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Can You Get Whiplash From a Head-On Collision?

It is possible to get whiplash from a head-on collision. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that affects the muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the neck, shoulders, and upper back. It is commonly associated with rear-end motor vehicle accidents but can occur following any forceful impact.

While whiplash may be a short-lived but painful condition for some, it may have a more significant impact on the lives of some car accident victims. It may require physical therapy or other specialized treatment, or it may even lead to a chronic pain condition in some cases.

Understanding Whiplash Injuries and Common Causes

Some people may believe that whiplash occurs only in rear-end car accidents, but once you understand the injury better, you may appreciate how it could occur during any type of collision. While whiplash may cause headaches and pain in the shoulders and upper back, it primarily affects the soft tissues of the neck.

When the body is in a head-on accident, the impact stops the forward movement of the body quickly, resulting in the head being thrown forward then back very quickly. A forceful impact may push the neck beyond its usual range of motion, stretching and injuring the soft tissues that help the neck hold the head stable, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of whiplash may include:

  • Neck pain, including increased pain with movement.
  • Stiffness and limited range of motion in the neck.
  • Headaches.
  • Pain, tingling, or numbness in the shoulders, arms, or upper back.

In some cases, those with whiplash may also experience:

  • Dizziness.
  • Fatigue and difficulty concentrating.
  • Blurred vision and/or ringing of the ears.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Other cognitive and emotional concerns.

Different Recovery Patterns for Whiplash

The soft tissue damage done to the neck in a head-on collision may heal on its own with only pain management and limiting activities. According to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, this may take several weeks, but there may be no lasting pain or other effects.

However, some people may not recover that quickly—or never recover at all. In some cases, the pain may last for months or even become chronic.

There are treatment options for serious whiplash cases. These options may include:

  • Prescription-strength painkillers, muscle relaxants, and other medications.
  • Injections of painkillers that make therapy possible without severe pain.
  • Physical therapy exercises.
  • Other specialized treatments.

You may have a more severe case of whiplash if you experience:

  • Intense symptoms that begin quickly after the accident.
  • A small range of motion in your neck.
  • Pain in your arms.

You may also be at an increased risk of a serious whiplash injury if you are older, have a history of similar neck injuries, already have back or neck concerns, or were in a high-speed accident.

A Toronto Car Accident Lawyer May Be Able to Answer Your Questions

If you have questions about your rights and the steps you need to take after suffering a whiplash injury from a head-on collision, a member of the car accident team from Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to help. We may be able to evaluate your accident and claim options, helping you understand your rights and the steps you may be able to take to pursue compensation.

While Ontario follows hybrid no-fault car accident laws, there may still be questions about liability in your case. We may be able to determine your options and help you collect evidence to show the liable driver acted in negligent manner that caused your head-on collision.

Our team may be able to help by:

  • Navigating the car accident claims process on your behalf.
  • Representing you throughout this process.
  • Seeking to hold the liable driver responsible for your injuries.
  • Allowing you to focus on your injuries and treatment instead of your insurance claim.
  • And more if you qualify.

The Limitations Act of 2002, S.O. 2002, Chapter 24 limits how long you may wait to take action in this type of case, so you may want to act quickly.

Talk to a Member of Our Toronto Head-On Collision Team Today

Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to help you pursue financial recovery based on the facts of your case and the injuries you sustained. If you suffered injuries in a Toronto car accident, call us today at 1-800-JUSTICE to talk to a member of our team.

If you cannot come to our office, we may be able to come to you to speak about your car accident case.

Call us now at

151 Eglinton Ave W,
Toronto, ON
M4R 1A6
Fax: 1-855-364-7027
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Burlington, ON
L7L 4X6
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Brampton, ON
L6W 3W8
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Whitby, ON
L1N 1C4
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L4N 0Z7
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London, ON
N6A 5B5
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East Tower Mississauga, ON
L5N 6A6
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Hamilton, ON
L8N 3W1
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Peterborough, ON
K9H 3R9
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Kitchener, ON N2H 6M6
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Ottawa ON
K2P 0C2
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Scarborough, ON
M1B 3C6
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