Is It Worth Claiming for Whiplash?
It’s always worth it to speak with a car accident lawyer about your car accident-related injuries, even if you aren’t sure whether you could have the basis for a lawsuit. Whiplash is an incredibly common car accident injury. And in some cases, it can lead to long-term symptoms and significant financial losses. After a crash, one of the most important things you can do is speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can review your case and determine how to pursue the most compensation possible, whether it’s through an insurance claim or a lawsuit.
Understanding the nature of whiplash injuries
Whiplash most commonly occurs in rear-end collisions. When a vehicle strikes your car from behind, your head is forced violent in one direction, then the opposite direction. The sudden jerking of the head thrusts the soft tissues of the neck passed their normal range of motion. This can cause significant damage to soft tissues, including ligaments and tendons.
Unlike many car accident-related injuries, the full extent of the neck damage isn’t likely to be immediately apparent. It may take a day or two before the onset of some symptoms. When symptoms do arise, they are most likely to include neck pain, tenderness, stiffness, and loss of range of motion. Other common symptoms include headache, dizziness, worsening of neck pain with movement, and pain and tenderness in the upper back, shoulders, and arms. In addition, some whiplash patients report the following:
- Blurry vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Problems sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory impairment
- Depression and irritability
While whiplash symptoms often resolve within a week, it’s possible for them to linger for months. The worse your symptoms are, the longer they last, and the more they interfere with your daily life, the more likely it is that you will be able to secure significant compensation for your injury. Although you can—and should—speak with a team of car accident lawyers after any serious wreck, it’s particularly important to explore your legal rights and options if your injury shows signs of turning into a chronic problem.
How much could you get for whiplash?
There really isn’t an “average” amount of compensation for a car accident lawsuit or a whiplash claim because it varies widely from one case to the next. Victims can generally expect to be compensated an amount that is at least equivalent to their calculable financial losses. These economic damages include hospital bills, pharmacy co-pays, chiropractic care, physical therapy, and related medical expenses.
In addition, if you had to miss time at work because of your injury, you may be able to recover compensation for your lost wages. Whiplash is rarely permanent. However, if a doctor determines that your symptoms are likely to last for a long time to come, and they prevent you from working, you may be able to recover compensation for your loss of earning capacity.
For particularly severe injuries that significantly interfere with one’s daily activities and quality of life, it may be possible to recover pain and suffering damages. Furthermore, California law allows plaintiffs to sue for punitive damages. These are damages intended to punish the negligent party for conduct that is especially egregious. A plaintiff may pursue punitive damages in certain cases, such as if the defendant intentionally rammed the victim’s car with the intent of causing injuries.
How to improve your chances of maximum compensation
Your attorney will do the heavy lifting for your case. However, there are a few things you will need to do to increase your chances of securing compensation. Immediately after the crash, for example, you must seek medical care—even if you think your injuries are relatively minor. If you fail to see a doctor promptly, the defendant may assert that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim or that you developed your injuries in an incident unrelated to the car wreck. Along those lines, it’s also important to follow your doctor’s instructions to support your recovery.
Furthermore, keep track of all of your symptoms and make notes about the extent to which they interfere with your daily activities. Keep track of your lost wages and medical expenses. Your lawyer will need all of this information to successfully manage your case.
Discuss your whiplash claim with Ellis Injury Law
You have nothing to lose by talking to a personal injury lawyer about whether you might have the basis for a claim. At Ellis Injury Law in Los Angeles, California, all initial consultations are free of charge—and if you decide to pursue your claim, our car accident attorneys won’t charge a fee unless we secure compensation on your behalf. We’ve secured more than $350 million in settlements for our clients over the years, and have developed a reputation for successful legal advocacy. Contact us today to discuss your whiplash claim.