The impact of an auto collision (or any other type of accident) in California can alter a person's life, especially when injuries are significant, complicated, or extensive. Whiplash and neck injuries are very common in various types of accidents. The extent of the neck injury depends on the extent of the accident. Often, though, whiplash and some other types of neck injuries are not viewed by insurance companies as significant even though they can be long-term. Many times, insurance companies will try to reduce or avoid payouts when the claim is whiplash because they argue it was not the accident but another issue that caused the injury, especially when the whiplash was delayed and showed up a day or week later, which is typical of this type of injury.
At The Geller Firm, our personal injury attorney in San Francisco will review your case, including any neck injuries, and represent your interests and rights before the insurance adjuster or any other party who owed you a duty, breached it, and caused you harm. Contact us today at 415-840-0570 to schedule a free consultation and make sure you recover what you are rightfully owed.
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
Commonly caused by car accidents and impact sports, whiplash is a soft tissue injury to the neck muscles caused by the head jolting or bending backward and forward forcefully.
Whiplash symptoms range from temporary minor discomfort to more serious, long-term effects.
Neck injuries, including whiplash, can cause symptoms including:
- Pain through the neck, back, shoulders, arms, or hands, ranging from a dull ache to a sharp pain
- Neck stiffness
- Muscle spasms
- Blurred vision
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Severe whiplash can affect neurological functioning, resulting in symptoms such as memory loss, loss of feeling in the extremities, insomnia, brain fog, and irritability.
Other common neck injuries in the context of personal injury cases include neck sprains (pulled muscles), herniated discs, pinched nerves, and fractures.
Challenges of Personal Injury Claims in California involving Whiplash and Neck Injuries
Personal injury cases involving whiplash and other neck injuries can be complex. These types of injuries are typically not visible to the naked eye and symptoms can take days, weeks, or even months to develop, which is often referred to as delayed injuries.
When symptoms do appear, they can last for a long time. This can lead to other ongoing health issues including vision problems, difficulties with memory or concentration, and insomnia.
The severity of the incident is not always proportionate to the injury. Especially when it comes to car accidents – even a minor fender bender can result in severe neck injuries.
Whiplash can also be challenging to diagnose. As it's a soft tissue injury, it can't be detected with an x-ray or MRI. Instead, a whiplash diagnosis is usually based on the incident and symptoms as described by the patient.
When it comes to a personal injury case involving whiplash, insurers may try to seize on these issues to distance their liability for the injury and reduce the amount of compensation they owe.
How to Build a Personal Injury Case Based on Whiplash and Neck Injuries
With these issues in mind, it's important to build a strong case if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim for whiplash or other neck injuries. There are a few things you can do to help your attorney build a strong personal injury case.
- Document the incident, your injuries, and the treatment you receive in as much detail as possible.
- Keep all relevant medical documents like medical records, doctor letters, prescriptions, bills, and receipts.
- Keep a record of any other expenses from your injury, for example, timesheets or an affidavit from your employer to demonstrate your lost wages.
- Collect witness testimonies from people who can speak to the impact of your injury on your day-to-day life.
What Types of Accidents in California Cause Whiplash and Neck Injuries?
Common types of accidents resulting in whiplash and other neck injuries include:
- Car accidents, especially rear-end collisions
- Car accidents involving children or pets
- Wildlife and vehicle collisions
- Workplace accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Sports injuries, typically from contact sports
If you sustain whiplash or another neck injury as a result of someone else's negligence, you may be able to seek compensation via a personal injury claim.
How are Whiplash and Neck Injuries Calculated in California?
Compensation for whiplash and other neck injuries in personal injury cases is divided into economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are verifiable monetary losses. They include medical expenses, like doctor visits, physical therapy, rehabilitation, medications, as well as lost wages.
Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering and emotional distress. In cases involving whiplash, for example, non-economic damages would account for the impacts of insomnia and mental trauma on a plaintiff.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer in California Help
Proving a whiplash injury and securing the compensation you're entitled to can be challenging. Insurance companies generally try to minimize their liability which can lead to a protracted and frustrating process.
If you're considering filing a personal injury claim for whiplash or another neck injury, speak to a personal injury lawyer. They can help you collect the necessary medical and other evidence to prove your claim.
They can also help you to build your case against an insurance company that's trying to dismiss your injuries as minor or fake. This way you can ensure you receive the compensation you're entitled to.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in California Today
At The Geller Firm, our personal injury lawyer understands how difficult neck injuries, including whiplash, can be both for the victim and for the personal injury claim. We are here to get you the compensation you are owed, contact our office either by filling out the online form or calling us at 415-840-0570. We will set up a free consultation to review your case and outline your legal options.