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What to Know About Whiplash Injuries in California

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in a car accident, yet many people don’t immediately realize they have it. Untreated, this neck injury may produce pain and motion problems that interfere with your work and daily life. If you or a loved one has been in a vehicle collision recently, don’t discount this injury. Have a doctor check your symptoms, and call a trusted personal injury attorney to help claim your potential compensation.

What is whiplash? What are whiplash symptoms?

“Whiplash” refers to the violent back-and-forth motion of the neck during an impact. This strains the muscles and ligaments of the neck and shoulders, and if the impact is strong enough, it can also injure the spine, the spinal cord, and/or surrounding nerves.

Whiplash often occurs in car crashes, sports accidents, and falls. Rear-end car collisions are among the top causes of whiplash because it rocks the head and neck forwards and backwards. However, any type of traffic accident may also lead to this injury.

One problem with whiplash injury is that it doesn’t always show signs right away. Many people only start experiencing symptoms days after their accident. Symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain and/or stiffness
  • Limited range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches, especially at the base of the skull
  • Shoulder pain or tenderness
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness.

In more severe cases, a whiplash injury may also include blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and mental/psychological changes.

See a doctor if you experience any symptom of whiplash after an accident, even if you think it’s a minor injury that will go away on its own. In some cases, an untreated whiplash injury can cause chronic pain for years. It can also contribute to spine problems such as spinal misalignment and degenerative disc disease.

How is a whiplash injury treated?

Mild whiplash may be manageable with home treatments such as ice packs and over-the-counter pain medication. But in many cases, whiplash injuries require professional treatment to control pain, restore neck movements, and prevent further injury in the neck, shoulders, or spine. The doctor may recommend prescription medication, muscle relaxants, and physical therapy.

Can I get compensation for whiplash injury?

Yes, a whiplash injury is a compensable medical condition after an accident. However, this injury can be challenging to prove, especially when insurance companies are experienced in downplaying injury claims. Whiplash symptoms can be vague or delayed, and insurance adjusters will take advantage of this to minimize the value of your injury.

To prove your whiplash injury and claim your fair compensation, work with a competent personal injury attorney. Your lawyer should help you collect valuable evidence such as police reports and medical records. A good lawyer should also have access to medical specialists and financial experts to establish your past and future damages. On top of these, choose an attorney who has a good track record of obtaining favorable settlements and verdicts in similar cases.

How much compensation can I get for whiplash?

The amount you could receive for whiplash depends on the specific circumstances in your case. According to some estimates, mild to moderate whiplash cases typically settle between $10,000 to $100,000, while severe whiplash injuries that result in more permanent disability can result in much higher settlements. However, these figures should not be indicative of what your compensation will be, because each case is unique.

You may be entitled not just to past medical expenses but also to anticipated future costs related to your whiplash. It may also be possible to claim for the pain and suffering that your whiplash injury has caused. 

Is there a time limit for filing a whiplash lawsuit in California?

Under California’s statute of limitations, the time limit to file a lawsuit for personal injury is two years from the date of the injury. This applies to most whiplash cases. There are a few exceptions, such as if you were a minor when the injury occurred, in which case the two-year clock starts running on your 18th birthday. On the other hand, the window to file a lawsuit is shorter if the party at fault is a government entity.

It’s important to consult with a lawyer as soon as you can so you don’t run out of time to sue for damages.

Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney in San Diego County

A whiplash claim may be challenging, but we at Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers are well-equipped to help you. Our attorneys have over 20 years of experience in personal injury, and we have a network of physicians and specialists who can bolster your claim. We are not afraid to go to court on clients’ behalf. This relentless legal service has led to maximum settlements and verdicts in favor of our clients throughout California.

Your consultation with us is free, and you won’t have to pay us lawyer fees until we obtain compensation for you. Call us at (619) 550-1355 today.


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