Although whiplash injuries are soft tissue injuries that do not involve fractures and broken bones, they may still be painful and result in ongoing medical treatment. In addition, after an accident victim suffers a whiplash injury, they may need to attend physical therapy sessions for several weeks or even months. All of this medical treatment can be costly, and an accident victim may not work while they receive treatment for their injuries.
Although whiplash injuries are common at other times, they occur most frequently in car crashes, especially rear-end accidents. If you suffered whiplash injuries in a recent car accident, you should immediately get the medical treatment you need. You should also immediately speak to an experienced car accident attorney about your legal matter.
A car accident attorney can review the circumstances of your car accident with you, help you develop a plan for your case, and file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, seeking monetary damages for your whiplash injuries. If the insurance company handling your claim will not pay for your medical expenses, lost income, and other accident-related losses, your attorney can file a lawsuit and pursue a favorable litigation result on your behalf.
Soft Tissue Whiplash Injuries in a Car Crash
Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury that car accident victims suffer. In many cases, rear-end accidents lead to whiplash injuries because of the head and neck’s abrupt forward and backward motion when a forceful collision occurs from behind. When the accident victim’s neck or back moves in this way, it may cause a severe strain in the upper portion of their back or lower portion of their neck, resulting in intense pain.
As a result of a whiplash injury, an accident victim may need to seek medical treatment at a hospital emergency room and later attend physical therapy appointments. By obtaining this medical treatment as soon as possible after your car accident, you increase your chances of making a full recovery. You also help to ensure that your whiplash injury does not become any worse.
While you seek medical treatment for your injury, a knowledgeable car crash attorney can begin gathering your medical records and bills, obtain police documents and witness reports, and prepare a settlement demand package for your case.
In most instances, your lawyer cannot submit a demand package until you have completed your medical treatment. However, once your medical treatment is complete, your lawyer can submit this demand package to the insurance company handling your claim and start pursuing the settlement compensation you deserve for your whiplash injury.
Types of Car Accidents That Lead to Whiplash Injuries
Rear-end accidents often lead to whiplash injuries, especially when they are forceful. However, drivers and passengers may suffer whiplash injuries in other types of accidents, including sideswipe accidents, where the sides of two vehicles strike one another; T-bone or broadside accidents, where one vehicle hits the side of a vehicle traveling on an adjacent road; and head-on collisions, where one vehicle strikes another vehicle traveling in an opposing lane.
If you suffered whiplash injuries in one of these accidents, you should secure experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. Your lawyer can investigate your accident and file a claim with the appropriate insurance company for you.
Typical Causes of Car Accidents
Car crashes routinely happen when drivers disregard the rules of the road and commit other moving violations. When drivers behave unreasonably under the circumstances, their chances of causing a car crash increase significantly.
One of the most common causes of car accidents leading to whiplash injuries is speeding. A driver who speeds, especially in inclement and wet weather, may not stop quickly enough if traffic backs up on a major highway. Similarly, drivers behave negligently when they do not yield the right-of-way to other drivers at the proper times, fail to use turn signals, exhibit road rage, or tailgate other drivers.
In addition to traffic law violations, some car crashes result from distracted driving maneuvers. In some circumstances, drivers often become distracted by electronic devices and even other passengers. When a driver turns their head away from the road, they might fail to see an approaching pedestrian or other vehicle and, as a result, might cause a serious crash.
Finally, some car accidents result from intoxicated or impaired driving. Alcohol intoxication is extremely dangerous because it usually impairs a driver’s reflexes, limits their concentration, and slows down their reaction time. Drivers may incur criminal charges or convictions if they operate a vehicle in excess of the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits. For example, a passenger vehicle driver must not have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher while they drive.
A drunk driving criminal conviction can lead to the imposition of high monetary fines, jail time, and other criminal penalties. Moreover, if a drunk driver negligently causes a car accident that leads to whiplash and other injuries, the drunk driver or their insurance company may have to pay the accident victim significant monetary compensation.
If you suffered a whiplash injury in one of these types of accidents, you should retain legal help right away. A car crash attorney in your area can help you satisfy the elements of your legal claim, enabling you to recover the monetary damages you need for your whiplash injury.
Proving a Car Accident Lawsuit
To receive monetary damages following a car crash, the accident victim must satisfy several legal elements in their claim or lawsuit. First, the accident victim must establish that the other driver breached their duty of reasonable care.
For instance, the other driver might have failed to yield the right-of-way at the proper time, broken the speed limit, or violated some other traffic law or regulation. Next, the accident victim must show that as a direct result of negligence on the other driver’s part, the subject accident occurred. Finally, the accident victim must show that their whiplash injury directly resulted from the accident.
A knowledgeable car accident lawyer near you can assist with helping to prove the legal elements of your claim, enabling you to recover the monetary damages you need for your whiplash injuries and any other accident-related injuries.
Litigating a Whiplash Injury Case in Court
In some situations, insurance companies refuse to take whiplash injury cases seriously. When that happens, an accident victim’s attorney may need to file a lawsuit in the court system seeking appropriate monetary damages. However, even after filing a lawsuit, the parties may still resolve their whiplash injury claim. In fact, the majority of car accident claims settle out of court, even after the case is in litigation.
During the litigation stage of a whiplash injury case, parties will exchange written documentation, including investigation reports, witness statements, medical records, medical bills, and lost income documents from the accident victim’s employer. In addition, the parties will answer written questions, called Interrogatories, to find out more about the other side’s version of the case.
At a discovery deposition, the defense lawyer may ask you questions about what happened before, during, and after your car accident. The defense lawyer may also ask you about how your body moved in the vehicle during your crash and about the pain, suffering, and inconvenience you experienced due to your whiplash injury.
Once the deposition is complete, the defense attorney will typically report back to their insurance company adjuster about what took place. The adjuster may then offer additional settlement compensation to resolve the whiplash injury claim.
If the case does not settle during litigation, the parties may present their case at a jury trial. Once the jury trial concludes, the jury will determine the amount of monetary compensation to award the car crash victim for their whiplash injury. Instead of taking the case to trial, however, the parties may pursue mediation, binding arbitration, or some other form of alternative dispute resolution.
Talk to a Car Crash Lawyer in Your Area Right Away
Failing to take prompt legal action after a car crash may lead to an accident victim missing the statute of limitations deadline. Accident victims have only two years from their crash date to file a lawsuit seeking monetary recovery. When an accident victim files their lawsuit in the court system belatedly, the court will render them ineligible from recovering any monetary damages for their injuries.
Generally speaking, the sooner you involve a skilled attorney to represent you following your car accident, the higher your chances of success. Your lawyer can assist you with every step of the claims process by negotiating with insurance company adjusters in pursuing the highest settlement amount available.
Moreover, if the insurance company does not offer you fair monetary damages for your injuries, your lawyer can take your case to a civil jury trial or arbitration hearing and pursue the best possible litigation result the law will allow.
Consult with a personal injury attorney for free as soon as possible.