Most whiplash injuries are what are considered to be soft tissue injuries. Most whiplash injuries suffered in car accidents are considered mild to moderate injuries. These would be defined as injuries that involve days, weeks or months of discomfort and recovery. But rehabilitation and full recovery are generally possible within 6-12 months in the vast majority of whiplash cases.
But severe whiplash can occur in car accidents, and the results can be devastating. If a car is struck at high enough speed, extreme whiplash can result. This might lead to the cervical bone to fracture. This bone protects your spinal cord and is connected to the part of the brain that runs your heart beat and breathing. So, if the crash is severe enough, it is possible for whiplash to be fatal.
A fatal whiplash injury, while extremely rare, may also change the landscape of your car accident settlement negotiations. Once an auto accident victim has died from the injuries they suffered in the crash, there may be a different set of rules and/or statute of limitations governing wrongful death car accident claims. Some states wrongful death laws mirror the personal injury and car accident laws in that state, but others differ. It’s helpful to speak with a local car accident attorney who can easily explain the differences to you.