Whiplash is a neck injury that can occur after car accidents, physical abuse, sports injuries, and falls. The head is suddenly and violently whipped backward and then forward during whiplash. Whiplash injuries can be very traumatic, cause long-term pain, and lead to costly medical bills.
If you are experiencing a whiplash injury due to someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for any medical treatment you receive for your injury. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today for what steps to take next to recover compensation for costs related to your treatment.
Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD)
Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD) is a term used to describe the range of symptoms that can occur due to whiplash. WAD can cause significant disability and affect your ability to work or participate in your normal activities.
Common Whiplash Symptoms
The symptoms of a whiplash injury vary from person to person. Some car accident victims have no symptoms, while others can experience various issues.
The most common signs of whiplash are
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Reduced range of motion
- Radiating pain in the arms
- Numbness or tingling in the arms, hands, or fingers
Can Whiplash Cause Neurological Problems?
Usually, whiplash involves muscle sprains or strains. However, it can also cause neurological disorders such as:
- Headaches – Headaches are a common symptom of whiplash and can be quite severe. They may start immediately after the accident or several weeks later. The pain may be throbbing, pressure-like, or aching, usually located on one side of the head. Many people find that their headaches are worse when they bend over or move their neck from side to side.
- Vertigo or Dizziness – Dizziness is a common symptom of whiplash and can be quite disabling. The dizziness may be accompanied by a feeling of lightheadedness, unsteadiness, or spinning. Some people feel like they will fall over or faint, and some have even reported blacking out.
- Ringing in the ears (Tinnitus) – The sudden movement that occurs during whiplash can cause damage to the inner ear or brainstem, which leads to ringing in one or both ears after an impact.
- Referred Pain – Whiplash pain can often be felt in other parts of the body, causing arm or shoulder pain. This is known as referred pain and is caused by nerves damaged near where they enter the spinal cord at the C-spine level (Cervical spine).
- Pinched Nerves – A pinched nerve is an injury to a nerve that causes it to become inflamed or swollen. It can cause stabbing pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in another part of your body. The most common locations for a pinched nerve is in the neck and back, but they can also occur in the arms, hands, legs, and feet. In addition, a herniated disc may press on nearby nerves and lead to these symptoms if left untreated for too long.
In some cases, these problems can be long-term and persist even after the whiplash injury has healed. If you are experiencing any of these problems, it is important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
How is Whiplash Diagnosed?
A doctor will use a variety of methods to diagnose whiplash, including:
- Medical History – The doctor will ask about your symptoms and how the injury occurred.
- Physical Examination – The doctor will check for the range of motion in your neck and shoulders, degree of motion that causes pain or an increase in pain, tenderness, muscle spasms, and other signs of whiplash.
- Imaging Tests – Most injuries are to soft tissues such as the discs, muscles, and ligaments and cannot be seen on standard X-rays. Instead, a doctor may order specialized imaging tests, such as CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Treatment for Whiplash Injuries
Treatment for whiplash depends on the severity of your symptoms. Common whiplash treatments include:
The first step in treating a whiplash injury is to manage the pain. Your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter or prescription pain medication to help relieve pain in your neck, arms, or shoulders.
Physical therapy is a common treatment for whiplash injuries. Physical therapy can help to improve range of motion, flexibility, and strength.
Your doctor may recommend specific exercises to help stretch and strengthen your neck muscles.
A foam collar or neck brace helps to support your neck and ease some of the pain and stiffness you are experiencing.
Surgery is not an option for whiplash. However, in very rare cases, you may be a surgical candidate for other neck injuries caused or aggravated by the whiplash. Surgery is usually only recommended if other treatments have not effectively relieved your symptoms.
Some people find relief from alternative therapies such as:
Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s natural healing process. The needles used in acupuncture help release endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for a neck sprain. Acupuncture can also help to improve the range of motion and promote healing.
Chiropractic care involves realigning the spine to relieve pressure on the nerves and improve blood flow. Chiropractors use various techniques, such as massage, manipulation, and adjustment, to help restore alignment and relieve pain. Chiropractic care can help to improve the range of motion in your neck and shoulders and reduce inflammation.
Massage therapy is a gentle form of massage that uses hands-on techniques to help relieve the pain of a neck strain. Massage therapy can help to improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Whiplash Injury?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The prognosis for whiplash depends on the severity of your injury and how effectively you treat it. In most cases, whiplash injuries can be treated successfully with pain medication, physical therapy, and other conservative treatments. However, in some cases, long-term complications can occur.
Long-Term Effects of Whiplash
In some cases, a whiplash injury can lead to long-term complications. These complications can include:
- Chronic pain
- Reduced range of motion in neck, shoulders, or arms
- Neck stiffness
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling in the arms, hands, or fingers
Can I File a Claim to Recover Compensation for Medical Treatment Related to a Whiplash Injury?
To determine whether you have a case, it is important to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., who will review the facts of your situation and advise you on your best course of action.
Our team is here to support accident victims. We will help you gather evidence to support your claim and negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company for fair compensation.
What Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Can Do For You
The Washington, D.C. car accident lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motor vehicle accident, gathering the evidence to establish liability and negligence.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
How Much is My Case Worth?
Many factors go into determining the value of your case. These include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our attorneys have experience evaluating cases just like yours to determine what they may be worth and will work hard to get you fair compensation for your injuries.
Here are a few of our case results:
- $6 million for a client who suffered a brain injury after being involved in a rear-end collision.
- $4.8 million for a severely injured client after another vehicle struck his motorcycle.
- $1.9 million for a client who suffered a permanent back injury due to a car accident.
- $1.5 million for a client who had to undergo multiple surgeries after a negligent motorist cut off his motorcycle.
- $1 million settlement obtained on behalf of our 19-year-old client who was a passenger in a car in which the driver lost control, causing a collision. As a result, our client suffered extensive brain damage with cognitive impairment. He was in a coma for an extended period of time. Although he has regained consciousness, he is unable to care for himself. The law firm asked the Court to appoint him a guardian to care for him. The law firm is helping to establish a special needs trust so that the proceeds from the settlement will be protected against any medical liens.
- $1 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered a brain injury when the driver of the car in which he was a passenger lost control of his vehicle.
Contact an Accident Lawyer Today
If you are looking for the highest level representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.