The neck is a crucial but fragile body part. Even though it houses the spine and controls range of motion, any quick, unnatural movement or impact may result in severe or lifelong injury to a victim. The Spine Research Institute of San Diego reports that over 3 million Americans suffer neck injuries each year and “minor” neck injurie comprise 60 percent of all permanent impairment claims. The most common neck injury, whiplash, most commonly occurs in car collisions that take place at less than 12 miles per hour – a speed low enough to cause no vehicle damage but great enough to cause severe neck injury. Even an impact at 5 miles an hour generates between 10-12gs of acceleration to a person’s head. Though car accidents are by far the most common cause of neck injuries, the same result can occur from physical abuse, slip and falls, and even collisions playing sports.
With a population of over 209,000, a commuting workforce to the area of over 1.1 million on the busy 215, 10, and 60 freeways, and an army of commercial trucks passing by in the third busiest California county for trucking, it’s no surprise whiplash and neck injuries occur from car crashes daily in Moreno Valley. What may be surprising is their cost – whiplash treatment cost almost $30 billion in 2018. Though some neck injuries and whiplash cases result from true accidents, the majority are caused by situations that could have been avoided but for someone’s negligence. If you suffered this type of injury, no matter the circumstances, contact an experienced Moreno Valley Whiplash and Neck Injury Attorney today to learn if you may be entitled to compensation.
What are Neck Injuries and Whiplash?
Whiplash is a common injury to soft tissue in the neck and is also called a neck strain or sprain. It occurs when the next suddenly flexes and extends unnaturally – similarly to the motion of cracking a whip. Neck injuries are usually caused by an automobile accident (especially a rear-end collision). In addition to whiplash and neck injuries, victims may injure joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots in the area surrounding the neck. Though most whiplash resolves in a few months, it’s possible for long-term residual pain and headaches to occur.
Am I Injured?
Even if you don’t believe you were injured when an accident occurred, it’s important to seek medical attention and attend follow-ups recommended by your treatment provider because whiplash and other neck injuries may not present symptoms for days. Victims suffering from these conditions often notice:
- Neck, shoulder, back, or arm pain,
- Neck stiffness,
- Abnormal prickling or burning sensations, or
In less common instances, victims may also suffer memory loss, nervousness or irritability, depression, fatigue, concentration problems, or sleep disturbances.
Winning Your Case
After suffering a neck injury in an accident, it’s common for the insurance companies of all parties involved to investigate the accident and either deny your claim for damages sustained or negotiate with you to settle your claim. Insurers want to settle your claim for as little as possible because they are for-profit companies and paying you detracts from their bottom line. If you engage the services of an attorney, they’ll most likely conduct an independent investigation regarding who’s at fault and negotiate with the insurers on your behalf to reach the best possible settlement.
If a fair settlement isn’t offered, victims usually file a civil lawsuit arguing a particular party owes them compensation for negligently inflicting their injuries. Proving negligence in court involves demonstrating:
- The defendant owed you a legal duty of care,
- Breached that duty through an act or omission, and
- The breach caused you injury.
Another way to prove negligence is through negligence per se – creating the presumption of negligent behavior by showing someone caused injury while violating a law, rule, or regulation aimed at promoting safety. For example, a collision caused by failing to stop at a stop sign creates the presumption the driver who failed to stop acted negligently. Evidence from the scene of your accident, eyewitness accounts, or traffic camera footage can all help establish if a traffic violation occurred or other law was broken and help determine fault and negligence.
How Much is my Case Worth?
If you prove someone negligent injured your neck, you may be awarded compensatory damages by the court. Though these damages won’t undo the trauma you’ve endured, they’re meant to address the astronomical expenses that a severe injury can incur as well as mental, emotional, and psychological damage done by your injury. Among other things, courts may award damages for:
- Medical expenses,
- Property damage,
- Lost wages,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of enjoyment of life,
- Permanent disability or disfigurement, and
- Burial costs.
Sometimes a defendant’s behavior is so reprehensible and egregious that the court decides to award an additional type of damages to the victim to punish the conduct and discourage its repetition. The difficulties in proving causation, as well as the discretionary nature of punitive damages and high threshold of proof needed for them to issue make it wise to work with an experienced Moreno Valley attorney to navigate these tricky legal issues.
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 any type of accident and suffered one of these traumatic, avoidable injuries as a consequence of another person’s negligence, contact the Moreno Valley Whiplash and Neck Injury Attorneys at Walton Law, APC today. We can help you handle the headaches of dealing with insurance companies, protect your rights, and look out for your best interests while fighting to maximize your recovery. We’ve spent years delivering comprehensive, aggressive representation for victims just like you and producing results; we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. 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. The initial consultation is free, and you don’t pay until we win your case. Let our team of attorneys review the facts of your situation, answer your questions, and use our knowledge and resources to secure the best possible outcome for you to help get your life back on track.