Whiplash injuries are very common after car accidents. They are also among the most car accident injuries difficult to prove. A whiplash injury lawyer in Atlanta can help. Call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation. Our team works tirelessly on your behalf to win the damages you deserve.
Why Is Whiplash So Hard to Prove?
The difficulties associated with proving whiplash after a car accident are twofold.
First, whiplash symptoms can take days or even weeks to surface. If you did not go to the doctor directly after your car accident, you might not even realize your whiplash symptoms are related to your accident. More importantly, if you attempt to claim your whiplash symptoms are related to your car accident weeks after it happened, the insurer will likely claim your injuries stemmed from another incident that occurred after the accident.
Second, whiplash injuries do not show up on imaging tests. A doctor will rely on your description of the pain you are feeling to determine whether you have whiplash. While a doctor’s determination of whiplash is helpful, because it is so subjective, the insurer might claim you are exaggerating or even inventing your injuries.
What Are Common Whiplash Symptoms?
Though whiplash injuries seem to be fairly straightforward, the event often triggers varied symptoms and ailments. This is often the case even whether you are involved in simple fender benders or wrecks.
The following are common discomforts associated with whiplash:
- Upper back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Strange burning or tingling sensations
- Difficulty chewing, eating, or swallowing
- Tightness in your back or back spasms
- Neck soreness
- Pain when moving your neck
As such an extensive and diverse list of symptoms would suggest, your recovery and treatment could be extensive and costly. Whiplash often requires the following treatments:
- Medications to reduce pain, swelling, and muscle spasms
- Muscle relaxants
- Physical therapy, which often helps improve your range of motion and circulation
- Cervical collars, or neck braces, are often necessary
- Ice or heat treatment to soothe spasms, pain, and inflammation
While many whiplash cases resolve in a few weeks or months, some whiplash victims suffer chronic pain for the rest of their lives. They might be unable to sleep or work, and their ongoing discomfort can affect their daily lives and relationships with family and friends.
Who Pays for the Effects of My Whiplash Injury?
Determining liability is the first step toward receiving the damages you deserve following a car accident. In Georgia, an injured person may sue the other for damages after an accident.
To prove another driver was at-fault, you must prove that the party behaved negligently. The elements of negligence include:
- Duty of care: The driver that caused your accident had a duty to drive safely.
- Breach: The driver did not drive safely.
- Causation: The driver’s unsafe driving caused your accident and whiplash injuries.
- Damages: You suffered damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.)
Presenting the best case often involves taking witness accounts, recreating accident circumstances, gathering medical documents, work documents, and more.
What If I Was Partially At-Fault for the Accident?
You can still recover compensation even if you were partially at-fault for the accident that caused your whiplash injuries. However, there are two important things to note:
- Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence law. Under this law, if you were 50 percent or more at-fault for the accident, you will be unable to recover any compensation.
- Your percentage of fault will affect your settlement value. If the investigation found you to be 20 percent at-fault for the accident, you could only recover 80 percent of your damage demand. If you asked for $20,000, you would only be able to recover $16,000.
How Much Can I Expect in a Settlement?
Because every accident is different, we cannot give you a specific dollar amount for your settlement. However, we can let you know what sort of damages we can claim on your behalf.
Most of your damages will include:
- Medical costs: These damages include trips to the emergency room, medication, therapy, and more. In some cases, it includes long-term medical expenses.
- Lost wages: We will collect documents stating your rate of pay, hours worked, and time missed at work if your whiplash injury caused you to take off.
- Car repair: Repairing your vehicle is often expensive. We will have an auto shop run a full diagnostic test to determine the extent of damage caused by the accident.
- Pain and suffering: This can include mental anguish, loss of consortium, and any inconvenience your whiplash caused you.
Get Help in Atlanta Today
A whiplash injury can be inconvenient and painful. If another party caused your accident, you deserve compensation. Strong representation often makes a significant difference in these cases. Call S. Burke Law now for a free consultation: 404-842-7838.