California Whiplash Injury Lawyer
Accidents Involving Whiplash Injuries in California
According to the Spine Research Institute of San Diego, approximately three million Americans suffer whiplash injuries yearly. Whiplash causes chronic pain to almost two million people, and 300,000 become disabled due to related pain. Whiplash can appear to be an invisible injury, but that doesn’t mean it’s not severe.
Its effects can last months or even years, culminating in chronic pain. If you were injured in an accident and suffered whiplash, you deserve compensation for your whiplash injuries. Here’s everything you need to know about the causes and symptoms of whiplash, along with how a California whiplash injury lawyer can help.
Causes and Symptoms of Whiplash
Whiplash is an injury to the neck commonly associated with rear-end vehicle collisions. The damage can also be caused by physical assault, slip-and-fall accidents, or high-impact sports activities such as football and gymnastics. Also known as neck sprains or strains, whiplash injuries occur when a person’s neck is forcefully extended beyond its normal range of motion.
They can damage the spinal cord ligaments, discs, and joints, including nerve endings and cervical muscles. Symptoms like neck pain often appear immediately following the accident, whereas neck stiffness may take several days to present. Additional signs of whiplash may include:
- Back or shoulder pain
- Muscle and ligament damage
- Neck pain that worsens with movement
- Headaches that start at the base of the skull
- Loss of sensation, pins and needles, itchiness, or other abnormal feelings in the extremities
It’s not uncommon for whiplash injury victims to experience psychological or cognitive conditions as well, such as memory loss, concentration problems, irritability, or nervousness. After sustaining a neck or spinal cord neck injury, it is crucial to receive a proper diagnosis and prompt treatment from a skilled medical provider.
Whiplash Treatment Options and Recovery
Note that whiplash is usually simple to treat and recover from. Unlike many other injuries, resting for more than a few days is not recommended, as it weakens muscles and can actually prolong the pain. It’s advisable to gradually resume normal activities to regain mobility if you’re not in too much pain. Apply ice to the affected area for the first 24 hours, as it may help reduce pain and inflammation. In addition, heat packs can be used to relieve pain by loosening and relaxing tight muscles. Other treatment options include:
- A cervical collar to provide neck support
- Rehabilitation therapy to exercise your range of motion
- Cervical traction to treat neck pain and whiplash-related injuries
- Prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs, pain medications, muscle relaxants, and/or antidepressants, if applicable
Whiplash is best treated holistically and combined with physical therapies that help align the spine, restore range of motion, and relieve tension in the backbone.
Whiplash can occur at any speed, and injuries can be sustained even in low-speed crashes of less than five miles per hour. If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
Determining Compensation and Fault In a Whiplash Accident
The amount awarded to the victim, as with most personal injuries, is determined by the severity of their injury and related medical costs. California uses a pure comparative negligence system to compensate victims of car accidents and other tort cases. The system helps determine defendants’ relative culpability and the damages available to accident victims.
This means that even if the accident that caused whiplash was partially the victim’s fault, the victim is still legally entitled to seek damages. In a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction, a plaintiff will still recover damages, but their fault percentage will reduce their final payment. Unfortunately, the at-fault party’s insurance company often offers the lowest settlement amount possible that barely covers all medical expenses, which is why partnering with a lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Other types of damages awarded with the assistance of experienced legal teams include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Damage to property
- Lost wages, future income loss, and reduced earning capacity
- Current and anticipated hospital bills, pain medication, and therapies
Each injury is assessed on a case-by-case basis, with victims settling for what the at-fault party believes is fair compensation. When a car accident claim is filed, the insurance companies have 40 days to determine fault and decide which party must pay damages.
The personal injury statute of limitations in California is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the whiplash injury to sue. As such, it’s beneficial to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer who can assist in determining your rightful compensation.
Seek Expert Legal Representation from a California Whiplash Injury Lawyer at Setareh Law
You have several decisions to make following an accident that led to your whiplash injury. Setareh Law’s lawyers are ready to assess a personal injury claim and gather relevant evidence, so we can build a solid case to fight for rightful compensation. Our practice areas include personal injury cases involving auto accidents, catastrophic injuries, premise liability, rear-end collisions, wrongful deaths, and much more.
We have represented countless victims and assisted them in obtaining the compensation they deserve throughout California. To schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help with your whiplash injury, call us at (310) 659-1826 or fill out our online contact form today. Our team also speaks Spanish.