What Happens If Whiplash Goes Untreated?

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Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., What Happens If Whiplash Goes Untreated

Whiplash is a condition that often results from a car accident. It can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, and in some cases, an untreated whiplash injury can lead to long-term health problems.

If you are experiencing complications from whiplash 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.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a soft tissue neck injury that occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward or backward. This can happen in car accidents, sporting accidents, or even falls. The sudden movement can damage the muscles, ligaments, discs in the neck and the spine, causing extreme pain.

Common Whiplash Symptoms

The symptoms of whiplash don’t always manifest immediately. It’s not uncommon for victims to go days without noticing the signs of a neck strain injury. If you’ve been in an accident, it’s important to be aware of these symptoms and seek medical attention if they occur.

The most common symptoms of whiplash are:

Whiplash doesn’t look the same for everyone. Some other signs of whiplash to look out for include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Muscle spasms

If you have been in an auto accident and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you should seek medical treatment. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent further injury and improve your prognosis.

Treatment for Whiplash Injuries

Untreated whiplash can cause chronic pain

Treatment for whiplash depends on the severity of your symptoms. Common whiplash treatments include:

  • Pain Medication – 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 – Physical therapy is a common treatment for whiplash injuries. Physical therapy can help to improve range of motion, flexibility, and strength.
  • Exercise – Your doctor may recommend specific exercises to help stretch and strengthen your neck muscles.
  • Chiropractic Care – 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 – 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.

Effects of Untreated Whiplash

head injury following an accident with whiplash

The longer that soft tissue injuries such as whiplash goes untreated, the longer the suffering and debilitating side effects can occur. Some untreated whiplash symptoms include:

Chronic Pain

Chronic neck pain is defined as neck pain that lasts for more than three months. It can be caused by several different things, including whiplash, arthritis, and herniated discs. Symptoms of chronic neck pain include:

  • Neck pain that doesn’t go away
  • Stiffness and limited range of motion in the neck
  • Chronic Headaches
  • Pain that radiates down the arms or legs

If you’re experiencing chronic neck pain, it’s important to seek treatment to determine the cause. Treatment for chronic neck pain depends on the underlying condition but may include physical therapy and medication.


Dizziness is a feeling of lightheadedness or unsteadiness. It can be caused by several different things, including inner ear problems, low blood sugar, and dehydration. Symptoms of dizziness include:

  • Feeling lightheaded or off-balance
  • Feeling like the room is spinning
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Dizziness can be a serious problem if it leads to falls or other accidents.


Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness or exhaustion that doesn’t go away with rest. It can be caused by many different things, including anemia, sleep disorders, and depression. Symptoms of fatigue include:

  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability

Numbness or Tingling in the Arms or Legs

Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs is a symptom of nerve damage that can occur due to a whiplash injury. Symptoms of numbness or tingling include:

  • A feeling of pins and needles
  • Numbness
  • Loss of sensation
  • Weakness

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is a condition that causes the discs in the spine to break down. It can be caused by many different things, including aging, injury, and repetitive motion. Symptoms of degenerative disc disease include:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Stiffness
  • Loss of flexibility

Sleep Disturbances

Sleep disturbance is common when initial whiplash pain is not addressed. It can also be a symptom of many different conditions, including sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome. Symptoms of sleep disturbance include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up frequently during the night
  • Feeling tired during the day
Effects of Untreated Whiplash

Can I File a Lawsuit for Untreated Whiplash?

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?

back injury from an accident

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.

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