Many people assume that whiplash is one of the less serious injuries that can occur in a car accident. However, whiplash can be debilitating. It can cost thousands and keep you out of work for weeks or months at a time.
If you can prove another driver caused your accident, you can recover compensation to pay for your injuries. A Fort Lauderdale whiplash injury lawyer at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. can manage your claim for you.
Give us a call today: 954-524-2820.
Whiplash occurs when an impact causes the muscles in your neck and shoulder to stretch or tear. Whiplash commonly occurs in rear-end accidents because the force of impact throws the head forward while the rest of the body is held back by the seatbelt.
While the severity of whiplash depends on the speed at impact, whiplash can occur in low-speed accidents as well.
There are many symptoms of whiplash including:
It is important to note that some symptoms may not appear immediately after an accident. Shortly after the crash, adrenaline and cortisol will release in your body, potentially numbing or disguising any symptoms.
Always accept medical care at the scene or head to the hospital shortly after.
Your medical records from the days following the crash can help establish the severity of your injuries and the treatment required if you file a claim or lawsuit against those responsible for the accident. If you wait too long to seek medical care, the insurer may argue that your injuries were the result of something other than the accident.
In order to treat whiplash, doctors will often require an MRI or CAT scan to determine the severity of the victim’s injuries. The results from these scans can identify any tears or sprains.
In some cases, whiplash will go away on its own with at-home treatment and over-the-counter medication. However, many people will experience painful long-lasting effects. If your whiplash is severe, you may require a neck brace, physical therapy, and surgery. Even with this treatment, you may never fully recover.
Medication, hospital stays, and treatment can be expensive, especially if you are unable to work while recovering. You can recover damages to cover your medical expenses by filing a claim or suit against the driver at-fault for your accident.
To recover compensation, you will need to file a claim against the driver responsible for your injuries. The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in Florida is four years from the date of the accident. If you file suit after the four-year mark, you will not be able to recover any damages.
To have a valid claim, you will need to prove fault.
Many cases of whiplash occur in rear-end collisions. If you have been involved in a rear-end collision, you may have an easier time proving fault than victims of other types of car accidents. It is likely that the court will find the driver that hit you from behind to be at-fault for following too closely. However, this is not guaranteed.
You will establish fault by proving the driver behaved negligently. You will have to prove four legal elements of negligence: duty, breach, causation and damages.
All drivers owe those around them a duty of care to drive carefully and behave responsibility.
You must then prove the driver breached this duty. The following are common examples of breaches:
Proving breach of duty may require police reports, expert testimony, eyewitness testimony, and any other evidence that can illustrate the driver’s negligence.
You must be able to establish that you would not have sustained an injury had the driver not caused your collision. Essentially, you must prove that your whiplash was the result of the car accident and not another cause. You can use your medical records and expert testimony to establish causation.
The final step requires you prove that you suffered damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.) in the accident.
Our attorneys have decades of experience examining accidents and building valid claims. We often work with accident reconstructionists and other experts to prove negligence, causation, and damages.
Car accident victims with whiplash suffer physically and emotionally, as well as financially. The damages you recover in a car accident lawsuit will help cover numerous expenses including:
Before filing, you will need to determine the value of your claim. In addition to totaling up the medical bills, lost wages, and other monetary damages, you will need to put a dollar value on pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and other non-economic damages. The value of your claim will also depend on the percentage of fault assigned to each driver.
No matter what your injuries are, filing a successful claim against a negligent driver requires an in-depth investigation of the accident. The investigation will require you to collect evidence that would be admissible in court. These investigations also require an intimate knowledge of Florida injury law, which most people do not have.
Fortunately, the attorneys at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. are available to assist you with your claim. Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case: 954-524-2820.