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Albany Whiplash Injury Lawyer
Possibly the most common injuries that people sustain in car accidents are head and neck injuries. Whiplash is one of those common neck injuries that can occur in even the most minor car crash. Whiplash is generally considered a minor injury, but still, people can experience chronic pain for several weeks following the accident. As a result, whiplash sufferers may rack up thousands of dollars from medical treatment and lost wages. Sometimes, auto insurance is enough to cover these expenses. But if a car crash victim has suffered whiplash along with other catastrophic injuries, they may have no choice but to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Whatever the case may be, an Albany whiplash injury lawyer can help.
If you have sustained whiplash in a motor vehicle accident, you need strong legal representation on your side. We can help you negotiate a fair settlement with an insurance company or recover compensation from the negligent driver. Above all else, we will protect your legal rights. Call 518-456-0082 to schedule a free consultation today.
Common Causes of Whiplash
As previously stated, the most common cause of a whiplash injury is a car accident. Other common causes of whiplash injuries include:
- Contact sports accidents (football, martial arts, boxing, etc.)
- Work-related accidents (e.g. construction site accidents)
- Physical violence such as assault and battery, domestic violence, or being violently shaken
- Horseback riding
- Slip and fall accidents
- Getting hit in the head
- Amusement park rides
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
Common Symptoms of Whiplash
Common symptoms related to a whiplash injury include:
- Chronic neck pain and stiffness
- Limited range of motion in the neck
- Upper back and shoulder soreness
- Blurry vision
- Trouble sleeping
- Headache radiating from the base of the skull
- Ear ringing
- Memory and concentration problems
- Numbness and tingling down the arms/hands
- Neck muscle spasms
It’s important to go to the emergency room or urgent care once you start noticing these symptoms. That’s because the symptoms of whiplash may actually be something more serious, such as a spinal cord injury or even a traumatic brain injury.
How Long Does it Take for Whiplash Symptoms to Appear?
Many whiplash injuries don’t start presenting symptoms for 1 to 3 days. Once you notice symptoms of whiplash, though, you should seek medical care immediately. Whiplash is generally a minor condition, but it can share symptoms with more severe neck and spinal cord injuries. A healthcare provider can help you determine if your symptoms are certainly from whiplash. Additionally, they can provide you with the correct medical treatment so that you can get back to your normal life within a few weeks.
How is Whiplash Diagnosed?
In order to diagnose whiplash, a doctor may ask questions, perform a physical exam of the head and neck, and run some imaging tests (e.g. CT scans, X-rays, MRI’s).
The incident that caused the whiplash injury and a description of the type of neck pain you’re experiencing (sharp, shooting, dull) will tell a medical professional a lot about your current condition. Additionally, checking the range of motion of a person’s neck and checking the affected area for tenderness will help a doctor accurately diagnose the condition. Lastly, imaging tests can ensure that your symptoms aren’t coming from a spinal cord injury or a traumatic brain injury. Imaging tests can also reveal if there are any damaged soft tissues and nerves.
Even though whiplash injuries are fairly minor and don’t require extensive medical care, you should still seek treatment anyway to speed up the healing process. Your doctor will come up with a specific treatment for you depending on your age, your overall health, the extent of your neck injury, and whether or not you also have a minor traumatic brain injury (such as a concussion).
Generally, treatment for a whiplash injury will involve:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Heat and ice therapy
- Anti inflammatory drugs if you have soft tissue inflammation
- Muscle relaxants to help with neck muscle spasms
- A foam collar for only a few days to keep your neck stable
- Basic physical therapy exercises to improve neck flexibility and strength
- Chiropractic care, which may help with pain management and neck muscle recovery
In most cases, whiplash sufferers recover within a few weeks to a few months.
Possible Whiplash Complications
In rare cases, whiplash injuries can lead to lifelong problems. For example, sufferers may experience long-term chronic pain, frequent headaches, and nerve damage.
Can You Sue for Whiplash?
Yes, you can sue for whiplash, especially if a negligent driver (e.g. a drunk driver or a texting driver) caused your injury. The damages associated with minor car accidents that only cause whiplash may be covered by an insurance settlement alone. In other words, you may not have to sue anyone for your whiplash injury, especially if you have good insurance coverage.
However, you can certainly file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver if you suffered whiplash along with more severe injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, and more. The average insurance policy may not be able to cover the damages associated with catastrophic injuries like this.
Is New York a No Fault State?
Yes, New York is a no fault state. This means you have to file a claim with your own insurance company when you get into a car accident even if you weren’t at fault. Every New Yorker must have the minimum insurance coverage listed below.
- $10,000 for property damage
- $25,000 for the bodily injury of 1 person
- $50,000 for the death of 1 person
- $50,000 for the bodily injury of 2 people
- $100,000 for the death of 2 people
This amount of coverage should be enough to cover certain treatments for whiplash as well as physical therapy bills and lost wages. However, if you suffered whiplash along with other catastrophic injuries, insurance coverage may not be enough. In cases like this, you could file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Pure Comparative Fault in New York
New York also abides by a pure comparative fault rule when it comes to car accident compensation. Basically, this rule states that your amount of damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to share 20% of the blame in the car crash, your damages would be reduced by 20%.
Determining Fault in a Car Accident
In order to determine fault in a car accident, you must prove the four elements of negligence.
- Duty of Care: All drivers owe each other a specific duty of care on the roads. In other words, all drivers need to be focused, sober, and careful in order to protect themselves and others.
- Breached Duty of Care: The negligent driver breached this duty of care by driving carelessly or irresponsibly.
- Causation: The negligent driver directly caused the victim’s case of whiplash.
- Damages: The victim suffered a variety of damages associated with their whiplash injury for which they deserve fair compensation.
It’s difficult to prove negligence without top-notch legal representation on your side. Allow an Albany whiplash injury lawyer at Bailey, Johnson & Peck to help you do this.
Damages for Car Accident Injuries
An Albany whiplash injury lawyer at Bailey, Johnson & Peck can help you recover financial compensation for the following types of damages:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future physical therapy bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity if your whiplash injury prevents you from completing all of your job duties
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Call an Albany Whiplash Injury Lawyer at Bailey, Johnson & Peck TodayIf you have suffered whiplash from a negligent driver, you have the right to secure compensation either through your insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit. Even if your accident was fairly minor and you don’t need to take legal action, you should still consult with our legal team before accepting an insurance settlement. Your insurance company could be trying to low-ball you without you even realizing it. Call 518-456-0082 to schedule a free consultation with an Albany whiplash injury lawyer today.
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Our attorneys have extensive experience in personal injury law, including car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. If you have questions about insurance coverage and how to get the financial compensation you need, contact us today to see how we can help.
We have represented many clients on both sides of personal injury and insurance disputes. Let us use our depth of knowledge and experience to help you and your family get the medical care and financial compensation you need and deserve.