In a 2016 report, the California Office of Traffic Safety revealed that were more than 44,000 fatal or injury-causing car accidents in Los Angeles County alone. Though it may not seem as serious as some types of trauma, whiplash was among the most common injuries in these auto collisions. Unfortunately, it is also an injury that can have painful effects that linger even longer than broken bones or lacerations. You do have rights as a victim suffering from whiplash, and you should discuss them with a Los Angeles car accident attorney right away. However, some general information may also be helpful.
What is whiplash?
In medical terms, whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck caused by a violent, back-and-forth movement. This type of trauma is common in a motor vehicle crash, especially a rear-end collision that forces the victim forward and then back again. Whiplash affects the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck, which is why it can be extremely painful for the victim.
Should I seek medical care?
Whiplash is an injury that may not manifest outward symptoms until hours or even several days after a car collision. For this reason, you should visit an urgent care center or make an appointment with your doctor immediately after the accident. Not only is medical treatment critical for your health, but it is also important for your right to recover compensation. Most Los Angeles car accident lawyers recommend that you seek medical treatment within 72 hours to protect your rights.
How long will I feel whiplash effects after an auto collision?
There are many variables involved with whiplash, so the extent of the effects depends on your unique circumstances. You could feel neck pain, stiffness, and have reduced range of motion for several days or weeks. For some victims, headaches, dizziness, and chronic pain continue for months. Others never fully recover and will experience symptoms for many years.
What are my rights as a victim of a car accident?
You may be entitled to recover compensation if you can prove that the responsible driver was negligent in causing the crash. Your compensation is in the form of damages, which represents the losses you sustain as a victim suffering from whiplash. It is possible to recover:
- Medical costs;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Losses based upon your personal relationships; and,
- Others depending on your circumstances.
Do I need a Los Angeles auto crash lawyer to represent me?
You are not required to hire an attorney, but there are multiple benefits to retaining legal counsel. You have an advantage in settlement negotiations with an insurance company, as claims adjusters will try to find reasons to refuse payment. A lawyer is also crucial if you need to file a lawsuit in court.
Call Now to Set up a Free Consultation with a Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
Our team at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers can answer additional questions about whiplash and your rights to compensation, so please contact our office to schedule an appointment today. You can reach our office to speak with a Los Angeles auto collision attorney by calling 888-540-0325 or going online.