Considering how important the neck is to a number of critical functions such as motion, spinal cord protection, and nerve housing, it’s a very vulnerable, fragile part of the body. A single abnormal movement or sudden impact can cause injury to a victim that may last the rest of their life. In fact, over 60 percent of all permanent impairment claims in the United States result from what were thought to be “minor” neck injuries. More than 3 million Americans suffer neck injuries each year, and whiplash, the most common type, costs $30 billion annually alone. Whiplash demonstrates the fragility of the neck – it often occurs in accidents under 12 miles per hour; that speed is low enough not to damage either vehicle. Even an impact of less than 5 miles an hour impact can injure someone, as it causes anywhere between 10-12gs of acceleration to a the recipient’s head and neck. Car accidents are the most common cause of neck injuries, but physical abuse, falls, and even sports collisions can cause serious harm.
Car accidents in busy commuting towns with close proximity to the crowded 10, 15, and 215 freeways means that accidents happen daily in and around Hemet. However, these accidents aren’t without repercussions – in Hemet alone 628 victims were killed or injured in traffic accidents, many of them suffering whiplash and other neck injuries like soft tissue damage. These tragic events are made worse by the fact most accidents were avoidable if someone hadn’t behaved negligently – 87 percent of accidents result from some form of distracted driving. If you or a loved suffered a neck injury, no matter the cause, contact an experienced Hemet Whiplash and Neck Injury Attorney to see if you may be entitled to compensation.
Symptoms You’re Suffering from Whiplash
Whiplash, also referred to as either a neck sprain or a neck strain, is damage to the neck’s soft tissue that is caused when the neck moves back and forth unnaturally in a motion similar to that of cracking a whip. Though whiplash is most commonly caused by a car accident – especially a rear end collision – any accident can also result in damage to a victim’s joints, nerve roots, discs, and ligaments. This injury can usually be treated within 3 months with proper care, rehabilitation, and medication, but some people suffer long-term effects like residual neck pain or headaches.
It’s particularly important that you be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible after any accident because whiplash may not present noticeable symptoms until days later. It’s important to be screened even if you think you weren’t hurt. Proper diagnosis and treatment are important not only for your health, but to determine when and how you were injured for purposes of recovering in your case. It’s common for victims to complain of symptoms including:
- Stiffness of the neck, back, and shoulders,
- Radiating pain through the neck, arm, and back,
- Dizziness or blurry vision,
- Abnormal prickling or burning sensations, and
Sometimes, victims may also suffer from less common symptoms such as insomnia, memory loss, depression, nervousness or irritability, fatigue, or even concentration problems.
Injury victims commonly seek damages from the wrongdoer in court by arguing their negligence caused the harm at issue. Generally, proving negligence means convincing a court the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached that through an act or omission, and their breach caused your harm. If you prove these elements, a defendant is deemed negligent and is generally liable for your injuries.
Alternately, liability can be established through negligence per se – the presumption of negligence created if a victim proves a defendant broke a law, rule, or regulation intended to protect when the victim’s injury occurred. Negligence per se includes traffic laws like posted speed limits and prohibitions against texting while driving. On-scene evidence, eyewitness testimony, and other information can all help determine if a violation occurred.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
After proving you were injured by someone’s negligence, the court may award you damages to compensate for your harm. Though nothing will undo the trauma you’ve endured, an award may help you recover from physical, mental, psychological, emotional, and financial harm such as:
- Medical bills,
- Lost income,
- Property damage,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Permanent disability or scarring.
Sometimes, a defendant’s behavior is so vile or reprehensible that the court may award their victim additional damages to punish the defendant and to discourage both them and others from repeating the conduct in the future. Because the court has complete discretion on deciding whether to award punitive damages and in what amount, these awards are often large to serve their intended purpose. Because you must satisfy a high threshold of proof to qualify for these damages, it’s recommended you work with an experienced Hemet Whiplash and Neck Injury Attorney to navigate these tricky legal waters and avoid potentially costly missteps in your case.
Speak to a Lawyer
Anyone suffering whiplash or another chronic neck injury from an accident knows firsthand how damaging it can be physically, emotionally, and financially to recover from the trauma. If you were involved in a car accident or other incident and suffered a soft tissue injury because of someone’s negligence, don’t delay – contact the Hemet Whiplash and Neck Injury Attorneys at Walton Law, APC to put the best foot forward in your case for recovery. Our attorneys have years of experience delivering dedicated, personalized representation for victims just like you and recovering millions of dollars in damages on their behalf to help them get their lives back. Contact us today to schedule your no risk, no obligation initial case review. We are available 24/7 at (866)-338-7079 or through our online Contact Page to set up your confidential consultation. The evaluation is free, and you don’t pay until we win your case. Let us review the facts of your case and help you secure the best outcome possible starting today.