Whiplash Attorneys Serving Roanoke, Virginia
In the United States, the vast majority of the population relies on automobiles for their transportation. Driving an automobile or other motorized vehicle exposes people to the potential for getting into accidents and suffering injuries. In fact, there are more than 5 million accidents each year in the country. The majority occur between noon and midnight, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most are rear-enders.
One of the more frequent injuries resulting from a rear-ender is what is commonly known as whiplash, a severe jostling of the head and neck that leads to various resulting symptoms that can linger and cause ongoing difficulties for the sufferer. Of course, rear-end collisions are not the only cause of whiplash. You can be shopping at the supermarket and slip and fall on a wet surface. The result could be head and neck injuries—aka whiplash.
No matter how you were injured, things can get frustrating if your injuries were the result of someone else’s negligence. You may file a claim against that person’s insurance, or that entity’s insurance. In the case of a rear-ender—which is almost always the trailing driver’s fault—you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you slip and fall in a retail establishment, you can file a claim against the owner/operator’s liability insurance policy.
In every instance, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney. If you or a loved one has suffered whiplash in an accident stemming from the negligence of another person or entity in Virginia, contact us at Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., Attorneys at Law. Our team of lawyers will help you assemble the supporting evidence needed to press your claim and then negotiate with the insurance provider to secure the best settlement possible. If warranted, we will also launch a personal injury lawsuit in order to help you move forward.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash occurs when your head is violently thrust forward and backward while your body remains in place. In a car accident, for instance, your body will be held to the seat by a seatbelt, but your head can be jostled about, particularly in a rear-ender.
The term whiplash itself has taken on a kind of suspicious connotation in the eyes of insurers, so today more precise medical terms are used to describe the physical phenomenon, such as hyperextension, hyperflexion injury, myofascial injury, neck sprain or strain, and cervical sprain or strain.
Whiplash encompasses a variety of different neck injuries involving the body area’s soft tissue. Because it’s a soft tissue injury, it doesn’t show up on X-rays, so proving whiplash will require other medical evidence, which could prove challenging.
What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?
In any type of physical accident, any injuries you suffer, including whiplash, may not immediately result in readily apparent symptoms, or just in minor symptoms that you might shrug off. Due to an adrenaline rush, injuries resulting from a car accident or slip and fall might not appear until hours, days or sometimes weeks later. Therefore, whenever you are involved in an accident, you should seek medical evaluation as soon as possible.
When it comes to whiplash, the common symptoms include:
Stiffness in the neck and also possibly in the arms and shoulders
Tingling or numbness that spreads to the arms and hands
Difficulty concentrating, memory loss
Difficulty sleeping and fatigue
Bowel and bladder issues
Are There Long-Term Effects?
The symptoms listed above can persist for a long time. Studies have shown that anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of whiplash victims will suffer long-term effects. Long-term can mean anywhere from several months to years or more. In most cases, however, recovery can occur within three months if properly treated.
It’s important to keep these factors in mind when you seek an insurance settlement. Remember, once you sign on the dotted line of an insurance settlement, your claim is closed, and you can’t go back for more if your symptoms reappear or worsen.
What Should I Do If I Feel I Have Whiplash After an Accident?
Remember, even if you don’t feel symptoms immediately following an accident, you should seek medical attention. Symptoms don’t always appear immediately. Also, when it comes to whiplash, you’re going to need to assemble solid supporting documentation.
Such documentation should include records of all the treatment you’ve received, as well as records of all your visits to physicians, physical therapists, and other health care professionals. Prescriptions should also be photocopied and retained.
You also must consider the timeliness of your claim. If you’ve suffered whiplash because of someone else’s negligence, then you will have to file a claim with that party’s insurer. If you wait too long to file, the insurer will likely be suspicious and think you’re faking it.
A personal injury attorney can help you file your claim and initiate the process—and stand by your side every step of the way.
Whiplash Attorneys Serving Roanoke, Virginia
If you or a loved one has suffered whiplash from an accident in the Roanoke Metropolitan Area, contact us at Cranwell & Moore, P.L.C., Attorneys at Law. Let us deal with the insurance company and their claims adjusters. We can help you assemble compelling evidence and then push for the best possible settlement.