As you wait at a stop sign, you cannot help but notice that the driver behind you is not slowing down. Just when you think he will surely slam on the brakes behind you, he does not. The next thing you know, his car has rear-ended your car, and you are suffering from pain in your neck area.
Unfortunately, whiplash is a relatively common injury that affects the soft tissue. Fortunately, though, if another person's carelessness behind the wheel causes you this type of injury in California, it is within your rights to seek monetary damages in civil court.
A look at what whiplash involves
Whiplash can easily occur if your head moves back and forth relatively quickly due to the impact of another car. A common misnomer is that these types of injuries happen in an accident only if the crash occurs at a high rate of speed. The reality is that you can suffer whiplash injuries even in a low-speed rear-end crash.
How do you know if you have whiplash?
Sometimes you can experience whiplash symptoms right away. Meanwhile, in many other situations, you may not fully feel the effects of your whiplash injury until days after your collision. Here are a few whiplash-related symptoms to look for following your accident:
- Pain in the back
- Stiffness in your neck
- Trouble concentrating or remembering information
- Problems with equilibrium
- Feeling dizzy
- Dull pain in your neck
If you notice any of these whiplash signs, you may want to get checked out by a doctor right away. You may end up receiving a referral to a specialist, like a neurologist or an expert in the neck and back. Your treatment options, depending on your specific case, include a neck brace to immobilize your neck, physical therapy, massage therapy and the use of muscle relaxants. You might even need surgery if your car crash caused you to suffer extensive damage to your muscles and ligaments.
Seeking compensation for your whiplash injury
You have the right to pursue compensation for your whiplash injury by filing a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the injury. Liability must be established in court before a judge will decide claims for damages. In a successfully fought suit, you may receive financial damages that might help you to cover your ongoing medical costs and other losses tied to the accident.