Can I Recover Damages for Whiplash?
In the event you or a loved one sustained whiplash injuries in a vehicle accident caused by another driver’s actions, you should be able to recover compensation. Even though whiplash may be seen as a relatively minor injury by some, the reality is that this type of injury can lead to significant pain and suffering and time away from work. Here, we want to discuss the process of recovering compensation for whiplash.
What is Whiplash and What are the Symptoms?
When we examine information available from the Mayo Clinic, we can see that whiplash is commonly caused by rear-end car accidents, but it is important to understand that this type of injury can occur in any type of vehicle accident. Additionally, anytime a person sustains a blow to the body that rapidly whips their head and neck back and forth (like the cracking of a whip), they can sustain a whiplash injury.
Whiplash is considered a neck strain or sprain, and the good news is that most individuals are able to recover within a few weeks after the injury occurs, so long as they follow a doctor-prescribed treatment plan.
The symptoms of whiplash can range significantly in severity depending on the initial severity of the injury and whether or not a person receives medical treatment. Some of the most common symptoms of whiplash injuries include:
- Pain and stiffness in the neck
- A lack of range of motion in the head and neck
- Headaches that start at the base of the skull
- Pain or tenderness in the shoulder, arms, or upper back
- Tingling or numbness in the arms and fingers
In some cases, individuals also experience a ringing in the ears (tinnitus), blurred vision, irritability, problems concentrating, and sleep disturbances as a result of whiplash.
It is crucial for any car accident victim to immediately seek medical care. The signs and symptoms of whiplash often do not occur right away after an incident happens. Sometimes, a person thinks they are completely fine, only to realize that their pain increases in the hours and days following the incident. Seeking immediate medical care accomplishes two goals. First, it helps ensure that a person receives the treatment they need for their injuries. Second, it establishes a direct link between the incident and their injuries, something that the insurance carriers are going to look at.
Types of Compensation Available
There may be various types of compensation available to whiplash injury victims in Chicago and throughout Illinois. If a person sustains whiplash caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual, they should be able to recover compensation for:
- All emergency medical bills
- Continued hospital or doctor treatment
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Prescription medication costs
- Lost wages if a person cannot work
- Pain and suffering damages
The total amount of compensation paid to whiplash injury victims will vary depending on the overall severity of the injury, how long it takes to recover, total lost wages, and the level of pain and suffering a person endures. Additionally, if a person is found to have partially caused their own injuries, this could lessen the total compensation paid.