Can I Sue After a Car Accident For Whiplash?

Car accidents in St. Louis occur without warning. Whether you get into a rear-end accident at a stoplight on Manchester Road or t-boned in a parking garage after a Cardinals Game, these accidents can cause serious injury and harm to everyone in the vehicle. Whiplash is a common injury suffered in car crashes. This neck injury can result in a lifetime of chronic and debilitating pain, reduced mobility, and stiffness. It can affect nearly every aspect of your life and have a significant impact on your future. As such, victims of car crashes in St. Louis and throughout Missouri need to take whiplash seriously.

Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always take whiplash seriously. Because this soft tissue injury is difficult to diagnose and can take days or weeks to become fully apparent, many insurance companies dismiss these claims. They may even believe that you are making a fraudulent injury claim. For this reason, injured car accident victims should have a lawyer on their side from the start. Your St. Louis car accident attorney will need to build your case and gather the evidence needed to get you the compensation you need – and deserve.

Can I Sue For Whiplash ?

Can I Sue for Whiplash

Yes, you can sue for whiplash.

However, since insurance companies are skeptical of these injury claims, you need a car accident lawyer fighting for you. Your attorney will need to investigate all aspects of your accident and work closely with your medical team to evaluate how your whiplash injuries will affect your life. Since no two cases are the same, your attorney will need to build your unique case and fight the insurance companies to ensure that you get the money you deserve after a serious car accident.

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What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a complex injury that occurs in the neck when the head rapidly moves backward and forward. It can occur after a rear-impact crash or in crashes where the occupant is wearing a seatbelt, but not restrained by one in an appropriate way to hold their body in place during the impact.

Symptoms of whiplash may be immediate or delayed for days, weeks, months or even years afterwards. Sometimes there are no symptoms at all with just mild aches and pains around the neck occurring only later on. Whiplash often causes damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones in the neck which lead to stiffness and loss of movement if they heal incorrectly.

Whiplash may go unrecognized for days or even weeks. As such, injured accident victims may mistakenly believe that they are uninjured. For this reason, it is important to seek medical help as soon as you can after a serious accident. In addition, never speak with the insurance company immediately after an accident. You need time for your injuries to become fully realized before you begin the claims process. Instead, talk to an attorney, so you can have someone on your side advising you throughout your recovery process.

Common St. Louis Car Accidents That Cause Whiplash

Many injuries can be caused in car crashes, such as bone fractures and internal injuries, but the most commonly reported injury is whiplash. Whiplash can range from minor neck or back pain to excruciatingly painful neck, back, spine, and other upper-body injuries. Most of the time, whiplash is delayed, but usually, symptoms appear up to a week after a crash. While most whiplash injuries heal with minor treatment in a couple of weeks, others are longer-lasting and can result in chronic pain. Whiplash can occur in several types of personal injury accidents, but the most common types of car accidents that cause whiplash include:

  • Rear-end collisions – rear-end collisions are the leading cause of whiplash injuries due to the sudden, jerking impact of these accidents
  • Speeding accidents – if a vehicle is traveling at a high velocity, the unexpected, full-force impact of a speeding car can cause severe whiplash; according to this study, speed is one of the leading causes of whiplash in motor vehicle accidents
  • Head-on collisions – head-on collisions are often fatal, but in non-fatal head-on collisions, the most common injuries that occur are whiplash and dashboard injuries
  • Sideswipe accidents – sideswipe collisions can have the same impact as head-on collisions and easily cause whiplash to driver and passenger vehicle occupants due to the side-to-side swaying impact of sideswipe accidents

How are Whiplash Settlements Calculated in Missouri?

If you have neck or back stiffness, migraines, dizziness, blurred vision, or several other necks, head, or back symptoms after a car accident, you could be suffering from whiplash. A physician diagnoses whiplash during a post-accident examination in which they’ll determine the scope of your injuries, offer treatment, and record your injuries in a medical report. Typically, whiplash is minor, but even in minor cases, until injuries heal, this can cause lost wages, mental or emotional distress, and medical expenses that stemmed from the accident.

If you are seeking compensation for your whiplash injuries, you could be eligible to file a claim against the negligent driver to recover compensation. Before filing a claim, it’s essential to obtain a copy of your medical report from the treating physician, report the accident to the police, and consult an experienced lawyer about your car accident case. A lawyer can help gather additional evidence to support your claim and protect your right to compensation from the liable driver. And, if the insurance company attempts to deny your whiplash injuries, your Car Accident Lawyer can defend your claim. Typically, whiplash settlements range between $2,500 and $10,000 in mild to moderate cases, but in more severe accidents can be worth upwards of $30,000.

Begin a Whiplash Claim with Our Car Accident Lawyers in St. Louis

If you suffered whiplash in a car accident, and are unsure if you can sue the other driver for damages, it’s crucial to hire a lawyer. A lawyer can ensure that the elements of your whiplash claim are in place and that you are eligible to file a claim under your state’s statute of limitations and laws. Most statutes are between 2-5 years from the date of the accident, but in some states, the time frame is within a year of a crash. And, even if a claim is filed within a state’s statute of limitations, the amount of compensation that you can recover is subject to the state’s negligence rules. In Missouri, drivers can recover compensation that is commiserated to the amount of fault they had in the accident, but in other states that use comparative negligence laws like Missouri, such as Florida, victims are unable to sue the liable party for damages, but instead must file a claim against their own insurance policy because they are a “no-fault” state, while Missouri is an “at-fault” state.

State laws can be challenging to understand, but with an experienced lawyer by your side, you can quickly determine your rights and an outcome for your case. Additionally, a lawyer can gather evidence, file a compelling claim, and negotiate with the negligent party’s insurer to recover the maximum amount of compensation for your whiplash injuries.

If you are ready to begin a claim for your whiplash injuries but need a Car Accident Lawyer, call (314) 208-2808, or contact the Dixon Injury Firm today for a free case review or consultation.