What is Whiplash and Do I Have a Claim?


Whiplash is one of the most commonly reported auto accident injuries when someone is rear-ended by another car. It is also one of the scariest because you do not always realize you have it immediately after the accident. Specifically, whiplash occurs when your neck becomes injured due to being severely jerked back-and-forth, like a whip. While some patients are able to physically recover from it within a few months, others suffer from chronic neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and other complications. While it is possible to recover compensation for your injuries, it can also be difficult precisely because whiplash is such a common injury in car accidents.

Signs of Whiplash

If you experience any neck pain after a car accident, it is important that you get thoroughly checked out by a doctor right away in order to rule out more serious issues. Some of the factors that are important to consider as you are describing your pain to a doctor include:

  • How does your pain score on a scale of 1 to 10?
  • If you move your neck, does the pain worsen?
  • What symptoms (other than neck pain) do you have?
  • Do you have any history of suffering from neck pain?
  • Have any drugs been helpful for decreasing the pain?

Whiplash Claims

Like other personal injury claims in Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident/injury. While damages related to any medical bills and lost wages are relatively easy to calculate, any damages related to pain and suffering can be more difficult. This is based on a number of factors, including whether an insurance company is addressing your claim or a jury is deciding your total damages.

Definition of “Serious Injury”

Under the Pennsylvania “limited tort” option, you have the right to choose a type of insurance that limits your right to seek financial compensation for injuries caused by another driver. Under this type of policy, you may seek recovery for any medical and other expenses, but not for pain and suffering unless the injuries suffering fall under the definition of “serious injury.” In Pennsylvania, serious injury typically refers to catastrophic injuries such as permanent disfigurement and/or serious impairment of body function, with a focus on how the injury affected the function. Juries can typically consider a variety of factors including the extent of the issue, how long it lasts, the treatment required, etc. What ultimately matters is the overall impact on the person’s life.

Whiplash Attorneys Serving Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Surrounding Areas

Consulting with an experienced auto accident attorney is crucial if you are suffering from any auto accident injuries. The experienced team at Solnick & Associates, LLC can help if you have been injured. Contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to helping you with your case.