the differences between these injuries to ensure you are receiving the proper treatment. Please continue to follow along to learn more about the differences between whiplash and a concussion. In addition, contact a determined Prince George’s County Car Accident Lawyer who can help you seek monetary compensation for your damages.

What’s the difference between whiplash and a concussion?

Although whiplash injuries and concussions have similar symptoms, they are inherently different.


A whiplash injury is classified as a neck injury, however, in some cases, it can lead to a head injury. The majority of whiplash injuries affect the neck and shoulders. Whiplash often occurs when you are violently thrust forward and backward by the impact of an accident. Whiplash injuries cause severe neck strain. Unfortunately, in some cases, whiplash injuries can lead to whiplash-associated disorder (WAD) which can cause victims to experience symptoms for several years. Common symptoms of whiplash include but are not limited to:

  • Neck stiffness and discomfort
  • Limited range of motion in moving your neck and shoulders
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Pain or tenderness in the shoulders
  • Tingling or numbness in your arms
  • Fatigue


On the other hand, a concussion is classified as a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). Similarly to whiplash injuries, concussions occur when there is a forceful jolt to the head which causes the brain to collide with your skull. It is common for individuals to recover from concussions. However, in some cases, people may suffer persistent symptoms. This is because they may develop post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Those that experience PCS experience symptoms such as memory and concentration problems for several years after an accident. In addition, a concussion could cause you to lose consciousness. However, in some cases, the symptoms are not immediate. Concussions cause a cognitive decline. Common symptoms of a concussion include but are not limited to:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Light sensitivity
  • Memory issues
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting

It is imperative to understand that whiplash and a concussion are two different types of injuries that require different types of medical treatments. It is critical to understand this because you may sustain one or both of these injuries at the same time in a car accident.

In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one are injured in a car accident, reach out to one of our trusted and skilled lawyers. Our firm is committed to helping our clients get back on their feet after an accident.


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