Whiplash is an incredibly common injury from car accidents. It’s also largely misunderstood. While whiplash might seem like just a minor neck injury, it can impact an injured person’s entire life.
If you have whiplash after an accident, the other driver or their insurance company might doubt your injury. Since whiplash doesn’t show up on imaging tests, it can be difficult to prove how it’s affected you. That’s why it’s best to consult with a whiplash lawyer who can help.
At John Foy & Associates, we’ve helped countless whiplash victims win the financial recovery they need. We believe no one should have to pay for an injury they didn’t cause. To get a free, no-risk consultation, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash
According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a neck injury caused by “forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement.” During an accident, the neck moves like a whip cracking.
Symptoms of whiplash can include:
- Neck stiffness
- Neck pain, especially during movement
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
- Upper back and shoulder pain
- Headaches, especially starting at the base of the neck
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Less range of motion in the neck
Some people with whiplash experience symptoms like sleep issues, vision or memory problems, or depression.
What Causes Whiplash
Rear-end accidents are the most common cause of whiplash, but any auto accident can cause it. Contact sports or physical abuse can also cause whiplash.
During whiplash, a force moves the head suddenly back and forth. This puts a lot of stress on the neck’s tissue and discs. It can also injure bones in the spine.
The pain from whiplash doesn’t always show up right away. As hours or days go by, the tissues can swell and cause much worse pain. This is why accident victims must get medical treatment immediately, even before the pain sets in.
Treatment for Whiplash
Whiplash symptoms can range from mild to very severe. Your experience will determine the best treatment for you. Some injury victims can get better through doctor-ordered home treatments, while others will need more complicated help.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), treatment for whiplash can include:
- Pain medication
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Muscle relaxants
- Cervical collars
A doctor might also order physical therapy or range-of-motion exercises. Some patients will need ice or heat packs.
Length of Whiplash Symptoms Vary
Some people only have whiplash pain for a few weeks. But some victims suffer for months, years, or a lifetime. Don’t let anyone make you think whiplash isn’t a big deal. It’s a very real accident-related injury, and it can be debilitating.
A doctor can give you an idea of how long your whiplash will last. They can also make sure you get the treatment needed to recover as fully as possible.
Even if your whiplash seems minor, see a doctor. Your injuries could worsen with time, and waiting too long to get treatment will hurt your legal rights. The other driver’s insurance company will question your damages if there isn’t evidence that you saw a doctor.
Compensation for Your Whiplash Injury
If you have whiplash from an accident someone else caused, you might deserve compensation. In fault states like Georgia, the at-fault driver in an accident is liable for all costs. You will need to file a claim against the driver to seek compensation for your accident costs.
The best way to get what you deserve is by working with an experienced attorney. Our whiplash lawyers at John Foy & Associates have helped victims get fair compensation for over 20 years. To schedule a free consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
Damages to Recover
The compensation you can get after a whiplash accident depends on your total damages. Personal injury damages include:
- Medical bills
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Vehicle repairs
- Pain and suffering
A fair settlement should cover all of your accident costs. Your compensation should “make you whole” as if the accident hadn’t happened. But getting what you deserve isn’t always easy.
The insurance company will probably respond with a lowball offer. Insurance companies don’t like to pay out much on injury claims, and they will try to offer you less. Thankfully, you don’t have to fight for your rights alone.
A whiplash lawyer can help negotiate with the insurance company for a fair offer. If you need to take your case to court, your lawyer will know what to do.
Making Sure Your Whiplash Settlement Is Fair
The first step is usually to file a personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Sadly, the first offer you get will probably be very low. Too many accident victims accept a low offer out of desperation—but you deserve better.
The costs of a whiplash accident can be enormous. If you weren’t at fault, you shouldn’t have to bear the financial burden. You can work with a lawyer to negotiate for a fair settlement or go to court.
Steps to Take After a Whiplash Injury
After your accident, there are things you can do to take control of your case. Here are some ways to help protect your legal rights from the beginning.
1. Get Medical Help
We cannot stress enough the importance of prompt medical treatment. If you wait too long to get medical help, it will hurt your case. The insurance company will not know how much to offer you without proof of your costs.
Waiting too long for treatment will also give the insurer an excuse to offer you less. The adjuster might say that you weren’t hurt that badly because you waited to see a doctor.
2. Document the Scene
If you can, preserve evidence from your accident scene like:
- Pictures of your injuries, vehicle damage, and the whole scene
- Contact information for eyewitnesses
- Contact and insurance information from the other driver
- Anything else that you think might help your case
You might also take notes on what you remember from the accident. For example, was the other driver’s behavior suspicious before or after the crash?
3. Contact a Whiplash Lawyer
Reach out to an experienced lawyer after your accident. Your lawyer will help gather evidence of your damages and the accident. From there, they can fight for the compensation you deserve.
At John Foy & Associates, we will not charge you unless we win your case. Plus, the consultation is always free. To get your free consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.