What Should I Do If My Neck Hurts After a Car Accident?

Post-accident neck pain is a common problem, especially for victims of a rear-end collision. The first step is to seek immediate medical aid. You should also contact your insurance company, document the details of the accident, and get in touch with a Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer to discuss your options.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is a form of trauma that results from the victim being struck by a blow from the rear. The head and neck violently snap back and forth—like the cracking of a whip.  

The severity of the injury depends on many factors, including the force of the collision, the age and gender of the victim, and their overall health. Common symptoms of mild to moderate whiplash include:

  • Soreness or pain in the neck.
  • Headaches, which can range in severity from mild to debilitating.
  • Nausea, dizziness, and/or vomiting.
  • Numbness or tenderness in the back, shoulders, and/or chest.
  • Seeing stars, floater, or black spots.

Severe cases of whiplash can reveal themselves through any or all of the following warning signs:

  • Inability to move the head or neck.
  • Confusion, sleeplessness, or nervous tension.
  • Numbness, pain, or tingling throughout the spine and upper body.
  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Memory lapses or trouble concentrating.
  • Blindness or blurred vision.
  • Paralysis, either partial or total.

Car accidents and whiplash

The risks to the victim increase exponentially with the speed, size, and weight of the car. This means that the driver of the forward car can follow all the rules of the road and still suffer serious injuries due to the negligence of the at-fault motorist.

In some cases, victims may require extensive surgery and years of rehabilitation to regain their health and mobility.

Treating whiplash

Only a medical professional can diagnose whiplash and prescribe a course of treatment. We urge you to seek help right away if you believe you’re suffering from this condition.

In the meantime, heat, massage, or over-the-counter painkillers may provide short-term relief.

Professional forms of treatment for whiplash include:

  • Therapeutic massage: To encourage proper circulation and induce muscle relaxation.
  • Painkillers (either prescription or over the counter): To reduce discomfort and encourage a fuller range of motion.
  • Braces or casts: To immobilize the affected area and allow fractured or broken bones to mend.
  • Surgery: To relieve pressure on the brain or nervous system or to repair internal wounds.
  • Physical therapy: To speed the healing process and allow the victim to enjoy a fuller, more active life.
  • Professional counseling: To help the victim deal with life changes brought about by the injury.
  • Vocational rehabilitation: To help severely injured people acquire new job skills in keeping with their physical or mental challenges.

All of these forms of treatment cost money. That leads us to the topic of your legal options for obtaining the compensation you deserve.

What Pittsburgh car accident attorneys can do to help whiplash victims

If you’re suffering from a whiplash injury, then talking to a Pittsburgh car accident attorney from our firm should be near the top of your to-do list. Here’s why:

  • To understand your legal options: Not every whiplash injury requires extensive medical treatment, just like not every car crash requires expensive automotive repairs. But it’s always good to know what you can expect from professional legal representation– just in case.
  • To benefit from a caring heart and listening ear: Attorneys are more than skilled legal professionals. They’re also compassionate human beings who have devoted their lives to helping those in need. They understand how to listen and how to offer encouragement.
  • To send a clear message to the other side: Working with an attorney lets insurance companies and at-fault motorists know that you’re serious about getting a fair deal. This alone can make a world of difference to the ultimate outcome.


Our attorneys have recovered more than $1 billion for their clients during their combined years of practice. Get in touch with us today to arrange your free consultation. We provide a caring, compassionate, and experienced team that is available to you 24/7.