Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a quick and forceful back and forth movement of the neck – like the cracking of a whip. Rear-end collisions are a common cause of whiplash, but any impact that causes your head to be thrown backward and forward quickly can result in whiplash.
If you or a loved one was involved in a rear-end collision or any accident and are now suffering from whiplash, a Los Angeles whiplash attorney may be able to help you recover financial compensation from the at-fault driver.
At MAJK Law, our accident attorneys have extensive experience representing victims of whiplash and other injuries in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. If you have suffered a whiplash injury, we’ll fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Causes a Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissue in your neck, involving the muscles, discs, nerves and/or tendons. Most whiplash injuries result from a collision that includes sudden acceleration and deceleration – most commonly, rear-end collisions. However, other accidents can also result in the forceful back and forth head movement that can result in whiplash, including:
- Rear-end collisions where your car is hit from behind, causing the head to forcefully whip back and forth
- Other car accidents or truck accidents where the impact causes the head to jerk suddenly
- Physical abuse, including assault and battery
- Shaken baby syndrome
- Roller coaster and other amusement park rides
- Slip and fall accidents
- Sporting accidents, including biking, skiing, and contact sports
Accidents that cause whiplash may also result in other injuries to the head and neck, including neck strains and sprains, concussion, traumatic brain injury, and others. It is advisable to seek a full medical evaluation if you’ve been in any type of accident, and particularly if you experience any signs of symptoms of injury following an accident.
Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash
How you will feel following a whiplash injury can depend on the severity of the injury and the types of tissues affected. Many whiplash sufferers feel a dull, aching pain in the front and/or back of the neck, typically with some muscle stiffness or decreased range of motion. Whiplash injuries and symptoms can be highly variable and are not necessarily correlated with the severity of the accident or the speed at which the vehicles collided.
Whiplash symptoms may appear immediately in the aftermath of a crash or develop over the following days or weeks. Even symptoms that take time to appear, or appear minor, can go on to be debilitating and have long-term consequences.
If you have been in an accident and develop any of the following signs and symptoms of whiplash, seek a medical examination immediately.
Symptoms may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Muscle spasms
- Range of motion loss in the neck, including pain when turning head
- Headaches, typically at the back of the skull and sometimes radiating forward
- Tenderness in the neck, shoulders, upper back or arms
- Arm tingling or numbness
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory issues
- Depression or anxiety
In addition to checking for whiplash symptoms, doctors may diagnose whiplash based on a complete medical history and physical exam, in addition to diagnostic imaging such as MRI, x-ray, and CT scans.
Other head and neck injuries, such as concussion and traumatic brain injury (TBI), may have symptoms that mimic whiplash and tend to result from the same types of accidents that cause whiplash. Seeking a comprehensive diagnosis as soon as possible after an accident means you can begin to plan your recovery – and we can plan to begin seeking compensation on your behalf. Contact a whiplash attorney at Majk law today.
Costs of Treating and Recovering from Whiplash
Whiplash treatment options – and the time it takes you to recover – vary with the severity of your injury. In some cases, months of treatment and rehabilitation may be required. Do not let the costs of treatment deter you from getting the medical care you need. In many cases, a Los Angeles whiplash attorney may be able to help you recover the costs of getting better. Treatment for whiplash is aimed at alleviating pain, restoring a normal range of motion in your neck, and getting you back to your normal life and activities, and can include:
- Heat or cold applied to the injured area
- Over-the-counter and prescription medication for pain
- Muscle relaxants
- Physical therapy
- Prescribed stretches or exercise
- Wearing a protective neck collar
Most people with whiplash will recover within a few weeks or months, but others may have persistent pain over many months or even years. Your recovery from whiplash depends on many factors, including your age and overall health, other injuries sustained in the accident, and the severity of your injuries. As you recover, you may not be able to engage in your normal activities, including earning an income, socializing, or caring for yourself or other family members.
Compensation for Whiplash in Los Angeles
The amount and type of damages you can recover following an accident that caused you to suffer whiplash depend on many factors. The specifics of the accident, including who was at fault, and the severity of your injuries, can all impact the potential compensation you can pursue.
Our experienced accident attorneys have successfully recovered the following common types of compensation in Los Angeles accidents that cause whiplash:
- Medical bills, including the costs of diagnosis and treatment
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy expenses
- Necessary accommodations and/or assistance in your home
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage or loss
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Costs of alternate transportation while you are without a vehicle
- Disfigurement or physical impairment
- Wrongful death
Economic damages, such as medical bills, are often straightforward to demonstrate. However, noneconomic damages – such as putting a value on your pain and suffering, or the loss of activities you once enjoyed – may be more difficult to calculate and prove, and yet may make up a significant portion of your overall compensation.
This is where the quality of your legal representation can make a critical difference. Without the advice of a skilled whiplash attorney, you may be tempted to take whatever payout the insurance company offers. In addition, other parties to the accident may try to lessen their own liability by attempting to assign fault to you.
As with any personal injury claim, the amount of recoverable damages depends on the specific facts of your case and the quality of your legal team. It is critical to have an experienced Los Angeles whiplash lawyer to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
When Should You Hire a Lawyer for a Whiplash Case?
California’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date the accident occurs. In some limited situations, if an injury is not immediately apparent, the two-year period may begin to run when the injury is discovered. Do not assume that you will be able to wait and file a claim – once the statute of limitations runs out, you will likely lose the right to sue for damages.
Promptly receiving a medical diagnosis and seeking legal representation can ensure that injuries and losses are properly documented, records related to the accident are preserved, and witness memories remain fresh. In addition, a timely filing can emphasize the severity of your injuries and the impact to your life.
Who Is at Fault in a Whiplash Case?
If you are the person filing a claim to recover damages following an accident that caused whiplash or other injuries, it will likely be your responsibility to prove who was at fault for the accident. Determining liability can be complex, particularly under California’s comparative fault laws where multiple parties can be found at fault.
Even if you are partially to blame for the accident, comparative fault laws mean that you may still be entitled to damages for the portion of the accident caused by others. For example, if you are found to be 40 percent at fault, you may still be able to recover 60 percent of damages resulting from the accident. Because California fault laws are complex – and because other parties and insurance companies will likely have attorneys looking out for their best interests – it is critical to have an experienced Los Angeles accident attorney to protect your rights.
In determining who is at fault for the accident, the skilled legal team at MAJK Law will work hard to understand the unique facts of your case. This may involve gathering and evaluating police reports, witness statements, photos of the scene and damage, medical records, and expert reports. If you’ve been involved in any accident, it is critical to gather and retain copies of all records related to the accident and your follow-up expenses and care.
Contact an LA Whiplash Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a whiplash injury resulting from any type of accident, the skilled accident lawyers at MAJK Law can help. Even minor injuries and whiplash can have serious and debilitating lifelong consequences – with lifelong expenses. Our dedicated whiplash attorneys will work to understand the full impact to your physical, emotional, and financial well-being – and fight hard to ensure that you’re compensated accordingly. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.