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There were over 5.25 million auto accidents in the United States in 2020. These accidents caused 38,824 deaths and injured 2,282,015 people. While car accident victims can suffer various injuries, including bone fractures, lacerations, and concussions, many car accident victims suffer from whiplash.
What is whiplash?
Cervical acceleration/deceleration (CAD) syndrome is another name for whiplash. CAD syndrome is also sometimes referred to as a neck sprain or strain. Each year, 3 million people are diagnosed with whiplash. Whiplash injuries occur when a person’s head snaps forward and backward. The head accelerates or decelerates abruptly, causing the snapping motion.
People suffering from whiplash have a soft tissue injury in their necks. The severity of the injury determines each whiplash injury victim’s prognosis.
Symptoms of whiplash
Symptoms of whiplash include the following:
- Arm numbness or tingling
- Arm pain
- Back pain
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty sleeping
- Inability to concentrate
- Limited range of motion in the neck
- Memory recall issues
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Shoulder pain
Doctors use X-Rays, MRIs, and CT scans to determine if other injuries are responsible for symptoms before diagnosing patients with whiplash.
Treatment for whiplash varies based on the severity of your symptoms. With a mild case of whiplash, you may only need to rest, take over-the-counter painkillers, and apply heat or ice to the neck to manage your pain and promote healing. Stretching exercises that can be done at home are also a regular part of whiplash treatment.
Some people with CAD syndrome need prescription painkillers to manage their pain. Some cases may also warrant using muscle relaxants to help people sleep. Some people may wear a foam collar for short periods because it can help them sleep.
Physical therapy (PT) is part of the treatment for those who need to recover their mobility and manage their pain. Those with severe pain and limited mobility may need injections to complete their PT exercises.
Can symptoms be delayed?
You may not develop whiplash symptoms after your injury for 24 hours or more. Delayed whiplash symptoms are one of the reasons accident victims should seek medical attention and closely monitor themselves for several days after an accident.
How long does it take to recover from whiplash?
Most people with whiplash injuries recover within 90 days. However, people with whiplash can suffer additional health issues without proper treatment. They may spend a lifetime dealing with pain and physical injuries. Approximately 10% of all whiplash victims develop disabilities from their injuries.
Can whiplash resurface later in life?
Some people never recover from the pain of a whiplash injury. While others may fully recover, any neck injury increases their risk of future injuries. Someone who’s had whiplash before is more likely to get whiplash again if they’re in another accident that causes their head to jerk back and forth.
How does whiplash happen?
Any event that prompts your head to snap forward and backward can cause whiplash. Common sources of whiplash injuries include the following:
- Abuse: Any kind of abuse, including nursing home abuse, could involve shaking a person and causing their head to move abruptly, resulting in whiplash.
- Car accidents: Whiplash injuries are commonly associated with rear-end collisions. When someone’s rear-ended at a stop light or struck by a vehicle moving faster than them, it can cause the abrupt acceleration required for this soft tissue injury.
- Slip-and-fall accidents: People can experience rapid acceleration or deceleration when they fall, resulting in whiplash.
- Sports injuries: Millions of people suffer sports injuries each year. CAD syndrome can be caused by a blow to the head while boxing, falling from a bike or horse, or playing contact sports such as football.
If I get whiplash in a car accident, who is liable?
Liability for whiplash from a car accident depends on who is at fault. Many car accident whiplash victims suffer whiplash after they’re rear-ended. Suppose you’re rear-ended when stopped at a stop sign or red light. Another driver crashes into the back end of your vehicle, causing your injuries. Since they failed to stop, they’re responsible for the accident and would be liable for your injuries.
Whiplash injury: When an Uber or Lyft driver is in an accident
Suppose you’re riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, the vehicle is in an accident, and you develop whiplash. The Uber or Lyft driver may be liable since they were operating the vehicle. However, it’s also possible another driver is liable for your injuries. Liability in these situations can be more complicated, so you must consult a car accident attorney to discuss your situation before agreeing to a settlement.
How do you prove a whiplash injury?
Proving a whiplash injury involves presenting medical reports and test results to confirm your diagnosis. Your treatment records can also support your claim.
Proving the injury stems from a specific incident can involve presenting photos, videos, and witness statements. Your primary care physician can verify that you didn’t have whiplash before the incident.
What if you’re partially at fault?
You may still qualify for a settlement if you were partially at fault for your whiplash injury. When more than one party is at fault, they share a percentage of the damages that would be awarded for the injury. If you were partially responsible, you may still recover the percentage of damages the other party would be liable for.
What damages are recoverable for a whiplash injury?
You can seek damages from the at-fault party, including economic damages, for your expenses on the following:
- Childcare costs
- Medical bills
- Property damage costs
- Transportation fees
You can also seek non-economic damages that compensate you for how your injury affects your life. The compensation for these damages covers the following:
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
In some cases, you can also seek punitive damages. Courts use punitive damages to penalize the at-fault party for gross negligence. The at-fault party may attempt to resolve the case out of court by offering a settlement to avoid a judgment requiring them to pay punitive damages.
What is the average whiplash injury settlement in Nevada?
Whiplash settlement values depend on the severity of the injury and the costs stemming from the incident that caused the injury. A person who suffers whiplash after someone strikes their head and a person who suffers whiplash after a car accident may have similar medical costs. However, the person in the car accident could also seek compensation to repair or replace their vehicle.
Other factors that affect settlement amounts include whether the injured person needs to pay for childcare costs, house cleaning services, or other expenses because their injury prevents them from performing routine tasks. An experienced injury attorney can help you calculate the value of your whiplash claim.
How long does it take to settle a whiplash claim?
It can take months to years to resolve a personal injury case. It depends on the severity of the injuries, whether more than one party is considered at fault, and whether the at-fault party is willing to negotiate a settlement.
Settlements are out-of-court agreements between the injured party and the at-fault party. Reaching a settlement agreement is the fastest way to resolve your whiplash claim, but you may receive more money if you take your case to trial. It takes longer to resolve trial cases, and even if you get a verdict in your favor, the at-fault party can file an appeal to delay payment.
Statute of limitations to file a claim
Most personal injury cases must be filed with the courts within 24 months. You may have up to 36 months to file a claim if a defective product caused your whiplash injury, but the sooner you file your claim, the sooner you can resolve your case.
How a car accident lawyer can help
Experienced car accident attorneys know the relevant laws and case precedents they can use to support your whiplash claim. Your lawyer will investigate the incident that caused your injury and file the paperwork required to initiate your lawsuit. At Adam S. Kutner Injury Attorneys, our experienced lawyers fight for each client to receive maximum compensation.
Adam S. Kutner is a top 100 trial lawyer with 32 years’ experience and expertise that will benefit you
Call us at (702) 382-0000 anytime to schedule a free consultation. We will work to get you the maximum settlement as quickly as possible so you can move forward on your healing journey.
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Adam S. Kutner
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With more than 32 years of experience fighting for victims of personal injury in the Las Vegas Valley, attorney Adam S. Kutner knows his way around the Nevada court system and how to get clients their settlement promptly and trouble-free.