WHAT TO DO IF YOU GOT WHIPLASH FROM A CAR ACCIDENTLast updated on: October 17, 2022
Car accidents can inflict serious financial and emotional hardships on a victim’s life resulting in hefty medical and recovery expenses. Whiplash is a common injury that a driver can sustain during a car accident that often involves medical treatment and seeking damages.
Whiplash victims suffer from periods of extreme pain and discomfort. It is imperative that all drivers know what to do and who to contact if they are injured in a car accident to avoid long-term consequences and repercussions.
If you or a loved one is suffering from whiplash after a car accident, call Zinda Law Group at (888) 912-5366 for a free case evaluation with one of our personal injury attorneys. We have experience with helping people receive whiplash injury compensation, which can go a long way toward helping you in your recovery.
WHAT IS WHIPLASH AND IS IT A SERIOUS INJURY?
Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. This type of injury can cause severe back, shoulder, and neck pain by limiting body mobility. Although whiplash can be found in victims of many different kinds of accidents, it is most commonly caused by rear-end car accidents.
In some cases, physicians may refer to whiplash as a neck sprain or strain, but these terms may also include other types of neck injuries. Whiplash, unlike other injuries, usually involves tension in a victim’s neck muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons.
GET MEDICAL ATTENTION RIGHT AWAY
If you are involved in a car accident that caused whiplash, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you are experiencing no discomfort or pain, you should still visit a healthcare professional to avoid developing subsequent injuries later on down the road.
Experts report that a delayed onset of pain in any injury caused by a traumatic collision is common and normal.
In addition to the more obvious health and safety benefits, visiting a medical professional may also help you create an official medical record of your injuries that can be referred back to if you later wish to explore your available legal options for compensation.
SYMPTOMS OF WHIPLASH INJURIES
In addition to neck pain and stiffness, whiplash victims may suffer from the following symptoms:
- Arm or hand pain or numbness
- Blurred vision
- Concentration or memory problems
- Lower back pain
- Ringing in your ears
- Shoulder pain
Many of the aforementioned symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter drugs and other home remedies. Most people with whiplash recover within a few weeks after an accident. However, some people may continue to have pain for several months or years after the injury occured.
REMEDIES AND TREATMENT
Some remedies for whiplash include chiropractic care, massages, electronic nerve stimulation, and acupuncture. It is difficult to predict how and when each whiplash victim will recover.
In general, you may be more likely to have chronic pain if your first symptoms were intense, started rapidly, or included severe pain in other parts of your body. Having suffered from whiplash before, older age, existing neck problems, or high-speed injuries can also increase your risk of having a worse outcome and longer recovery period.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of whiplash can look like other conditions or medical problems, which may make whiplash difficult to diagnose and treat. Car accident victims suffering from one or many of the aforementioned symptoms should see a medical provider as soon as possible for treatment. Patients suffering from more severe symptoms like arm numbness or painful movements should visit an emergency department immediately, as these symptoms may be signs of a more serious condition.
CAN YOU SUE FOR WHIPLASH AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
In some situations, filing a lawsuit may be the only way to get the compensation that you are entitled to. Even if you’re suffering from whiplash long after an accident it’s always a matter of when the issue was addressed so as soon as you feel any symptoms you should go to the hospital; a written record of injuries will help your case.
If this is the case, then having an attorney who has seen similar cases through to the end will be critical.
THE CLAIM PROCESS FOR WHIPLASH INJURIES
Step number one in the claim process for whiplash injuries should be to talk to a whiplash attorney in your area. A good attorney should have access to the resources that they would need to be able to solve your case, a solid knowledge of the laws in your state, and the capacity to be able to devote the necessary time to your case.
Once you have an attorney on board, they may be able to begin speaking with the insurance companies involved to negotiate a settlement offer. At this point, they can formulate an argument that emphasizes the strongest points of your position while minimizing any potential weak points. Finally, if you are unable to reach a settlement amount, you may need to ultimately go through to the point of a trial, at which point having an experienced attorney will be crucial.
WHO PAYS FOR WHIPLASH SETTLEMENTS?
Most often, the person who pays for whiplash settlement will be either the at-fault party or an insurance company. The insurance coverage of the drivers involved, as well as the circumstances that are unique to each individual case will ultimately determine who pays for a whiplash settlement.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE WHIPLASH INJURY SETTLEMENT?
Because every car accident scenario is unique, there is no real way to give an average whiplash injury settlement.
The amount of a whiplash injury settlement will typically be largely determined by the extent of the damages sustained by the accident victim, and the determination of fault between the parties. Speaking with a whiplash attorney may give you a better idea of what you might be eligible to receive in a whiplash injury settlement.
FACTORS THAT AFFECT YOUR WHIPLASH SETTLEMENT OFFER
The main factors that will ultimately determine your whiplash settlement offer are the determination of fault, and the extent of the damages you sustained.
In order to seek compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, it must be proven that the person you claim is at fault was negligent and caused the accident. To do this, you must establish four essential elements
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
- The defendant breached the duty of care
- The plaintiff sustained damages
- The plaintiff’s damages were caused by the defendant’s breach of duty
This will be heavily dependent on the case. For example, in a car accident, the duty element is typically established by asserting that the driver owed a duty of care to other road users to not drive recklessly or endanger anybody else on the road.
The element of damage is also fairly easy to establish. Photographs of damaged vehicles and medical bills are often good evidence that a plaintiff has suffered damages.
Proving negligence or breach of duty may be trickier.
In the simplest cases, negligence may be established by showing that the driver was intoxicated or that the driver ran a red light. However, such clear-cut evidence is not always available. In these cases, thorough investigations into the accident may need to be conducted. Acquiring this evidence can help build a case that the driver made a negligent act or omission that ultimately led to the accident. Similarly, witness statements may need to be taken. A witness to the accident may be able to testify that the driver made an errant maneuver which led to the collision.
The standard to which individuals are held can vary. For example, a child will not be held to the same standard as a physician who must provide care to patients. Determining negligence is a critical aspect of any personal injury claim.
DO I NEED A CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?
Having the right car accident attorney on your team will take a big burden off of the shoulders of you and your family.
They will be able to guide you through what can be a complicated process and help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SETTLE?
Just like the question of average settlement amount, it is not possible to give an accurate estimate of how long a case could take given how many factors are involved.
However, as the victim of whiplash, it is advisable to take your time and not accept the first settlement offer that comes to you from an insurance company.
Some companies may attempt to pressure a victim into quickly accepting a lowball offer before they can speak with an attorney or fully evaluate what their options are. Taking your time helps to mitigate against this occurring.
START THE CLAIM PROCESS RIGHT AWAY
Car accident cases can require extensive legal research and analysis. There are many different causes of car accidents that may affect the legal standing of your claim.
When filing an accident claim, insurance companies may require significant documentation and information about the accident.
If you or a loved one is suffering from whiplash incurred during a car accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help you pursue legal recourse, evaluate your claim, and seek appropriate compensation for your injuries.
NEED HELP? CONTACT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you pursue the highest compensation possible. Zinda Law Group may be able to provide you with personalized and quality consultation about the specifics of your legal claim. The sooner you contact our office, the better we may be able to serve you.
If you or your loved one sustained whiplash during a car accident, call Zinda Law Group at (888) 912-5366 for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.