Whiplash is one of the most common injuries suffered following a car accident. In the United States alone, more than 2 million people sustain whiplash every single year. Although this is the case, many people still consider whiplash one of the more minor injuries that can result from a car accident.
However, whiplash can plague car accident victims for weeks, months, and even years, resulting in excessive medical bills, persistent physical pain, and emotional anguish.
The Los Angeles whiplash injury attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm understand how devastating these types of injuries can be. If you suffered an injury because of another driver’s negligence, let us help you seek compensation for your damages. Whiplash is a serious injury that can worsen if you don’t receive treatment, wreaking havoc on a person’s overall quality of life. Our Los Angeles whiplash lawyers want to help you. Give us a call today to schedule a Free Consultation and talk about your whiplash accident claim.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury of the neck that occurs when a person’s head is rapidly jolted backward and forward by a sudden and violent force. It often happens to the occupants of a car when it is rear-ended by another car. The sudden force of a rear-end accident, in conjunction with the rapid movement, stretches and tears the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the neck and the cervical portion of the spine. A whiplash injury can range from mild to severe, depending on the magnitude of the force of impact.
Common Causes of Whiplash Injuries
Whiplash occurs when a violent force causes an individual to suffer hyperextension (head jerked forward) or hyperflexion (head jerked backward). The sudden movement may result in a cervical strain or sprain, or soft tissue injuries such as herniated disc, bulging disc, or damage to muscles and ligaments. Car accidents, especially rear-end collisions, are notorious for causing whiplash.
However, fender benders are not the only cause of whiplash. It can also be caused by the following:
- Physical assault
- Bus accidents
- Collision while playing contact sports
- Horse riding accident
- Amusement park accident
- Cycling accident
- Getting hit in the head with a heavy object
- Construction zone accident
One of the biggest misconceptions about whiplash is the amount of force it takes to cause an injury. Many whiplash injuries happen following car accidents with speeds as low as 5 to 10 mph. Women are more vulnerable to whiplash than men since their neck muscles are smaller. If you suffered whiplash from any of these activities, contact one of our California whiplash attorneys to talk about the compensation you may be owed.
Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash
People often make the mistake of ignoring the signs and symptoms of whiplash, which only makes the injury more severe. Often, whiplash injuries do not show up right away, which is why you must pay close attention to how you are feeling and get an examination by a doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms following a car accident, assault, trauma, or any other incident that may impact your neck:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness in the neck
- Pain that worsens with movement
- Reduced range of motion in the neck
- Tenderness in the shoulder and upper back
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
- Fatigue and dizziness
- Muscle spasms
- Headaches that start at the base of the skull
In some extreme cases, whiplash injury victims may experience the following:
- Blurred vision
- Sleep disturbances
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
While most whiplash victims make a full recovery within three months, some people experience pain and discomfort throughout their remaining life. Studies have shown that between 15 and 40 percent of people who sustained whiplash injuries develop chronic neck pain.
The symptoms of whiplash may include:
- Difficulty turning neck
- Radiating neck pain
- Difficulty swallowing
Whatever the case, if you have been involved in a car accident and are experiencing neck pain, get a medical evaluation. If your first checkup is unsatisfactory, do not hesitate to seek out a second opinion. Your number one priority is your health. Once you’ve seen a doctor, contact Wilshire Law Firm and talk to an attorney for whiplash in Los Angeles to ensure you receive the best representation possible.
How Much Whiplash Accident Compensation Claim Do You Get?
If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages from whiplash, you are probably wondering how much compensation you’ll be able to get.
The monetary compensation owed to you is typically based on three factors:
- The economic damages you suffered
- The non-economic damages you suffered (such as mental anguish and emotional trauma)
- Who was to blame for the accident
Economic damages for whiplash injuries are based on the victim’s injury-related costs. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. Non-economic damages like pain and suffering can be more challenging because it is subjective rather than objective. If the case goes to trial, the judge or jury will consider all the evidence to determine how much a person’s loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering are worth.
Lastly, California follows the rule of comparative negligence, which means a person’s right to seek compensation for whiplash injuries is reduced by how much they were at-fault for the accident.
The California whiplash attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm can go over the details of your case with you and help you understand the estimated compensation you may be able to receive.
What Should I Do if I’ve Suffered Whiplash Injury?
The following steps may help you recover damages if you suffered whiplash in a car accident or another incident caused by another person’s negligence or misconduct; the next steps may help you recover damages:
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Follow the doctor’s treatment plan
- File a claim with your insurance company
- Collect evidence supporting your whiplash injury
- Hire a skilled whiplash injury attorney in Los Angeles
- Why You Should Hire a Los Angeles Whiplash Injury Attorney
Even the most minor of whiplash injuries can be disruptive and lower your quality of life. Unfortunately, whiplash injuries are often difficult to prove because they don’t always show up right away.
This is one of the main reasons why you should hire a Los Angeles whiplash injury attorney. Not only do we understand California’s legal system and the laws governing these types of accidents, but we want to help you recover compensation for your damages.
Hire a California Whiplash Attorney Today
Since the opposing insurance company will most likely dispute your claim, you will have to prove the other driver’s liability and the extent of your damages to get the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Our resourceful injury lawyers can help you establish a strong foundation of evidence for your claim by:
- Analyzing police and medical reports
- Consulting with medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, and other relevant experts
- Gathering witness statements
- Collecting photos and, if applicable, video footage
Remember, the sooner we can start your claim, the better. Contact Wilshire Law Firm for the best chance at an optimal case outcome.
Don’t just take our word – check out our case results for yourself. You will see that we have achieved tens of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Let us do the same for you. Contact us today to learn more about how our firm can help you obtain maximum recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions about Whiplash Injuries
Should you get a lawyer for whiplash?
A whiplash injury lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal system and ensure those responsible for your injuries are held accountable.
What is the whiplash claims procedure?
A whiplash claim must be filed right away, so do not hesitate! You must be able to prove not only that you have whiplash, but that the accident or other incident was the cause. Make sure you have sufficient evidence to support your claim, including a professional medical diagnosis.
Who pays the settlement for a whiplash claim?
The average settlement for a whiplash injury will depend on numerous factors and will vary from case to case. Unfortunately, insurance companies often offer settlements that barely cover the medical costs of the victim. Again, this is where an experienced Los Angeles whiplash injury lawyer will come in handy. They will be able to get more from the guilty party’s insurance company, or whoever was at-fault for your accident and whiplash injuries.
What is the treatment for whiplash injuries?
While whiplash injuries can be harrowing and keep you awake at night, the treatments are often simple. You can treat mild to moderate cases of whiplash with over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol and aspirin. You may even use ice to treat mild whiplashes. If you have suffered a more serious form of whiplash, you may require prescription painkillers (to ease the pain) and muscle relaxants (to reduce muscle spasms).
Treatment of severe whiplash may also include physical therapy sessions of a few weeks to a few months in addition to medication. Your doctor may also recommend practicing good posture and relaxation techniques to hasten the recovery process. Never ignore the hidden symptoms of whiplash; they can have dangerous consequences. While seeking medical attention, do not forget to call a reputable personal injury attorney to file a claim.
How do I know if I have whiplash from a car accident?
Your doctor will ask you questions about your injury, such as how it occurred, exactly where you feel the pain, and whether the pain is sharp, shooting, or dull. Physical examinations may include asking you to move your neck to check the range of motion and probing with the hand to find areas of tenderness. The doctor may also order an X-ray to see if the pain is connected to other types of injuries and diseases.
He may also order a CT scan, MRI scan, and other tests to assess damages and inflammations of the soft tissues of the muscles of the neck and jaws, the nerves, and the spinal cord. Diagnosing whiplash or other soft tissue damage cases can sometimes be challenging. The initial X-ray may produce negative or normal results, and symptoms may not make themselves apparent until several days have passed. If not treated in a timely fashion, symptoms may worsen and develop into serious debilitations.