Whiplash, or neck hyperextension, is one of the most common injuries a person might suffer in a car accident. Whiplash is especially common when the vehicle a person occupies is hit from the rear.
Whiplash can be extremely painful and debilitating, but the injury does not appear on imaging exams like X-rays. Insurance companies often resist making appropriate payments for whiplash injuries.
Anyone who suffers whiplash in Wesley Chapel car accidents needs an aggressive attorney on their side. An experienced auto collision lawyer at Distasio Law Firm could compile evidence to force insurance companies to make a fair settlement to compensate you for your losses.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash happens when the head suddenly jerks back and forth, straining the muscles in the neck and stretching the ligaments. The condition is called a neck sprain, neck hyperextension, or whiplash.
The symptoms of whiplash can be debilitating. They include:
- Tingling in the upper extremities
- Headache in the back of the skull
- Neck pain that flares with movement
- Numbness in the shoulder, arm, or hand
- Shoulder spasms and pain in the upper shoulder
- Dizziness, difficulty concentrating, sleeplessness, and irritability
- Limited range of motion in the neck, curtailing the ability to move the head side to side, up and down, or both
In many cases, these symptoms do not appear until hours or days after the accident and may increase in severity for several days after first appearing.
Because whiplash is a soft tissue injury, evidence of it does not appear on X-rays. Doctors diagnose whiplash through a combination of a history of a car crash and the patient’s reported symptoms. Wesley Chapel car accident victims experiencing whiplash symptoms must seek immediate medical care and follow up with their doctor as advised. A skilled attorney like Scott Distasio could use your medical record to establish that you sustained a real injury.
Claiming Compensation for Whiplash
Whiplash typically resolves after several weeks, but in some cases, the symptoms linger for months. The condition is painful and debilitating, and you may not be able to work or participate in your normal activities.
Under Florida’s no-fault car accident compensation scheme, a person suffering from whiplash after an auto collision in Wesley Chapel must file a claim with the insurance company that carries their personal injury protection (PIP). If you do not have PIP, you file a claim with the PIP insurer of the car’s owner.
PIP coverage might not be sufficient to pay for all the losses you suffer from whiplash. Your health insurance might cover the balance. If you do not have health insurance or lost time at work due to your injury, a proactive lawyer could file a claim with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance carrier.
Negotiating a Reasonable Settlement
Because whiplash is usually not an injury that qualifies as serious under Florida Statutes § 627.737, sufferers usually cannot sue the at-fault driver for their injury. However, in many cases, you could claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Because going to court is usually not an option, your diligent attorney must make a strong case to spur the insurance carrier to offer a reasonable settlement. They must present proof of the injury and its impact on you. Medical records, assessments from physical therapists, and photographs and videos showing the limitations you now endure could be useful in proving whiplash.
Rely on a Wesley Chapel Auto Crash Attorney to Press Your Whiplash Claim
If you suffered whiplash in a Wesley Chapel car accident, do not try to handle your claim without legal advice. Insurance companies are skeptical of whiplash claims, and you will need a legal professional to help you collect the compensation you deserve.
A local auto accident lawyer at Distasio Law Firm could compile evidence of your injury and use it to compel the insurance company to make a fair settlement. Call today to get one of our dedicated attorneys working for you.