Not all car accidents end in your car being totaled and someone being killed. Of course they vary in severity, damage and injury. However, due to the common manner in which cars are often impacted, it is not unusual that the same pattern of physical trauma might be expected. Whether the collision is head-on, or from the side or from behind, the body quite often is forced in one direction and then whipped back in an opposite direction, a motion which the neck and the surrounding areas are not prepared for, nor designed for without there being an injury of some kind.
Whiplash is a serious injury to the neck, causing strain on the soft tissues in that area of the body, following the abrupt jarring the head and neck, (forward and back) such as occurs following a car accident. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke identify the affected parts of the body as:
- neck muscles
- nerve roots
- intervertebral joints
Symptoms of Whiplash
Symptoms of whiplash generally appear immediately, although it is also possible that they may take days to appear. They appear in and around the neck and head area along with pain in the back and shoulders. It is not uncommon for there to be emotional and cognitive abnormalities associated with this type of injury. Whiplash symptoms may include the following:
- stiff neck
- neck pain
- muscle injury
- ligament inflammation or tearing
- shoulder and/or back pain
- paresthesia (prickling sensation)
- memory loss
- problems concentrating
- depression and difficulty sleeping
There are various treatments for whiplash, including:
- pain medications
- physical therapy
- NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- cervical collar/neck brace for neck support
- muscle relaxants
- application of heat
- neck stretching exercises following healing
Most people recover quickly following whiplash - anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. However, it is not impossible that persistent neck pain can last for a longer period of time preventing the victim from functioning normally at work or home or in their everyday activities.
The decision to bring a whiplash lawsuit depends upon you, the incident and the extent of your injuries. If you are experiencing the symptoms listed above following a whiplash injury you may want to speak with your doctor and a personal injury attorney. Both may have experience regarding whiplash compensation claims and both will have valuable input regarding your legal options and whether pursuing a legal suit would be in your best interest or not. The losses you have experienced due to the whiplash injury should be considered and the possibility of receiving compensation for these losses as well.
Whiplash Claims and Compensation
If the injury you have sustained is the result of an accident where someone else was at fault, you might seriously consider filing a claim for whiplash compensation. If the whiplash injury was in some way work-related, your other option is to file for worker's compensation. You can file a whiplash injury claim instead, but generally a person doesn't file for both. To be certain on how to proceed counsel with your orthopedic specialist, doctor and personal injury attorney to see if a whiplash claim will work in your particular situation. You will probably be able to find a "no win no fee" attorney in this case.
Should you decide to move forward with the suit, in order to be awarded damages, and the amount you might receive depends on many of the following factors:
- The severity of your whiplash injuries
- The length of time the residual effects of the whiplash has persisted
- The degree to which your life as been affected by the whiplash injuries
- The location in which the whiplash injury took place - county, city, state, etc.
- The ability to establish fault for the accident
How much you might be awarded for a neck injury lawsuit depends a great deal on the state you live in. There are caps put in place by some states, and not in others.
There are various types of damages and compensation you might expect to receive when filing a whiplash lawsuit claim. They include the following:
- medical expenses
- loss of wages
- car repair and rental expenses
- compensation for permanent injury
- compensation for pain and suffering
- emotional damages
Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer
The best way to protect your rights is to speak with a personal injury lawyer. They have experience with whiplash injuries and can best inform you of what your state laws are regarding this kind of legal suit.