Can I Recover Compensation for Whiplash?Get a Free Consultation
One of the most common injuries complained of among car accident victims is whiplash. This is a neck injury that can be significantly painful and debilitating. Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury, however, which means it can be difficult to prove during an insurance claim. You may need an experienced attorney’s assistance in recovering financial compensation for whiplash.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash describes an injury to the neck caused by a forceful forward and backward (or vice versa) motion of the head and neck. It is also known as neck sprain or neck strain. It occurs when a sudden force or movement, such as a motor vehicle collision, strains the neck and spine by “whipping” the head and neck rapidly back and forth. Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury, meaning it affects the muscles, ligaments, nerves and tendons. In severe cases, whiplash can also damage the underlying bones of the cervical spine.
Who Pays for a Whiplash Injury?
If you suffered whiplash in a car accident, you may not have to prove fault to receive financial compensation from your own car insurance company under Florida’s no-fault law. Your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will cover the costs associated with your injury, as long as you can prove that the injury exists and was caused by the car accident.
If your car accident injuries qualify for the state’s tort exemption, however, meaning they cost over $10,000 in necessary medical care or resulted in significant and permanent loss of bodily function, you could sue another driver outside of the no-fault system. You may need assistance from a personal injury attorney in Tampa to prove your case against another party.
Your attorney can help you build a whiplash claim with evidence such as medical records, a letter from your doctor and medical expert testimony. Your lawyer can also reconstruct the accident to demonstrate to a judge or jury how it caused your neck injury. Then, your accident lawyer can negotiate with insurers – either your own or another party’s – to seek maximum financial compensation on your behalf.
Types of Compensation Available for Whiplash
If you are diagnosed with whiplash or a similar neck injury after an accident in Florida that was caused by someone else’s negligence or fault, you can file an insurance claim or civil lawsuit against the at-fault party to pursue financial compensation for your injury and related losses. Available compensation may include:
- Past and future medical costs
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Prescription or over-the-counter medications
- Lost wages from being unable to work
- Long-term disability and lost future capacity to earn
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
If the careless or negligent acts of another person or party caused your whiplash injury in Florida, you should not have to pay for your medical care and other related losses out of pocket. Find out if you are eligible to recover compensation with a personal injury claim by contacting an attorney.
The symptoms of whiplash can include:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder or back pain
- Muscle stiffness
- Lost range of motion in the head and neck
- Headache that starts at the base of the skull
- Blurred vision
- Burning or prickling sensations
- Fatigue or trouble sleeping
These symptoms will often abate with treatments such as muscle relaxants, pain relieving medication, and heat or ice applied to the area. However, some patients with whiplash experience chronic or long-term pain or headaches. The most common cause of whiplash is a car accident. However, this type of neck injury can also result from a bicycle accident, horseback riding, contact sports, a bad fall, physical abuse (such as being hit or shaken), or getting struck in the head with a heavy object.