Whiplash is a soft tissue neck injury that can impact the ligaments and muscles in the neck. It can also affect the spine, joints, and bones in the cervical region. Whiplash may also be called whip crack injury, neck strain, neck sprain, cervical injury, or cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD).

Whiplash is a common injury in many personal injury accidents, especially car crashes. If you have been diagnosed with whiplash after an accident, you should contact a lawyer who can help you get compensation to pay for your medical bills and other losses.

Call Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek today at (212) 490-5700 to schedule your free consultation.

Common Causes of Whiplash

Whiplash happens when the neck is forcefully thrust in a back-and-forth motion. This is most common in rear-end car accidents; however, it can happen in other personal injury situations, too, such as:

  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • School sports accidents
  • Theme park accidents
  • Domestic abuse
  • Assault and battery

Any trauma affecting the head and neck can result in whiplash. A New York City whiplash attorney can help you determine exactly what caused your injury and who should be held liable.

Signs & Symptoms of a Whiplash Injury

The symptoms of whiplash are not always apparent immediately after an accident. Sometimes adrenaline from the incident can cause you not to notice the pain. Signs of whiplash can take days or weeks to appear. That’s why it’s important to get medical treatment right after an accident, no matter how you feel. You need to be evaluated to determine if there are obvious or underlying conditions.

Some common symptoms of whiplash injury include:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Upper back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Headache that begins at the base of the skull
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle tenderness
  • Tingling or burning sensations (paresthesias)
  • Numbness or tingling of the arms
  • Fatigue

Some less common signs that could point to whiplash include:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood disorder
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Problems sleeping
  • Mobility problems
  • Blurry vision
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Stroke

Treatment for Whiplash Injuries

The treatment prescribed for whiplash depends on the severity of your injury. You may be prescribed pain medication or muscle relaxants to alleviate the worst soreness and tension. However, your doctor may suggest you take Tylenol or Ibuprofen for the pain. You may also apply heat or cold to your muscles to reduce swelling and soreness

Physical therapy is also a common treatment option for whiplash. You may be given therapeutic exercise techniques to perform at home. You may also work with PT professionals in a medical office.

Stabilization of your neck may be necessary if your spine and bones are damaged. This may include a cervical collar or neck brace. This will support your head while limiting mobility and relieving pain and pressure on your spine.

If pain persists, your doctor may recommend that you receive steroid injections. This is a clinical procedure that is performed under the guidance of an x-ray. It can relieve inflammation in the soft tissues and joints of the neck.

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Compensation After a Whiplash Injury

If someone else causes your injuries, you can get compensation to cover your damages. Through a whiplash insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you can get compensation for:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical limitations
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

By working with whiplash injury lawyers, you can make sure you get enough money to cover all of your losses.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

There are multiple ways to file a personal injury claim to get your damages covered. The best method in your situation depends on how your accident happened and who is liable.

If you were involved in an auto accident, your car insurance might pay for your losses. New York requires all registered drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which will pay medical expenses, a portion of lost earnings, and other reasonable and necessary costs (such as household help and transportation).

If your damages exceed what your own PIP insurance will cover or you had a wreck with someone out of state, you can file a claim under their liability insurance. If their liability insurance doesn’t cover your claim, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit against them personally to get your damages covered.

If your whiplash was caused by an accident other than a car wreck, you can still likely get compensation from the at-fault party. They may have homeowners, renters, or business owners’ insurance to cover your damages. You can file a personal injury lawsuit against them if they don’t.

Statute of Limitations for Whiplash Cases

It’s crucial that you file an injury claim as soon as possible. In New York, you have a three-year deadline, called a statute of limitations, within which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. The clock begins running on the date that you were injured or when you should have known about your injury. If you miss this deadline, you will not be able to recover compensation, no matter how strong your case is.

How Much Is a Whiplash Injury Claim Worth?

Most whiplash injury cases are worth several thousand dollars. However, there is no way to estimate your case worth without evaluating your damages. The value of your claim depends on the amount of your losses and the insurance policy limit. You cannot get more out of the insurance company than the policy limit. However, if your damages exceed the limit, you may be able to sue the at-fault party personally for the excess amount.

Contact Our New York Whiplash Injury Attorneys

You may not know what to do after a severe accident that causes whiplash. Your injury may require significant medical treatment, and you may be unable to work. It’s essential to contact a New York whiplash injury attorney as soon as possible so we can begin working on your claim.

The Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. legal team will review your claim and help you understand your options. Call us today at (212) 490-5700 or use our online form to reach out for a consultation.

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