Accidents That Result in Whiplash
Car accidents can cause serious injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal organ damage. However, one of the most common injuries sustained in car accidents is whiplash, a term used to describe the violent jerking of the head and neck during an impact. Whiplash is most common in rear-end collisions, but it is a possibility in any type of car accident.
Safety belts keep passengers from flying through windshields or about the vehicle’s cabin during an accident, but these safety devices are not without their concerns. An improperly fitted safety belt can cause internal organ damage if it locks against the stomach instead of the top of the legs. Safety belts lock into place once the vehicle detects an impact, but the people in the seats are still subject to the force of impact. This means the safety belt locks the person’s body in place in the seat, but his or her head and neck are free to move. Whiplash occurs when the head and neck snap or jerk violently.
Complications from Whiplash
Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that can occur from car accidents, contact sports, head trauma, child abuse, slip and fall accidents, or intentional physical violence. Whiplash can cause a host of symptoms, including:
- Head and neck pain
- Torticollis, an involuntary tilting of the head resulting from a muscle spasm or injury
- Decreased range of motion in the neck
- Blurred vision
- Pain in the shoulders, neck, chest, and arms
- Tingling or burning sensations in the arms
- Cognitive or psychological difficulty
- Difficulty focusing
- Sleep problems
Recovery for Whiplash Victims
When a person suffers a whiplash injury due to the negligence of another party, like a car accident, the injured victim can secure compensation for his or her damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury law hinges on the legal concept of negligence, or one party’s failure to meet an acceptable duty of care for a given situation. The plaintiff must prove the elements of negligence to succeed in a personal injury lawsuit.
After establishing the defendant’s duty of care to the court, the plaintiff must show how the defendant breached this duty of care and prove that the plaintiff’s damages resulted from the defendant’s breach of duty and not some other cause. It’s important to note that a plaintiff must have suffered some injury or other measurable loss to sue. If the defendant was negligent but the plaintiff suffered no harm, the plaintiff has no claim.
Compensation in Personal Injury Claims
Plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits can secure compensation based on the damages they sustained. Typically, plaintiffs in personal injury claims can collect compensation for:
- Medical expenses. The plaintiff can recover hospital bills, prescription costs, fees for rehabilitation or physical therapy, and any other expenses related to medical treatment.
- Pain and suffering. Texas state law acknowledges plaintiffs’ experiences are more painful than the economic damage after an accident caused by negligence and allows plaintiffs to sue for compensation for their physical pain and mental anguish resulting from a defendant’s negligence.
- Property damage. If the defendant’s actions destroyed or damaged the plaintiff’s personal property, the plaintiff can recover the costs of repairing or replacing that property.
- Lost income. When a whiplash injury prevents a plaintiff from working for an extended time, he or she may sue for the lost wages.
Whiplash injuries carry the potential for long-term medical complications, so it’s vital for victims of whiplash injuries to act quickly after accidents to secure compensation and protect their rights. Texas allows for a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims beginning on the date of injury. Plaintiffs in personal injury claims for whiplash should seek reliable legal counsel as soon as they are able.
Getting Help for Your Whiplash Injury in Texas
The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. is a team of accomplished attorneys with a strong record of successful cases throughout Texas. Our team has the experience and resources necessary for handling even the most complex litigation, so contact us today for a free consultation. We can meet with you wherever is most convenient to discuss the details of your situation and let you know what to expect from a lawsuit.