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Can I Sue for Whiplash?

As San Jose car accident attorneys, we know a car accident can cause a host of medical issues for the people involved. One of the most commonly cited injuries is whiplash. It is important to understand this kind of injury and your right to take legal action if you sustain it in a car accident that another driver caused.

What Is Whiplash?

“Whiplash” describes a soft tissue injury to the upper back, neck, and/or head resulting from a sudden and violent momentum shift. During a car accident, the forces that act upon the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the neck can cause a host of adverse symptoms, including:

These symptoms can be incredibly uncomfortable for car accident victims. It can be challenging to assess the value of a claim for whiplash. Ultimately, determining the value of a whiplash lawsuit will follow a framework similar to any other personal injury claim. The plaintiff will need to prove the at-fault driver caused the damages in question. He or she will also have to prove the extent of those damages.

Proving Fault for Whiplash and Securing Compensation

If a driver suffers whiplash from a car accident, he or she will likely rely on an attorney to prove an at-fault driver’s negligence and secure compensation for the resulting damages. The plaintiff’s attorney must prove that the defendant in the claim owed the plaintiff a duty of care, violated that duty, and directly caused the plaintiff’s whiplash and other damages. The plaintiff’s attorney will also need to provide evidence that shows the extent of the claimed damages.

Whiplash is a relatively minor injury compared to other possible injuries in a car accident. This being said, it does not mean it cannot warrant a lawsuit. The plaintiff in a whiplash injury lawsuit will need to provide proof that he or she sought immediate medical attention for the whiplash injury. He or she must also produce a medical report that details the extent of the injury and the patient’s prognosis.

A plaintiff in a personal injury claim can secure compensation for various damages. Damages may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage, and any lost income resulting from missed days from work while recovering. Whiplash may not be as severe as a spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury, but the symptoms of whiplash can make it difficult or impossible for a victim to return to his or her job duties for several weeks or more.

Determining Whether to File a Lawsuit

In the long run, a whiplash injury may only result in minor medical expenses and minimal recovery time. If this is the case, the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability coverage may be enough to cover your damages and filing a lawsuit would not be necessary. However, the decision to take legal action is ultimately a personal choice. If you believe your injuries and damages were severe enough to warrant legal action, then it is worth consulting an attorney. An experienced San Jose personal injury lawyer can determine the potential value of your claim and whether it would be worth pursuing legal action.

An attorney can help encourage a more favorable response from the insurer. He or she can also explore options for a bad faith claim against the insurer. If there are any questions about a whiplash injury from a car accident, a personal injury attorney can help. An attorney is the best resource for determining the course of action to maximize your recovery.