When you are involved in a car accident, you can sustain a wide range of injuries. These injuries range from slight bruises and scrapes to severe injuries like spinal cord injury and brain injury. Whiplash is an incredibly common car accident injury that confuses many people. Many see whiplash as a stereotypical injury and assume that people who show up to court in a neck brace are playing-up the injury. However, anyone suffering from whiplash understands that the pain and discomfort can be very serious and put a strain on your day to day life. Fayetteville car accident lawyer Ken Kieklak discusses whiplash injuries and how much car insurance settlements and lawsuits usually pay for these injuries.
It can be difficult to recognize whether you have whiplash. It is always important to seek professional medical advice if you think you might have whiplash. Having a doctor diagnose your injuries can help create medical records that provide good evidence of how severe your injuries are. This can help you prove your injuries in court. However, there are some signs and symptoms to look for to help you recognize if you have whiplash.
Whiplash is not one single injury, but a series of injuries to the muscles, tendons, bones, and other tissue in your neck. During a crash, your head can be whipped forward, straining the tissue in your neck. When your snaps back into position, you can suffer additional injuries.
Whiplash causes stiffness, pain, discomfort, and reduced range of motion in your neck. In many cases, you may not immediately feel the pain. Directly after a car crash, adrenaline might dull the pain of any injuries you suffer, blocking any whiplash pain. After the adrenaline wears off, you may still not feel any serious pain until after you wake up in the morning. This is quite common in neck and back injuries. If you suffered a back or spine injury from whiplash in an accident, contact our Arkansas spinal cord injury lawyers today for a free consultation.
You should have yourself examined by EMTs or a doctor immediately after the accident, and again after the pain starts to appear. Again, this helps provide important documentation of your injuries, so you can help prove your injuries in court.
Calculating Damages for Whiplash in Arkansas
Any time you face injuries after a car crash, you may be able to claim compensation for the harms you suffered. Whether you seek money through insurance or by filing a lawsuit changes what damages are available. Car insurance companies usually pay for medical expenses and lost wages related to the accident, but they will not typically pay pain and suffering damages. If you take your case to court, you can sue for any damages stemming from the case, including pain and suffering.
When you sue for medical expenses, you may be entitled to the full cost of any medical bills you faced because of the injury. This includes payments for ambulance rides, X-Rays, MRIs, examinations, surgeries, physical therapy, chiropractor visits, and other expenses you face because of the whiplash. Since whiplash injuries can leave you with ongoing pain even after you’ve made a full recovery, these costs could continue for years after the accident.
Lost wages include any wages missed during your recovery as well as reduced earning capacity damages. Jobs requiring physical activity, bending, lifting, or looking around may be impossible during your recovery. If your job requires you to move around a lot, turn your head while driving or operating machinery, or even sitting hunched over at a computer for long periods, you may need to take some time off work during your recovery. You could claim compensation for any wages you miss during this period. Your injury could also prevent certain activities in the future, potentially requiring you to take on reduced job duties or take a lower paying position. The difference in earning capacity after the accident can also be compensated.
Lastly, pain and suffering is one of the hardest damages to calculate. More severe injuries are often worth more in pain and suffering damages, but courts may have difficulty understanding how severe whiplash can be. If you are unable to continue activities you previously enjoyed because of neck pain, or if your discomfort takes a toll on you every day, you could be entitled to surprisingly substantial damages for pain and suffering.
There is no good data on the average settlement or how much is commonly paid for whiplash injuries. Also, the specific factors involved vary too much from case to case for any “average settlement” data to be helpful. Instead, talk to an experienced Arkansas whiplash attorney about your case for help understanding what you might be entitled to in whiplash damages.
Fayetteville Whiplash Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one suffered whiplash injuries in a car crash, call your doctor, then consider talking to a Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer about your case. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, represents injury victims and fights to get the compensation victims and their families need to take care of injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (479) 316-0438.