The neck is very fragile part of the body considering the important functions it controls such as range of motion, nerves in the lower portion of the body, and housing the spine. Any abnormal movement or sudden impact can result in lifelong problems for the victim. The Spine Research Institute of San Diego reports than 60 percent of all permanent impairment claims result from “minor” neck injuries, and over 3 million Americans suffer neck injuries each year. The most common type of neck injury, whiplash, costs $30 billion annually and most commonly occurs in car accidents at speeds below 12 miles per hour – a speed low enough to impact with no damage to the vehicles. Even a 5 mile an hour impact can cause trauma and generates between 10-12gs of acceleration to an occupant’s head. Though car accidents are the most common cause of many neck injuries, physical abuse, slip and falls, and even sport collisions can result in a similar outcome.
In busy commuter cities like Wildomar with access to the bustling 15 freeway, it’s generally expected that car accidents happen on a daily basis. These collisions explain the 128 injuries and fatalities in Wildomar in 2016 alone, and an untold number of neck and whiplash injuries not known about or reported by California’s Office of Traffic Safety. Though some neck injuries are truly an innocent accident, many more wouldn’t have occurred unless someone behaving negligently. If you or a loved one’s neck was hurt in an accident, no matter how it occurred, contact an experienced Wildomar Whiplash and Neck Injury Attorney today to see if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
How Do I Know if I Suffered Whiplash or Another Neck Injury? Whiplash is an issue to the soft tissue of the neck also known as a neck strain or sprain and caused by a sudden neck flexion and extension in an unnatural manner much like the motion of cracking a whip. Usually as a result of an automobile accident (especially rear-end collisions), victims may suffer injury to their joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots. Though most whiplash sufferers recover within 3 months with the proper treatment and medication chronic pain and other long-term effects like residual neck pain or headaches may still occur.
Because whiplash symptoms may delay several days before presenting, it’s important to be evaluated by a doctor and receive a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible after your accident – even if you believe you were not injured. In addition to pain in the neck, victims may complain of:
- Neck stiffness,
- Abnormal prickling or burning sensations,
- Shoulder, back, or arm pain, or
In rare cases, victims may also suffer symptoms including memory loss, nervousness or irritability, depression, fatigue, concentration problems, or even sleep disturbances.
How Can I Recover for My Injuries? Victims of Wildomar whiplash and neck injuries usually seek to recover damages for the harm they’ve endured by filing a lawsuit in civil court claiming a defendant owes them compensation for negligently inflicting their injuries. Proving you were the victim of negligence generally involves convincing a court it’s more likely than not a defendant:
- Owed you a legal duty of care,
- Breached that duty through an affirmative act or failure to act when they should have, and
- Caused your damages during their breach.
If you can prove these elements, the defendant will be liable for your harm unless they have a viable legal defense. An alternate method of proving negligence is showing the defendant violated a law, rule, or regulation while causing your injuries. Any violation of a regulation intended to promote safety – posted speed limits, for example – creates the presumption of negligence. Speeding, failure to yield, driving while intoxicated, running a stop sign or red light, and texting while driving can all lead to car accidents and establish negligence per se. Evidence from the scene of your accident can help establish what happened and who’s at fault for your damages.
What Damages Can I Recover for My Injuries? After you’ve established that someone negligently inflicted your injuries, you may be entitled to receive an award of damages. Though it will never undo the accident, an award of compensatory damages can help you cover the expenses you incurred for your injuries. Victims are often given compensation physical, mental, psychological, emotional, and financial trauma including:
- Medical expenses,
- Property damage,
- Lost wages and lost future earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of consortium (companionship),
- Permanent disability or disfigurement, and
- Funeral or burial expenses.
In some cases, victims may be entitled to a court award of additional damages to punish a defendant’s bad behavior and deter repetition of the conduct by them or others. These damages require satisfying a high burden of proof regarding the defendant’s state of mind vile, , and the decision to award punitive damages – as well as the amount of any award given are entirely up to either a judge or jury. The potential difficulty of tying a defendant’s breach of duty to a victim’s injuries, proving a defendant’s state of mind, and satisfying different burdens of proof are best tackled by an experienced Wildomar Whiplash and Neck Injury Attorney to avoid potentially costly legal missteps during your pursuit of compensation.
Contact an Attorney Today Chronic injuries like whiplash and soft tissue damage resulting from a car crash can drastically affect your health, your finances, and your quality of life. If you were involved in a car accident and suffered one of these traumatic, avoidable injuries due to another person’s negligent behavior, contact the Wildomar Whiplash and Neck Injury Attorneys at Walton Law, APC today to protect your rights and your recovery. Our attorneys have years of experience delivering comprehensive, aggressive representation for victims just like you and securing millions in damages for our clients to compensate for their injuries. 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 case evaluation is free, and you don’t pay until we win your case. Let our team of attorneys review the facts of your situation and use our knowledge and resources to help make the best from your tragic situation.