Whiplash is an injury commonly associated with rear-end car accidents. It is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck that results from a forceful back-and-forth motion in the neck and is so named because this rapid motion is not unlike the cracking of a whip. Many injury sufferers can recover from whiplash in a matter of weeks through physical therapy, but this may not be the case in all situations. Whiplash can produce long-term damage including severe neck pain, limited range of motion, and spreading pain throughout the body.
If you have been injured in a car accident and are suffering from whiplash you are able to sue the other driver. Whether you are successful or not is a different matter since all vehicle accident lawsuits require evidence and an amenable jury to side with you. Additionally, with Alabama being one of the states that follows the “at fault” rule for car accidents, you need to prove beyond a doubt that the other driver is solely responsible for the accident. You should keep these issues in mind when you consider filing a lawsuit.
Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash
These signs and symptoms will not show up immediately. It takes time for the adrenaline rush of the accident to wear off, and once it has you will feel:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Difficulties with neck mobility
- Loss of range of motion
- Headaches that begin at the base of the skull
- Tenderness and/or pain in the shoulder, upper back, or arms
- Tingling and numbness in the arms
In other cases, some people have developed blurred vision, tinnitus, sleep problems, irritability, problems concentrating, memory problems, and depression.
Strengthening Your Case for Your Whiplash Lawsuit
Being a soft tissue injury, whiplash will not show up on common medical exams like x-rays. You will need a method that can look at your soft tissue so that you have conclusive proof for your insurance company and so your car accident attorney can introduce it during your lawsuit.
Medical records are the most important thing you should preserve for your lawsuit. Go to a doctor as early as possible to get a whiplash diagnosis and a formal record of your injuries, as well as the signs and symptoms you are experiencing. Also important is any medical guidance you were given, i.e., time you will need to take off work.
You will also want to keep track of your costs, both medical, lost wages, and travel time to doctors and hospitals for treatment.
Any evidence from the car accident will be useful. This will include photos, videos, police reports, and, if possible, a reconstruction by an accident reconstruction expert.
Finally, you should try to quantify how whiplash has affected your life. Outline the signs and symptoms and how they affect your daily activities. Are you having problems sleeping? Lifting? Moving? Keep track of these issues because the court will want to hear them.
On its own, a whiplash lawsuit can be tricky, but if you were not at fault and are suffering the consequences of another driver’s negligence then you should follow the advice highlighted above and seek out legal representation by an experienced Birmingham personal injury lawyer.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!