What is Whiplash?

A whiplash injury can be very traumatic and cause long-term pain, and it is important to have someone on your side who understands the law and can help you get through this difficult time.

If you have been in an accident and think you may have whiplash, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today for a free consultation. We will help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a neck injury caused by the head’s sudden forward and backward movement. This type of injury is often referred to as “acceleration/deceleration trauma.”

Car accidents most commonly cause whiplash, but they can also occur during other types of trauma, such as a fall or sports injury. The forces involved in these incidents cause the head to move violently backward and then forward again, which can damage ligaments and muscles around your neck.

How Do I Know If I Have Whiplash?

Most people who suffer a whiplash injury don’t realize they’ve been injured until hours or days after the incident. The best way to know if you are experiencing whiplash is to seek medical treatment immediately after your accident. What might seem like whiplash could be a much more serious, potentially life-threatening neck injury or spinal cord injury.

neck pain from whiplash in a rear end accident

Whiplash Associated Disorders

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

Common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Worsening of pain with neck movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
  • Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back, or arms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms, hands or fingers
  • Fatigue

If you have been in an accident and are experiencing any signs of whiplash, it is important to see a doctor right away. Whiplash is a serious injury, and you need to be sure that you are getting the best possible treatment.

Can a Minor Accident Cause Whiplash?

whiplash pain from car accident

Yes, even a low-speed collision can result in these types of neck injuries. The force of the impact is what causes the injury. Even minor accidents can cause your head and neck to snap back and forth, leading to whiplash.

How is Whiplash Diagnosed?

A doctor will diagnose whiplash based on a physical examination and your symptoms. 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).

Complications of Whiplash

Whiplash can often be a very painful and debilitating injury. It can lead to long-term chronic pain and other complications. Some of the more serious complications associated with whiplash include:

How is Whiplash Treated?

The treatment for whiplash will vary depending on the severity of your injury.

Physical Therapy for Whiplash

Physical therapy is a treatment option for whiplash. Physical therapists help relieve pain, strengthen sore neck muscles, and improve range of motion through exercises and other treatments.

Pain Medication for Whiplash

Pain medication can also be used to treat whiplash. Your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter or prescription pain medication to help relieve your pain.

Surgery for Whiplash

Surgery is not an option for whiplash.  However, your condition may be more serious, and you may be surgical candidate for other neck injuries that were caused or aggravated by the whiplash. Surgery is usually only recommended if other treatments have not effectively relieved your symptoms.


Corticosteroid or lidocaine injections can be used to help relieve muscle pain or spasms.

car accident scene caused whiplash in victims

How Long Does Whiplash Last After a Car Crash?

The symptoms of whiplash can get better quickly or can last for a long time, and in some cases, they may never go away completely. Many people who suffer from whiplash report chronic pain and neck stiffness that can last for months or years.

Can I Sue for a Whiplash Injury?

You may be able to sue for a whiplash injury if the accident that caused your injury was someone else’s fault.

To determine whether you have a case, it is important to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer who can review the facts of your situation and advise you on your best course of action. If you decide to file a lawsuit, your attorney will help you gather evidence to support your injury claim and negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company for fair compensation.

What Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Can Do For You

whiplash after a car accident

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.

Recovering Damages for Whiplash Injuries

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.

We Get You Results

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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