Whiplash occurs when the neck is forcefully sent back and forth, resulting in severe neck pain, headaches, and stiffness. It often occurs due to a rear-end car accident. However, it can also arise in a motorcycle crash, a sports accident, or another situation involving trauma to the neck. In most cases, accident victims suffering from whiplash recover in a few months. They may need pain medication or physical therapy. However, in some cases, an accident victim suffers long-term chronic pain. The Los Angeles injury attorneys at Sharifi Firm can help you seek compensation for whiplash caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing.Pursuing Damages for Whiplash after an Accident
As noted above, one of the most common situations in which whiplash occurs is a rear-end car accident. In many cases, the driver to the rear causes the crash and is liable for damages, including those arising out of whiplash, to the driver in front. If you suffer whiplash in a rear-end collision, you will need to establish the other driver's duty of care, a breach of duty, actual and proximate (legal) causation, and actual damages. In California, all drivers owe a duty of care to other people on the road. If a driver to the rear of you is distracted or fatigued while driving, and fails to brake in time, this is likely to be considered a breach of the duty to use reasonable care.
Although it is usually the driver to the rear who is at fault in a rear-end collision, in some cases, the driver in the front who suffers whiplash may be partly at fault. California follows the rule of comparative negligence. Under this rule, the jury will consider both a defendant’s and a plaintiff’s negligence in connection with an accident. The jury will assign a percentage of fault to each party, and the plaintiff's total damages will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. If, for example, the plaintiff was in the car in front, and the jury finds her 30% responsible for the accident, she could potentially recover 70% of her costs and losses from the defendant.
Whiplash is a common injury. This means that insurers may believe they already know what your case is worth, and they may assume that since most cases of whiplash are minor and temporary, yours will be as well. However, it is important not to make any admissions to the insurer without first consulting your own lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney can fully explore the damages you may have incurred as a result of whiplash. For example, you may be able to recover both economic and noneconomic damages in connection with your whiplash injuries.
Among the economic damages you may be able to recover are medical bills, lost income, household services, out-of-pocket expenses, and property damage. You may also be able to recover noneconomic damages for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of activities. These damages are more subjective. For example, for someone who participates in athletic endeavors in his or her spare time, whiplash may cause a significant loss of enjoyment.Discuss Your Injury Claim with a Los Angeles Lawyer
At Sharifi Firm, PLC, our experienced Los Angeles injury attorneys can help victims seek damages for whiplash and other serious forms of harm. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation if you need a car accident attorney or guidance with any other type of personal injury claim. We also represent people in Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, Riverside, and San Bernardino, among other Southern California cities.