Whiplash occurs when the muscles of the neck experience a sudden neck sprain. This condition often develops after a car accident. During the accident, the car comes to a sudden stop or changes direction rapidly, and an occupant’s body follows those changes. However, the head continues to move on its own until adjusted by the neck, putting a lot of strain on the neck muscles when trying to keep the head from hitting anything around it.
Whiplash can cause a lot of pain, but it typically heals on its own or with minor medical interventions. In the most severe cases, though, whiplash can have long-term implications for the victim’s health. A study published in the Journal of Neurology found that almost one-fourth of whiplash patients still experienced symptoms a year after the initial injury.
If you or a loved one developed whiplash after a car accident caused by another driver, you could file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your expenses. You can begin the process by consulting a Tallahassee whiplash accident lawyer for legal advice. Contact the office of Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at 800-959-1444 to discuss your case with our team.
Causes of Whiplash
Many people associate whiplash with car accidents, although it can happen at any time and in any situation. All it takes to cause whiplash is a sudden and severe force placed on the neck muscles. Whiplash can occur in car accidents, but it can also happen while playing sports such as football and hockey, where an impact to the head can injure the neck as well.
The Mayo Clinic listed some common risk factors for whiplash, including the victim’s age, existing lower back or neck pain, and suffering a high-speed injury. Even a strong punch to the head can twist the neck or cause the head to move to one side, causing whiplash. The best way to avoid whiplash is to avoid any activity that can cause head trauma.
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In most cases, whiplash heals without the need for significant or prolonged medical treatment. A victim can wear a neck brace to stabilize the head and reduce the strain on the neck. Over time, the muscles will heal and strengthen so that they no longer need the brace. With most minor cases, a victim may not even need a brace.
However, more severe cases can have long-term implications. Depending on how severe the strain is, it could take a long time for the neck muscles to heal. You could experience dizziness, chronic pain, headaches, and neck stiffness. If this is the case, the healing process can become quite painful and place limits on what you do. For example, you might find it too painful to ride in a car, given the constant motion putting a strain on your neck.
Tallahassee Whiplash Injury Lawyer Near Me 800-959-1444
If you were hit in a car accident and developed whiplash, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to claim compensation for your expenses once they exceed your personal injury protection (PIP) policy limit.
You will need to file a lawsuit within four years of the date of the accident per Florida Statute § 95.11. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, for a free case review with a team member. The sooner you call, the sooner our team can find all the evidence and witnesses needed to build a strong case.
Potentially Recoverable Compensation
You could recover several types of compensation in a lawsuit, including:
- Medical expenses: You can claim the costs of any medical treatments related to your accident, including mental health treatment. You will need to prove that they are tied to your accident. A car accident lawyer can help by collecting billing statements and medical reports as evidence to use.
- Property damages: You also can claim the cost of repairing or replacing property damaged in the accident. The most common type of property that victims seek compensation to repair or replace is their car. However, you can also claim the costs of replacing any damaged or destroyed items in the vehicle.
- Lost wages: You can recover any income lost while missing work to recover from your injuries, including wages, benefits, bonuses, or retirement contributions.
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering is a special type of compensation not based on specific amounts, such as medical costs. Instead, you receive an award to address the mental and physical stress caused by the accident, which an attorney can help you calculate using one of several formulas.
If you have questions about which bills and costs qualify for awards, you can get advice from a Tallahassee whiplash accident lawyer. While you build a case, document all your expenses to have the necessary paperwork to identify the costs you will claim.
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Settlement vs. Trial
Waiting to go to trial can feel long and stressful. However, it is important to remember that most civil cases never make it to trial. Many at-fault drivers offer settlement agreements to end their cases before they go to trial.
Accepting a settlement agreement can quickly end your case with a satisfactory outcome. However, before agreeing to any settlement, you might want to have a car accident attorney review the offer. Most early settlement offers do not provide enough compensation to cover your long-term costs. A Tallahassee whiplash accident lawyer can renegotiate the agreement to match your needs.
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Discuss Your Potential Case with Our Legal Team
Filing a lawsuit is not something that people usually think about, but it can be the right course of action after a car accident. Recovering compensation can significantly affect your future, especially by protecting your finances. Plus, adequate compensation helps ensure that you will not continue to suffer the effects of your car accident in different ways.
If you or a loved one developed whiplash after a car accident, you can discuss your case with a Tallahassee whiplash accident lawyer. With legal support, filing a lawsuit does not have to feel so overwhelming. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at 800-959-1444 to discuss your case with our team.
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