While car accidents vary in type and severity, even minor collisions can still lead to severe injuries. More extreme accidents often result in catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and paralysis.
Whiplash, though common, should not be written off as a minor injury, as it often causes substantial disruption to an injured victim’s everyday life.
To learn more about the common causes of whiplash injuries, the symptoms of whiplash, and what you are entitled to recover after a car accident, please contact us today.
Common Causes of Whiplash from a Car Accident
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by your body suffering a forceful and rapid back-and-forth motion. This injury can occur in many ways, including while playing sports and as the result of a slip and fall accident, but it most commonly occurs in auto collisions.
Rear-end auto collisions tend to cause this type of injury most often. When a car is hit from behind, the head and neck are suddenly thrown forward, then backward, which strains the soft tissue, nerves, and muscles in your neck.
Any amount of movement and force, including from a minor fender bender, can cause whiplash. Unexpected stops can also contribute to whiplash injuries, as they put substantial pressure on the neck when you’re unprepared for the movement.
Levels of Whiplash Injury
A classification system exists for whiplash injuries, providing five grades of severity. These grades are assigned with the following symptoms:
- Grade 0. The victim has no signs of injury or complaints of stiffness and pain.
- Grade 1. The individual suffers from neck pain, stiffness, and tenderness. However, whiplash cannot be medically confirmed.
- Grade 2. Medical evaluation of individuals indicates a reduced range of motion and tenderness.
- Grade 3. Whiplash is confirmed by a medical evaluation and the individual has substantial pain and other issues, including muscle weakness and sensory loss.
- Grade 4.: The individual complains about injury to the neck and damage to the spinal cord. Bone fractures or dislocation are identified in a medical evaluation.
Grade 4 whiplash injuries are severe and can sometimes result in permanent injury. Seeking a medical evaluation immediately following a collision is vital to preserving the evidence of your injury and protecting your health and well-being.
Car Accident Whiplash Symptoms
Whiplash usually results in more than just simple pain in your neck. It can create discomfort in various parts of your body based on how the whiplash affects bones in your spine, disks between these bones, nerves, ligaments, muscles, and other soft tissues.
Many victims wonder, How long does whiplash last after a car accident? While most symptoms of whiplash usually appear within 24 hours after a collision, the long-term effects of these injuries may linger for several days or weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. Additionally, symptoms of whiplash often extend beyond the neck and include the following:
- Pain in your legs and arms,
- Numbness and tingling in your extremities,
- Muscle spasms,
- Blurred vision,
- Difficulty swallowing, and
- Lower back pain.
The pain associated with these symptoms often disrupts an injured victim’s life. Whiplash can make it difficult to sleep, sit for long periods of time, walk, and exercise.
It’s important to seek medical attention immediately after a car accident, even if you believe yourself to be injury-free. Seek prompt medical attention to begin the process of rehabilitation and therapy to minimize your symptoms over time.
What Can I Recover?
Those suffering whiplash from a car accident may understandably be eager to learn about typical car accident settlement amounts for whiplash.
Your attorney works to calculate a value for your case by analyzing the potential damages you may be entitled to recover.
California law permits victims injured in a car accident to recover compensatory damages divided into economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages represent direct and calculable losses stemming from your injuries. Your attorney calculates the value of economic damages by calculating your losses from the following areas:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future earnings, and
- Property damage.
Retaining documentary evidence of these losses is crucial and is usually found in receipts, invoices, bills, and pay stubs. Providing these to your attorney assists them in supporting your demand for economic damages.
Noneconomic damages represent intangible losses, usually resulting from your injuries’ emotional and psychological consequences.
Noneconomic damages compensate a victim for losses that may not always be visibly apparent but cause severe disruption to a person’s way of life. These damages can include the following:
- Emotional distress,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of consortium,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Permanent injury or disfigurement.
Recovering these damages allows injured victims to move forward successfully after their lives have been turned upside down. However, noneconomic damages can be challenging to recover without a skilled personal injury attorney.
How Long Do I Have to File My Claim?
California law imposes a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. You must file your lawsuit within two years of the event that caused your whiplash injury. Failing to file within this designated period generally bars you from bringing a lawsuit at a later date.
As you focus on your recovery, you need someone to keep track of important procedural and statutory deadlines, so you don’t miss out on your right to hold the liable party responsible for your injury.
Retaining a qualified personal injury attorney helps keep your case moving, so you never miss out on your opportunity to assert your rights to compensation.
Contact Wells Call Injury Lawyers Today
Clients across California and the Western U.S. count on Wells Call Injury Lawyers to achieve justice even in the most challenging and complex cases.
Our strong record of success has included hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and judgments for our clients.
When you call on us, you benefit from our extensive legal experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Honored for our professionalism, legal experience, and client care, we have a long list of satisfied clients we’ve helped when they needed it most.
We understand the tough road you may be facing and want to make it easier for you and your family to move forward in a positive direction.
Our legal team is committed to protecting your rights and helping you get the best outcome possible.
Contact us today by phone or email for a free case review to learn how Wells Call Injury Law Firm can help you.