Whiplash is one of the most common injuries people suffer in car accidents. According to the Spine Research Institute of San Diego, approximately 3 million whiplash injuries occur every year in the U.S., and California crash victims are hardly immune from these injuries. Whiplash injuries can cause chronic pain, which can dramatically affect a victim’s quality of life. Medical treatment for whiplash injuries can be expensive.
If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury or other neck injuries in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, contact the Folsom whiplash injury lawyers at The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC. Our attorneys have more than 25 years of experience handling personal injury claims. In that time, we’ve won significant awards for our clients.
Get your free consultation today and find out how our Folsom whiplash lawyers can help you.
What Is a Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash injuries are a type of injury to the bones, muscles, and connective tissues in the upper back, shoulders, and neck. These injuries occur when something — usually the impact from a car accident — puts sudden, intense force on the upper body. This force sends the body forward or to one side before snapping back to the prior position.
This whiplike, jerking motion is the source of the name “whiplash.” These injuries put a severe strain on the neck and upper back, damaging the vertebrae in the upper back and the base of the neck. Whiplash injuries can also cause intense pain in the muscles and connective tissues in the affected area.
How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help?
After sustaining a whiplash injury, your first call should be to a doctor, but you’ll also want to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. While a doctor can start treating your injuries, a lawyer can help you recover compensation for your economic and non-economic losses.
Here are some of the things a whiplash lawyer can do to help with your claim:
- Examine evidence from the accident
- Determine who could be held liable for your injuries
- Gather your medical records and other evidence to document the full extent of your losses from the accident
- Prepare your initial claim paperwork to make sure there are no mistakes
- Communicate and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf
- Bring your case to court should settlement negotiations fail
Common Signs of Whiplash
Here are some of the most common signs of a whiplash injury:
- Stiffness and pain in the neck
- Headaches, especially at the base of the skull
- Blurred vision
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Constant fatigue
- Difficulty focusing
- Issues with memory
- Ringing in the ears
- Sleep trouble
- Feeling irritable
- Lingering pain in the head, shoulders, or neck
Is Your Neck Injury Whiplash?
Whiplash injuries can be hard to diagnose. They sometimes take a few days or weeks after an accident to manifest, and the symptoms can be mistaken for other illnesses or injuries.
If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident, especially a rear-end collision, there’s a good chance your symptoms are consistent with whiplash. See a doctor if you’ve noticed any of the signs of whiplash, and then call a whiplash accident injury attorney.
How Long Do the Symptoms of Whiplash Last?
In some cases, the symptoms of whiplash improve after a few days or weeks after the car crash. Whiplash injury victims with more severe injuries may need extensive long-term treatment. While they’re undergoing treatment, people with severe whiplash symptoms are often in considerable pain. The best way to minimize your recovery time after sustaining a whiplash injury is to see a doctor as soon as you can.
Some people with minor whiplash might find the neck pain and other symptoms disappear on their own, or over-the-counter remedies are enough to manage pain. However, many people with more severe cases of whiplash may require more intensive treatment, such as:
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Wearing a neck collar
- Muscle relaxers
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Icing the affected area
Steps to Take After a Whiplash Injury in Folsom
Here are the crucial steps to take if you believe you’ve suffered a whiplash injury:
- Get medical attention. Starting treatment as soon after your injury as possible is the key to maximizing your potential recovery. You’ll also want to see a doctor right away to ensure all of your symptoms are documented.
- Stick to your prescribed treatment. If you don’t follow your doctor’s orders, your condition may not improve as well as it could. Also, your compensation claim could suffer if you fail to follow through on the doctor’s orders.
- File an insurance claim. You want to let the other driver’s insurance company know that an accident happened and that you will be seeking compensation. However, that’s all you want to say, as you want to let your lawyer handle the communication and settlement negotiations with the insurance companies.
- Hold on to your evidence. Along with your medical records, be sure to save any photos from the accident scene, contact information from eyewitnesses, police accident reports, and any other evidence you have. Be sure to retain your pay stubs and any other evidence of the financial costs of the accident.
- Talk to a lawyer. The sooner you speak to a lawyer, the sooner they can get started on your claim. You don’t want to run the risk of running into issues with the statute of limitations, and critical evidence could be lost, cleaned up, or destroyed if you wait too long to get started.
What Damages Can You Recover for a Whiplash Injury in Folsom?
If you have the proper evidence to support your whiplash injury case and help from the right legal team, you could recover substantial financial compensation for a whiplash injury, such as:
- Medical bills, including expenses for chiropractic care and long-term medical treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Damaged property