Can I Recover Damages for Whiplash?
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that individuals sustain when a vehicle accident occurs. Even though this injury is most commonly associated with rear-end accidents, it can occur in any type of vehicle accident. If you or somebody you love has sustained whiplash in a vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another driver in California, you should be able to recover compensation for your losses. Here, we want to examine the effects of whiplash, how much compensation you may be able to recover, and the time limit to file a claim.
Effects of Whiplash
When we look at information available from the Mayo Clinic, we can see that whiplash can occur in a wide variety of ways. These injuries are characterized by the rapid backward and forward movement of the neck and upper body, similar to the cracking of a whip (hence the name whiplash). These injuries are caused by either the rapid deceleration or acceleration of the body, leading to the whipping of the upper neck and body. These movements can lead to significant injuries to a person’s upper body, neck, and spine. This includes damage to tendons, ligaments, muscles, and vertebrae.
Perhaps the most known cause of whiplash is vehicle accidents. When most people think of whiplash, they think of rear-end collisions. However, individuals can sustain whiplash in any type of vehicle accident, including T-bone collisions, head-on collisions, rollover collisions, etc.
How Much Compensation is Available?
Individuals can recover compensation after sustaining whiplash injuries if another person is responsible for causing the injury. For example, if another driver caused a car accident that led to a whiplash injury, then that driver’s insurance carrier should be on the line for covering the whiplash injury expenses.
There is no set amount of compensation available to whiplash injury victims. There are several factors that can affect total compensation payouts in these situations. This includes:
- The initial medical expenses
- The severity of the whiplash injuries
- The length of recovery time
- Whether or not an individual can work while recovering
- Total pain and suffering losses
A skilled auto accident attorney will work with trusted medical and economic experts to adequately calculate their client’s total losses. They will present this information to the insurance carriers or a personal injury jury to ensure their client receives fair compensation.
Time Limit for Filing a Claim for Whiplash
In the state of California, injury victims need to be aware that they have a limited amount of time to file a claim. If a person sustains a whiplash injury caused by the negligence of another individual or entity, they have two years to file their claim. Failing to file a claim within this personal injury statute of limitations timeline will result in the victim becoming unable to recover the compensation they are entitled to.
Additionally, auto insurance carriers have their own strict reporting deadlines, often within a day or two after the incident occurs. It is crucial to report the whiplash injury and the accident as soon as possible to ensure that the insurance carrier does not delay or deny the claim.