Whiplash Basics: Can You Receive Compensation for Whiplash?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Whiplash Basics: Can You Receive Compensation for Whiplash?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Whiplash is a widely misunderstood term among accident vocabulary. It is often associated with false claims or thought to be a visible injury. While whiplash is a term that describes an injury, it is actually a range of neck injuries to the soft tissues. It is also more common in rear-end collisions than other types of accidents. That is because when a vehicle is struck from behind, the impact of that accident forces the occupants of the front vehicle to violently thrust forward; while their heads stay in place. This exposes the neck, shoulders, and upper back to sudden and extreme extension/flexion – like a whipping motion. The result is a series of very painful injuries that are by no means fake or to be taken lightly.

Most attorneys agree that the term “whiplash” is too widely used; they prefer to use the term “soft tissue injuries” or “hyperextension/hyperflexion injuries” because these are the more technical terms. Whiplash injuries can also be referred to as myofascial injuries, neck sprains or strains, and cervical strains or sprains.

What Causes These Injuries?

Most soft tissue injuries occur in rear-end accidents, but they can also occur any time when the body and neck are forced into a whipping motion. Other types of accidents that see whiplash injuries include:

  • Car and truck accidents without rear-end impacts
  • Contact sports (such as football or hockey)
  • Assaults
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Recreational activities (such as skiing)
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Child abuse (more commonly in shaken baby syndrome)

Whiplash: Not a “Minor” Injury

A common misconception about whiplash injuries is that they are soft tissue injuries; therefore, they are minor and not serious. Insurance companies will often try to lessen a person’s pain or lower the compensation, knowing that juries will look at soft tissue injuries as something minor. The truth, however, is that soft tissue injuries can be very serious and have lifelong effects when they are not treated. They can leave a person in pain and even affect the quality of life years after the accident.

Just some symptoms that a person may experience if he or she has whiplash include:

  • Frequent neck pain and stiffness
  • A decreased range of motion
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Dizziness or vertigo spells
  • Blurred vision
  • Constant pain in the back, shoulders, or arms
  • Unusual burning, prickling, or tingling sensations
  • Sleep issues and chronic fatigue
  • Issues concentrating
  • Mood swings

Can You File a Claim for Whiplash?

If you have been injured in an accident and suffer from soft tissue damage, do not think that you cannot file a claim. Soft tissue injuries are real and they can force you to miss work, miss out on your life, and even cost thousands of dollars in medical bills. Meet with a personal injury attorney right away to discuss your case and explore your options for compensation. The team at Malman Law is here to help you. We take soft tissue injuries seriously, and we want to ensure that you get compensation for your losses. Call our offices to schedule a free consultation now or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

What’s your case worth? Submit for a free case review


This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

Related Blog Posts

view all news