Whiplash from a Car Accident
Whiplash is a painful neck condition that’s often discounted as a “minor injury” after a car accident. While it’s true that many people recover well after a whiplash injury, there can be complications that leave victims with chronic pain and lasting limitations.
In Maryland, you have the right to file a whiplash claim after a car accident if a negligent driver or other entity caused your neck injury. But be prepared —insurance companies and defense lawyers are quick to downplay the severity of whiplash injuries and argue for the least amount of compensation possible. A Maryland whiplash attorney at Trollinger Law LLC will fight for you to be fairly compensated.
At Trollinger Law, we approach every case with commitment and compassion. We’ve seen the toll that car accident injuries take on victims’ lives. We know that getting full and fair compensation may be the only way to afford quality medical care and alleviate financial hardship. Our whiplash attorneys will stand firm so that your claim is not downplayed or dismissed.
We’re standing by and ready to help. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
How Car Crashes Cause Whiplash
Whiplash is most often associated with rear-end collisions. The sudden impact in a rear-end crash can cause a victim’s head to be thrown back forcefully, snapped forward, and then back again in rapid succession. This unexpected and unnatural movement can strain or tear tissues in the neck, break delicate bones in the spine, rupture discs, and cause nerve damage, among other injuries.
Even rear-end accidents that occur at low speeds can result in whiplash. Suppose you’re stopped at a red light when a distracted driver starts texting before coming to a complete stop. The bump from the accident might cause minimal or even no damage to your car, but still, be vigorous enough to hyperextend your neck. You may not even feel the injury for several days.
Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash
A whiplash injury may start as a slight ache and turn into immobilizing pain. Telltale symptoms include:
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Worsening pain with neck movement
- Lost or limited range of motion
- Headaches, particularly at the base of the skull
- Soreness radiating from the neck into the shoulders, back, and arms
- Jaw pain
- Tingling or numbness
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Blurry vision
- Sleep problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
It’s crucial to see a doctor as soon as you begin experiencing symptoms of whiplash. Many of the symptoms mimic concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which may also have a delayed onset and serious consequences.
Many people with whiplash are fortunate enough to make full recoveries. However, others experience pain and discomfort that can persist for years after the injury occurred. In the worst cases, sufferers may find themselves unable to work or participate in activities they once enjoyed.
In general, people with whiplash are more likely to experience complications if:
- The car accident happened at high speeds.
- The initial symptoms of whiplash developed immediately and intensely.
- There was a prior whiplash injury.
- There is a history of neck and back problems.
- They are older.
It’s critical to seek medical attention as soon as you begin noticing signs of whiplash. Though the injury will not be visible on imaging tests such as X-rays or MRIs, your doctor will likely order them to rule out more severe or additional injuries. Make sure to tell your doctor that you were involved in a car accident so that information is included in your medical record.
Is It Worth Pursuing a Whiplash Claim?
The persistent myth that whiplash isn’t a serious injury means that many claimants never pursue the compensation they are legally entitled to. The truth is that any injury caused by someone else has value. The exact amount will vary from case to case, but if you are living with whiplash after a car accident, you could indeed have a valid claim in Maryland.
The decision about whether to file a whiplash claim should be made after talking with an experienced lawyer. Several factors should be taken into account, including:
- Fault: Your ability to receive compensation will depend on proving that someone else is responsible for the car accident. Maryland has one of the harshest fault rules in the country. You can be denied compensation if you are found to be even one percent to blame for a car accident. For this reason, it’s especially important to work with an experienced attorney who knows what’s necessary to protect your rights.
- Severity of the injury: If you recovered from your whiplash injury after a week with no vehicle damage or other injuries, you shouldn’t expect big bucks from the insurance company. However, if you’re living with long-term pain that impacts your ability to live a normal life, you could be entitled to a more substantial whiplash settlement. A lawyer can examine the facts of your case to give you a better idea of what it’s worth.
If you’ve already filed a whiplash claim and are running into resistance from the insurer, it’s not too late to get an attorney on the case. Trollinger Law LLC can step in to handle all negotiations with the insurance company for you. Our proven trial lawyers won’t hesitate to file a whiplash lawsuit if that’s what it takes for your case to be taken seriously.
What Should I Do If I Have Whiplash After an Accident?
Once you’ve been diagnosed with whiplash, you need to follow your doctor’s treatment instructions precisely. That means filling your prescriptions for pain medications, taking them as prescribed, going to all your physical therapy appointments, and following recommendations for rest. Pushing yourself too hard could worsen your injuries. Not doing enough could be a reason for an insurance company to deny your claim.
You should also avoid posting pictures or anything about the accident on social media. If you’re laid out with a neck injury, a photo of you dancing at a friend’s wedding could be damaging if a private investigator from the insurance company finds it online. Similarly, you shouldn’t be outside doing yard work or playing basketball while you’re supposed to be recovering from whiplash unless you’ve been cleared to do so by your doctor. Exaggerating your bodily injuries after a car accident is insurance fraud and illegal in Maryland.
When Should I Hire a Maryland Whiplash Accident Lawyer?
The best time to hire a car accident lawyer is as soon as possible after a wreck or as soon as you discover that you were injured. It’s essential to investigate car accident claims while the evidence and witnesses’ memories are fresh. However, in Maryland, you have up to three years to file a car accident claim. The earlier you start, the earlier you may be able to reach a favorable settlement and move on in your life.
Get Legal Help With Your Whiplash Claim Now
Don’t let your whiplash claim go undervalued and underpaid. Get an experienced car accident attorney from Trollinger Law LLC on the case. Our lawyers are trained in the art of negotiation and work tirelessly to help Marylanders obtain maximum compensation for their injuries, no matter how big or small the claim may be.