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Can whiplash cause a stroke?

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

While most vehicles on the road today have numerous safety features, motor vehicle accidents still injure an alarming number of Americans each year. Whiplash, of course, is one of the most common accident-associated injuries.

According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash happens when the head rapidly moves forward and backward, inuring the neck. While whiplash can be extremely painful, it often goes away on its own over time. Still, there are some major complications that can come from whiplash. A stroke is a particularly serious one.

Brain damage

A stroke is a medical emergency, as it can cause irreversible brain damage. Even worse, strokes are routinely fatal. The condition occurs when there is an interruption of blood flow to the brain, causing deprivation of oxygen.

The carotid artery

The carotid artery is the primary artery that carries blood through the next and into the brain. Because whiplash affects the neck, your carotid artery might be in danger. That is, whiplash can cause an injury to your carotid artery, potentially forcing your brain to go without oxygen.


While doctors have some options for treating strokes and reversing the damage they cause, you must receive prompt medical care to have any chance of making a full recovery. If you have one or more of the following symptoms after a car accident, you must get to the emergency room immediately:

  • Facial paralysis or drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speaking difficulties
  • Confusion

Ultimately, if you have life-altering complications following a whiplash-associated stroke, it may be advisable to pursue financial compensation from the driver who caused the accident.

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