Whiplash is one of the most common injuries reported after a car accident. However, you can suffer whiplash in many other accidents. Whiplash is a type of neck injury that results in a sprain or strain. It occurs when your head is abruptly and violently jerked forward and backward.
The jerking motion results in the hyperextension and hyperflexion of your neck:
Hyperextension: The cervical spine is forced backward, extending beyond its normal range of motion.
Hyperflexion: Your neck is thrown forward, causing the muscles, tissue, and/or ligaments to overstretch.
These sudden and violent movements cause damage to the soft tissue, muscle, vertebrae, and/or ligaments in your neck. The neck is vulnerable to this type of injury because it is so flexible and can rotate in so many different directions.
What Causes Whiplash?
Any accident where your head is thrown backward or forward suddenly can cause whiplash. The injury is most common in rear-end crashes. When you’re rear-ended, the force of impact can cause your head to whip back toward the headrest (hyperextension), and then toward the front of the car rapidly (hyperflexion). This back and forth motion can cause your neck to stretch and extend beyond its normal range of motion.
Other common causes of whiplash include:
- Slips and falls
- Being struck by a falling object
- Boat accidents, and
- Recreational activities and sports.
However, most cases of whiplash are reported after a car accident. In fact, more than 1.3 million people suffer whiplash in car accidents across the country every year.
What are the Symptoms of Whiplash?
You may not realize that you have whiplash until hours or days after you are injured. If you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s important to track your health and keep an eye out for signs of whiplash.
Symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Limited range of motion in the neck
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty sleeping
- Tingling in the extremities, and
- Pain in the shoulders, back, or arms.
Seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms of whiplash. Getting prompt medical treatment can prevent your injury from getting worse.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Whiplash?
Whiplash can be moderate or severe. The long-term effects of your whiplash injury will often depend on:
- Your age
- Pre-existing back or neck injuries
- Prior whiplash injuries, and
- The extent of your whiplash injury.
Many whiplash victims recover from their neck injury within a few weeks of their accident. However, those who sustain severe whiplash injuries often experience chronic pain and stiffness for years. In these more situations, whiplash can disrupt your life. You may find that your injury prevents you from playing sports, roughhousing with your kids, or even going back to work.
What Compensation Can I Recover If I Have a Whiplash Injury?
It costs about $30 billion to manage and treat all the whiplash injuries in the United States each year. Between medical bills and lost wages, your injury could easily cost you tens of thousands of dollars. You shouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of whiplash on your own. When someone else is responsible for your accident, you have the right to hold them accountable for your whiplash injury.
You may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Chronic pain
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
You are more likely to get the money you need when you work with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help you value your damages and pursue compensation for all your losses.
Can I Recover Compensation If I Contributed to My Accident?
It’s not uncommon for accidents to have multiple causes and multiple at-fault parties, especially car accidents. Florida deals with these scenarios via its pure comparative fault rules. You can recover damages if you’re partially at fault for an accident—even if you’re up to 99% at fault. However, a court or jury will reduce your damages to account for your share of the blame.
For example, if you have $50,000 in damages after a car accident but are 20% at fault for the accident, you can only recover $40,000 (80%).
How Long Do I Have to File a Miami Whiplash Claim?
You may be entitled to compensation if someone else caused your whiplash injury. However, your right to file a claim will not last forever. Florida law imposes strict statutes of limitations in all personal injury cases.
In most cases, you will have four years from the date of the accident that caused your whiplash to file a claim for damages. You could be denied the money you need if you don’t file your claim on time.
Contact a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer
Are you struggling with whiplash after a Miami accident? You may be entitled to compensation. Getting the money you need may involve tough negotiations with an insurance company. These companies will do whatever they can to limit or deny your claim. The personal injury attorneys at Lavent Law, P.A. can help.
We will advocate on your behalf and force insurance companies to take responsibility for your whiplash injury. Our aggressive approach has helped us to recover millions for our injured clients. Call our Miami personal injury lawyers today to find out how we can help you get the money you deserve. The first consultation is free, so call to get started on your injury case today.