Experienced Florida Whiplash Lawyer Near You
When some people think of whiplash, they picture the cliched image of the car accident victim in a neck brace testifying on the witness stand. Because whiplash isn’t a visible injury, there is sometimes the perception that people are faking their injuries. Whiplash injuries are often misunderstood or ignored due to a lack of understanding of the condition. However, whiplash injuries can be serious and can cause long-lasting effects for a car accident victim.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Florida and are dealing with a whiplash injury it’s worth it to reach out to an auto wreck lawyer near you for a case consultation. Here at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience helping Florida residents from all over the state help recover compensation and damages for injuries sustained during auto accidents. Personal injury claims involving whiplash are some of the most common types of cases that our injury law team deals with when it comes to Florida car accidents. If you are looking for a qualified personal injury lawyer near you contact our office for your free and confidential case consultation. (866) 440-3349
Why Choose Abrahamson & Uiterwyk As Your Whiplash Accident Lawyer
Here are some reasons why we believe we are the right choice to fight your Florida whiplash case:
- We are a law firm with a reputation for excellence.
- We’ve been around for over 30 years and have helped over 20k clients.
- You don’t pay us unless we win.
- We’re frequently referred cases by other attorneys and by former clients.
- We’ve earned hundreds of positive client reviews.
- We are not afraid to take your case to trial.
- We’ll fight the insurance company to give you the best chance at fair compensation.
What is Whiplash?
It’s important to note that whiplash is not technically a medical condition. Instead, whiplash is a generic term that refers to a handful of different injuries that tend to have similar symptoms. Whiplash is an injury that occurs to a person’s neck that is the result of a rapid acceleration-deceleration movement that causes rapid forward and backward movement of the head. Whiplash is most commonly caused by motor vehicle accidents especially rear-ended collisions, and t-bone collisions. Whiplash is typically the result of a rear impact while in a stationary position. This motion is thought to cause damage to the soft tissues that hold the cervical vertebrae together.
If you have been involved in a car crash and suspect that you are suffering from whiplash it’s important to speak to a healthcare professional. To diagnose whiplash, a doctor must perform a thorough examination and series of tests including x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. Treatment usually involves the use of a cervical collar, medication to control pain, and physical therapy to improve range of motion. Some people recover fairly quickly from whiplash while for others it can take months to feel any better.
What Are The Symptoms of Whiplash?
You may be experiencing a neck injury and pain after your car accident and wondering, what does whiplash feel like? The Mayo Clinic has found that most whiplash injury victims begin to experience symptoms within 24 hours of an accident that tend to involve stiffness or pain in the neck or shoulders. This can be accompanied by headaches originating at the back of the skull. Some whiplash victims also involve feeling dizzy or fatigued, as well blurred vision.
Whiplash is a real condition with real symptoms. The most common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck stiffness and pain
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Shoulder stiffness and pain
- Arm pain and weakness
- Jaw pain
- Back pain
- Tinnitus (ringing the ear)
In some cases, victims experience more severe whiplash symptoms such as:
- Visual disturbances
- Sleep disturbances
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Post-traumatic stress
Although neck pain usually occurs immediately after a whiplash injury, some people don’t experience any pain until hours, days, or even weeks after the injury. That’s why it’s important to seek medical treatment after a car accident, even if you don’t think you’ve been injured. Whiplash injuries can take a long time to heal making it difficult to work or complete everyday tasks. When this is the case it is important to speak to an experienced car crash attorney in your area to help you recover compensation to help cover medical bills and loss of wages.
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A Deeper Look At Five Common Symptoms of Whiplash to Look for Following a Car Accident
Of the many whiplash symptoms listed above, there are some that are more common than others. If you have been involved in a car accident you’ll want to watch for the following five symptoms which could indicate a more serious injury.
NECK TENSION & PAIN
The majority of whiplash injuries involve damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the neck such as sprains and strains. These injuries are responsible for the stiffness, discomfort, and mobility that are typically associated with whiplash.
SHOULDER TENSION & PAIN
In some cases, whiplash symptoms can involve similar pain and stiffness in the shoulders. Discomfort may also be present in the arms and in between a victim’s shoulder blades.
Headaches are also experienced by many whiplash victims. Headaches associated with whiplash injuries tend to be centered at the back of the head where the neck meets the skull.
DIZZINESS & VERTIGO
Dizziness and vertigo are additional symptoms of whiplash that are reported in 25 -50% of whiplash injuries, according to a study published in the European Spine Journal. Some whiplash victims also experience nausea accompanying these symptoms.
Some whiplash victims also experience certain types of cognitive symptoms as a result of their injuries, such as memory difficulties, trouble concentrating, sleep problems, and general irritability.
According to the Mayo Clinic, most symptoms of whiplash develop within the first day of the injury.
Treatment of a Whiplash Injury
Occasionally whiplash may heal within several days, however, the symptoms can last for months or even years. In some cases, whiplash can be a permanent injury. Your doctor may prescribe painkillers and muscle relaxants to help ease the pain.
Starting physical therapy can help with regaining the range of motion in the neck. Physical therapy should focus on stretching, rotating, and moving the neck back and forth. In severe cases of whiplash, other treatments might be necessary. The use of injections and pain blockers can help with more severe whiplash symptoms.
How Long Does Whiplash Last?
Many car accident victims find themselves with symptoms of mild to acute whiplash in the days following their accident. One of the most common questions that injury victims have when they are dealing with whiplash is how long their symptoms will last.
WHIPLASH RECOVERY TIME
In order to answer this question, it is important to understand that whiplash is a generic term that is used to describe a variety of injuries to the muscles and tendons of a person’s neck. In a nutshell, the amount of time that it takes to recover from whiplash depends on the severity of the injury. In many cases, whiplash symptoms should start to clear up within a few days or weeks. In more severe cases, it may take several weeks or significantly longer to recover from whiplash. According to the Mayo Clinic, some whiplash victims continue to experience symptoms for up to two years and can develop chronic pain from their injuries.
What Areas of the Body Are Involved in Whiplash Injuries?
The American Chiropractic Association explains that whiplash injuries are usually the result of a strain or sprain to the neck. Neck strains involve damage to the neck’s muscles and tendons, while neck sprains involve damage to the ligaments of the neck. Whiplash injuries can involve several different areas of the neck, including:
- Nerve roots
- Neck vertebrae
- Discs between the vertebrae
Whiplash injuries can involve a variety of symptoms and complications that can have a serious impact upon a victim’s quality of life. Victims who have suffered from whiplash due to someone else’s irresponsible behavior may be eligible for financial compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, pain, suffering, and other types of damages.
Will Degenerative Changes Cause Issues for Whiplash Claims?
If the pain and other symptoms you experience are disproportionate to the severity of your car accident, there is a chance that you could be suffering from a degenerative injury. The discs in your spine could have suffered damage in a prior traumatic incident, or they could have been degenerating for years, and your collision may have aggravated or exacerbated a condition that you did not previously know existed.
In Florida, you can still recover compensation if a vehicle collision aggravates or exacerbates a pre-existing condition rather than causing a completely new injury. The general rule in personal injury cases is: If someone else’s negligence causes you harm, you are entitled to pursue just compensation. You weren’t in pain, but now you are, and someone else is to blame. That is enough to support a claim for compensation under Florida law.
Of course, this does not necessarily mean that providing your claim will be easy. In fact, once the insurance companies and defense lawyers involved in your case learn that you have a pre-existing degenerative condition, you can be almost certain that they will view this as an opportunity to deny your claim. Negotiating a settlement or securing a verdict at trial won’t be impossible, but it will require the insight and strategic presentation of an experienced personal injury attorney.
When seeking compensation for whiplash-type injuries with a pre-existing degenerative condition, some of the key questions that will impact your case include:
- Have you previously complained of back pain? If you have previously complained of back pain, this could potentially affect the value of your claim. You will need to be able to prove that the pain you are experiencing now is the result of the accident, and not solely the result of the same condition that was causing you to suffer before the accident occurred.
- What do your prior medical records show? Do your past medical records provide any evidence of a pre-existing condition? If so, what are the condition’s typical symptoms and effects? Your lawyer will need to be able to successfully argue (with the help of medical evidence) that your whiplash injury is the most likely cause of your current pain and other symptoms.
- What does your doctor say? In personal injury cases involving pre-existing conditions, medical records and testimony are critical evidence. Does your doctor believe that the accident worsened your pre-existing injury and triggered your pain? If so, can he or she communicate this effectively? We work with many experienced physicians who specialize in diagnosing and explaining accident-related injuries.
- What percentage of your current condition is attributable to the accident? Generally speaking, the at-fault driver in a car accident is only responsible for the damage that he or she causes. Under the Florida Standard Jury Instructions, in pre-existing injury cases, the jury must, “attempt to determine what portion of the Plaintiff’s condition resulted from the aggravation.” If the defense can successfully argue that your pain and other symptoms are primarily the result of non-accident-related factors, this could significantly reduce your financial recovery.
What If You Knew About Your Degenerative Disc Injury?
In the example above, we assumed that you had no prior knowledge of your degenerative condition. But, what if you knew about it? What if you had previously been diagnosed, and what if you were undergoing treatment at the time of the accident?
As the questions we answered suggest, prior knowledge of your degenerative condition is not generally going to be a significant factor. Either the accident exacerbated your condition or it didn’t – whether you knew about the condition is less of a consideration. The more important issues are: (i) how your symptoms changed following the accident, and (ii) whether your doctor can demonstrate that the accident in fact aggravated or exacerbated your pre-existing injury.
Whiplash Injury Accident Settlements
We have helped a number of clients recover significant compensation for their whiplash injuries in Florida.
See our injury settlement results page to see more of our client settlement figures for Florida accident cases.
Contact A Whiplash Injury Lawyer Near You in Florida
At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, our Tampa car accident lawyers have handled spinal injury claims for more than 30 years. If you’ve been injured in an accident in our area, fill out our contact form or call us today at 1-866-440-3349. Our injury law team can provide you with a free initial consultation and case evaluation.