California Whiplash Lawyer
Whiplash is a type of injury that occurs when the neck and spine move very quickly back and forth. The term arose because the movement resembles the cracking of a whip. While whiplash can occur in any type of situation when the body is shaken back and forth, such as sports injuries and abuse cases, it is most common in car or bus accidents.
Whiplash injury symptoms
Whiplash symptoms take many forms, partly because of the nature of the injury. The symptoms can arise from damage or sprain to hard tissues in the head or neck, for example, but can also occur from damage to the soft tissues throughout the body.
Symptoms of whiplash may appear immediately after the precipitating cause. However, it is also common to not feel any symptoms until 24 to 48 hours have elapsed.
People with whiplash may experience headaches, stiffness throughout their bodies, and pain in their neck, shoulders, arms, and upper back. Some whiplash injuries resolve fairly quickly, with medication and physical therapy. Other whiplash injuries may lead to chronic pain.
Neck or back pain may be present all the time or occur only when the neck or back moves. Symptoms may also manifest as decreased range of motion.
Other signs can be numbness, fatigue, and dizziness.
Less common symptoms of whiplash may include tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or vision difficulties. Affected individuals may have difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, or be more irritable. Depression and memory challenges have also been reported.
It is important to seek medical attention if you have any of the symptoms of whiplash. Diagnosis can be somewhat difficult because of the range of possible symptoms. It is important to speak to your physician as soon after the precipitating accident as possible so you can describe what happened and how the symptoms manifested.
Whiplash from a car accident
Whiplash injuries are especially frequent in rear-end collisions.
Whiplash can cause chronic pain and long-term back injury. It can cause movement difficulty. It can cause people to lose time from work, and therefore impact their livelihood. It can necessitate new jobs, because people become unable to perform tasks they once were easily able to do. It can cause emotional suffering.
Because of the number of vehicle accidents in southern California, whiplash injury is relatively common. At the Ellis Law Firm, our attorneys are highly experienced in handling whiplash injury compensation claims. If you are experiencing pain in your neck or upper back after a car crash, dealing with medical bills, lost wages, and emotional issues, we can help throughout our offices in Southern California.
Neck injury from car accident
Neck pain is one of the common early signs of whiplash following a car accident. However, you may not experience neck pain immediately after the collision. This is due to the fact that endorphins released in your body during high-stress situations like a car crash work as a natural anesthetic to conceal the pain. Soon after, however, when stress levels dissipate, you may start to notice stiffness or pain in your neck. The stiffness is the result of muscles contracting in an attempt to shield the neck injury from further harm. You may additionally experience pain or stiffness in your upper back and shoulder region.
Other early indicators of a whiplash injury include:
- Feeling dizzy
- Blurry vision
- Excessive fatigue or feeling tired all the time
What is the value of a whiplash injury?
People who have suffered a whiplash injury may be entitled to compensation for medical treatment, physical therapy, medications, and other bills related to treatment. If whiplash injuries necessitated time off of work, claims can be brought for lost wages, lost benefits (such as vacation time), and lost opportunities, if relevant.
At times, whiplash injuries may result in a person’s not being able to perform the tasks of their job any longer. If that is the case, claims may be brought for retraining or disability.
Finally, people injured by whiplash may claim damages related to emotional issues.
Determining the value of a whiplash injury is complicated and it is wise to consult experienced professionals to assess the value. A brief rule of thumb follows.
Medical treatment is usually compensated by totaling all bills of treatment, including doctor’s visits, therapy, medication, surgeries, and so on. So a whiplash injury that required $8,000 of medical treatment could result in a damage claim of $8,000.
Lost wages are usually compensated by totaling the necessary time off work and figuring out the amount of wages lost. So a person receiving $400 per day in wages who had to lose 3 days of work could bring suit for $1,200 in lost wages.
Benefits include any benefits lost as a result of time off work. If, for example, a person was scheduled to take 3 days of vacation during the time they were unable to work due to whiplash, they can be compensated for the 3 days of vacation as well as lost wages (i.e., receive their vacation time). Any lost opportunities, such as sales conferences where a salesperson might have made valuable contacts, can be compensated as well.
Pain and suffering are usually assigned a scale. Pain and suffering and other emotional issues are usually compensated according to their position on that scale.
Southern California whiplash attorneys
The Ellis Law Firm has two decades of experience in litigating and resolving whiplash cases. They can be complex, but our record shows our tenacious commitment to the rights of those affected.
Call our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers today for a free appointment at (310) 641-3335.