If you suffered a whiplash injury to your neck during a car accident, you probably have significant pain, mounting medical bills, lost income, and growing concerns about your future. You might also have legal options for making a bad situation better.
The whiplash injury lawyers at Butler Law Firm can evaluate your circumstances for free and help you get the assistance you need to move on with your life. Our attorneys have a depth of experience helping victims just like you seek the compensation they deserve for injuries that were someone else’s fault. We’re prepared to handle every aspect of your case for you, so you can focus on recovering physically and emotionally.
Please call us whenever you’re ready to discuss your situation and find out more about your legal options.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a type of injury that happens when the neck is forced to quickly move back and forth in a motion similar to cracking a whip. Motor vehicle crashes are one of the most common causes of whiplash, but these injuries can also result from other types of accidents, such as high-impact sports, violent attacks, and falls.
While some people may consider whiplash to be a “mild” injury that will heal on its own, whiplash injuries often leave victims with serious health issues that can plague them for years.
According to the National Institutes of Health, patients often suffer from a poorer quality of life because of whiplash injuries than any other “mild” injury. People with serious whiplash injuries can suffer severe complications, such as chronic pain, ongoing vertigo, and permanently reduced range of motion.
These and other devastating impacts can make it difficult for victims to sleep, cause significant emotional distress, prevent them from being able to take part in activities they used to enjoy, and interfere with their personal relationships. Severe whiplash injuries can even keep victims from being able to work and can leave them with challenging financial problems.
What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?
Some of the symptoms of whiplash and conditions associated with whiplash injuries include:
- Headaches or migraines
- Neck pain
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Neck stiffness
- Loss of consciousness
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
- Blurred vision
- Numbness in arms and hands
- Problems sleeping
- Reduced range of motion
- Depression, anxiety, and other emotional issues
- Spinal fracture
How Is Whiplash Diagnosed?
Medical professionals typically diagnose whiplash by asking patients a series of questions about their accident, the symptoms they’re experiencing, and how their symptoms are impacting daily life.
They usually perform a physical exam, which might involve touching the patient’s neck and head and asking them to perform tasks to check their range of motion, reflexes, tenderness, strength, and pain levels.
The physician might also order diagnostic tests, such as x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to help rule out other conditions that might be contributing to the patient’s symptoms.
How Is Whiplash Treated?
Treatment of whiplash depends on multiple factors, such as the severity of the injury and the patient’s medical history. In the most serious cases, a physician might recommend surgery or other costly treatments. For less severe injuries, doctors might recommend that the patient rest and take over-the-counter pain medicine.
In some instances, they might prescribe pain medications, order physical therapy, or recommend other types of treatment to help the victim regain normal range of motion and control their pain.
Some other types of treatment for pain and other symptoms caused by whiplash injuries include:
- Applying cold or heat to the injury
- Muscle relaxants
- Injections at points of pain
- Stretching of the neck or shoulders
- Mild electric current treatments called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which help ease pain temporarily
- Wearing a foam collar
- Chiropractic care
How to File a Claim for a Whiplash Injury
Some steps that victims suffering from whiplash injuries can take to protect their legal rights and file a claim for their accident include:
- Call for help. Call 911 at the accident scene to get immediate assistance with serious injuries.
- See a doctor. If you didn’t get medical attention at the accident scene, have a doctor evaluate you as soon as possible for whiplash and other injuries from the accident. They can help you get the treatment you need before your injuries get worse.
- Contact a Georgia whiplash injury attorney. A skilled lawyer can handle all aspects of your claim, so you don’t have to deal with it. They can also help protect your legal rights and build a solid case to pursue the full compensation you deserve.
- Gather evidence. When you work with an experienced whiplash injury lawyer, they can help you gather the evidence needed to support your claim. It’s critical to collect evidence as soon as possible after an accident because it can change or disappear. For example, it’s important to take pictures of debris from the wreck before it gets cleaned up, as well as photographs of all aspects of the accident scene like warning signs and weather conditions.
- Make an insurance claim. Your lawyer can use the evidence collected during the investigation of your case to fill out any paperwork needed for an insurance claim and ensure it is complete and convincing. Your lawyer can also negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf.
- File a lawsuit if necessary. If the insurance company won’t agree to a fair settlement, then your lawyer can file a lawsuit to seek the maximum compensation you deserve in court. They will complete any paperwork needed for the suit and make sure it’s filed on time, then they can fight for your best interests in court.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Whiplash Injury?
While there are some similarities between accident claims, every whiplash injury case is different. This makes it impossible to know how much a case may be worth without investigating the details of the specific claim.
However, the types of compensation that are typically available to whiplash injury victims include:
- Medical bills, such as those for medications, surgeries, ambulance transportation, doctor visits, hospitalization, MRIs, and other diagnostic tests
- Replacement of wages lost while recovering from the accident
- Future medical expenses, including physical therapy, rehabilitation, prescriptions, pain management, surgeries, long-term care, follow up visits, and other treatments
- Pain and suffering
- Interference with daily living
- Lost ability to perform household tasks, such as yardwork, repairs, and cleaning
Time Limit for Filing a Whiplash Injury Claim in Georgia
Victims typically have just two years after an accident to file a whiplash injury claim, according to Georgia’s statute of limitations. Because of this law, victims can’t pursue any compensation for their injuries if they miss the filing deadline, unless a very narrow exception applies.
A skilled whiplash injury attorney can evaluate your case, help determine the deadlines for your specific circumstances, and help you file a claim before it’s too late.
Talk to a Lawyer Now About Your Whiplash Injury
Contact the Butler Law Firm whenever you are ready to get the legal help you need. You can trust that our compassionate whiplash injury attorneys are dedicated to fighting for your best interests. The initial consultation is free, plus you won’t owe us anything unless and until we help you win money for your case.
For your free legal consultation, call the Butler Law Firm or reach us online.