In the first few days after an accident, many accident victims find out that they developed a condition called whiplash. It is common in car accidents and you can get it from multiple types of injuries. Once it develops, it can be uncomfortable or debilitating, depending on how severe it is. This can impact your life in multiple ways, including making it difficult to earn a living or live a pain-free life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2.5 million people are injured in car accidents every year. Many of them develop whiplash as a result and decide to file civil lawsuits against the people that caused their accidents. You may be able to take legal action after your whiplash accident. To find out if you have a viable case, contact the offices of a San Diego whiplash accident lawyer to get legal advice. You can call the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 598-7557 for a free consultation about your case.
Defining Whiplash Accident
It is possible to develop whiplash after any type of accident that involves head and neck trauma. Whiplash is a condition where the neck muscles are severely strained or damaged when trying to keep the head in position. This is common with car accidents because of the abrupt stop or change in direction caused by the collision.
Whiplash can take several days to fully develop, making it difficult to diagnose without follow-up care from a physician. They can range in severity from being very mild to being debilitating. Mild cases of whiplash may go untreated and will heal within a few days. These cases do not require any type of medical treatment to make a full recovery. More severe cases may require the use of a neck brace to help keep your head still while the neck muscles relax. Physical therapy is usually recommended afterward to strengthen the damaged muscles so that you can get the full range of motion back.
In the most severe cases of whiplash, surgery may be needed to repair the muscles in your neck. In these cases, the muscles can tear and may need to be reconnected. Based on the severity of your whiplash, different types of treatment are needed. This can make it difficult to determine how much your recovery will cost until it has already happened.
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Statute of Limitations
There are many ways that you can get whiplash other than a car accident, but car accidents are the most common way that it happens. On top of the medical expenses that you have after an accident, you will also have to deal with damage to your car and other expenses that you are not expecting. Many people live paycheck to paycheck which can make affording these expenses difficult. This is one of the reasons why accident victims usually file civil lawsuits. The chance to collect compensation can help them with their finances.
If you developed whiplash after your accident and you are considering filing a lawsuit, there are two important statutes that you should be aware of. They are the statutes of limitations, which create time limits for how long you have to file your lawsuit after an accident. You have two years to file a lawsuit for personal injury claims, according to California’s Code of Civil Procedure §335.1, and three years to file a lawsuit for property damage claims, per CCP §338.
Do not miss your chance to take legal action to help your finances recover. If you wait too long to start the legal process, you risk missing the deadline. If this happens, the other party can file a motion to have the case dismissed on technical reasons before you even get a chance to make your argument. Reach out to a San Diego whiplash accident lawyer as soon as you are able to. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC to discuss your case with our team and make a decision about filing your lawsuit with enough time to beat the deadline.
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Because whiplash develops differently for everyone, determining what the expenses will be is difficult. Mild cases may only have medical expenses for an evaluation. More severe cases may need specific types of treatment. That treatment will determine how extensive your recovery is.
After having a case of whiplash that involves medical treatment, many victims are referred to physical therapists for follow-up care. Since the muscles in your neck were damaged, they need to be strengthened for you to return fully to normal. Physical therapy not only strengthens your muscles but also helps you recover your flexibility. Your neck will be stiff unless you take specific steps to try to stretch the muscles and regain your flexibility.
Whiplash accidents can lead to several types of compensation. Most cases involve medical expenses, which can be claimed in a lawsuit. They usually make up the majority of the costs. If you were injured in a car accident, then property damage is another concern. You can recover compensation for repairing or replacing your car. Lost wages, the pay that you miss from being out of work because of an injury, is also another commonly sought type of compensation.
Aside from the types of compensation that are directly based on expenses, there are a few other options that can be awarded in a lawsuit. Pain and suffering is a type of compensation that is awarded because of the emotional or mental impact that a case has on a victim. Severe whiplash cases may qualify you for pain and suffering compensation. Since it is not based on a specific type of compensation, the judge takes the other awards and multiplies them to see what the pain and suffering award should be.
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Contact a Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
Being injured in an accident can have a long-term effect on your health. Recovering from whiplash takes time and may require medical help. Suffering through it may entitle you to financial compensation for your expenses. If you were injured in an accident, discuss your case with the legal team of a San Diego whiplash accident lawyer. This should help clarify what your legal options are. You can get a free consultation about your case by calling the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 598-7557.