Whiplash Injury Settlements an Overview
If you survived a car crash with just a few aches and pains, you may be counting yourself fortunate. However, it is important to understand that soft tissue injuries, including spinal cord injuries such as whiplash, often take three to five days or more to fully manifest in the aftermath of a car accident. Initially you are likely to only feel some aching or discomfort. For this reason, it is always important to go to the doctor or hospital for evaluation after a car accident, and be sure to tell the doctor about any pain or discomfort that you are experiencing, even if you are unsure whether it is serious. Whiplash injuries should always be taken seriously, and if you are suffering symptoms caused by whiplash as the result of another driver’s negligence, it may be time to take legal action.
Whiplash is caused by the “whipping” motion that occurs in a car crash when your neck is “whipped” forward and then back. This motion can cause damage to your spinal cord as well as to your brain. When your brain hits the front of your skull, it can cause your brain to bleed and swell, known as a hemorrhage. Whiplash can cause muscle strain, trauma to the spinal cord and cervical spine as well as to the brain stem, headaches, migraines, fatigue, dizziness, brain fog, and other cognitive issues. It may also result in pain that radiates down the arms and causes tingling and numbness in the hands and fingers. These injuries can be serious, and may require weeks or even months of physical therapy. In some cases, orthopedic or neurosurgery will be required to repair disk and/or nerve issues. These injuries can have a real and significant impact on your daily life, in some cases, even preventing you from being able to work or perform regular daily tasks while you recover.
Do I Need to See a Doctor for Whiplash?
Yes. If you feel any pain or discomfort in your neck or shoulder area in the aftermath of a car accident, it is likely whiplash, and it is an indication of an injury. This aching feeling will likely become severe over the next three to five days, however, if you wait three to five days to see a doctor you may miss signs of dangerous conditions, and you will negatively impact your claim. This is because waiting any amount of time after a car accident to see a doctor makes it look like you were not really in pain, and allows insurance companies to assert that the injury could have been caused by something else during that time period.
Suing for Whiplash Injuries
You are able to bring a personal injury lawsuit for whiplash if you meet some basic criteria. First, you must have suffered an injury which can be supported by medical and financial documentation. This means that if you were in a car accident and experienced some neck pain after, but you never sought medical attention or had to miss work because of it, you do not have grounds to bring a lawsuit because you do not have evidence of a physical and financial injury. Medical documentation, proof of missed work, and proof of medical expenses, can establish this element.
You must also be able to show that your injury was caused by another party’s negligence. This means that the liable driver must have been negligent in causing your injury in order for you to have grounds to bring a lawsuit. A driver is negligent when they breach the duty of care owed to other drivers on the road, such as when they speed, drive distracted, or fail to check their blind spot before making a left hand turn or switching lanes.
Damages for Whiplash Injuries
The amount of the damages award that you are entitled to for your whiplash injuries depends on a number of factors. These factors include the total amount of economic damages. These damages cover all expenses incurred and money lost as a result of the injury, such as medical expenses, transportation to and from medical appointments, and lost wages. You are also entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. These damages are calculated based on the amount of your economic damages, as well as how severe and permanent your injury is. If you suffered severe nerve damage that is expected to be permanent and prevent you from driving again, this would receive a high amount of damages, because the condition is permanent and it will have a relatively significant impact on your ability to independently live your daily life. A personal injury attorney can thoroughly review the facts and circumstances of your case in order to determine what your claim may be worth.
Contact Mary Alexander Law and Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered whiplash in a Bay Area car accident, our lawyers can help. Contact Mary Alexander Law today to schedule a consultation and find out how much your accident claim is worth.