After a serious traffic accident involving a car, truck, or motorcycle, there is a risk that you may experience some form of whiplash injury. In fact, nearly two million cases of whiplash are reported every year in the United States. If you suffered a whiplash accident due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial losses.
The Kingston car accident attorneys at O’Connor & Partners, PLLC have seen the challenges faced by whiplash victims firsthand. We know that a serious neck or back injury can impair your ability to work and provide for yourself and your family. Our firm is committed to standing up for the rights of whiplash sufferers and we will fight diligently on your behalf to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable for their negligence.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a common injury that occurs when the neck experiences a sudden, violent forward and backward movement. When these injuries occur, the ligaments and muscles (soft tissues) of the neck extend beyond their natural or normal range of motion. In cases of whiplash, victims generally experience damage to both the soft tissues and the bone structures of the neck. These injuries may range from mild to severe. Some victims may recover within a couple of days while others experience long-lasting consequences.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash?
Whiplash is not always immediately apparent. Many whiplash victims go days before noticing any symptoms. This is one reason why you should always seek medical attention after an accident. A doctor can assess your physical condition and determine if you have sustained any serious injuries, and a medical record of your injury can support your personal injury claim.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain
- Muscle spasms
- Pain in the hand, shoulder, muscles, back, or arm
- Stiff neck or reduced range of neck motion
- The sensation of pins and needles
- Weakness or slower reflexes in your hands or arms
- Problems focusing
Know What to Do After an Accident
Both before and after a car crash, there are steps you can take to protect your rights, health, and wellbeing. If you’ve been involved in a wreck and are physically able, consider the following steps:
Document the Scene
Personal injury cases hinge on proving negligence – and proof requires evidence. Use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene, including damage to vehicles, injuries you sustained, and the crash scene – which may include photographs of skid marks, traffic signs, or other factors that may have contributed to the crash. Obtain contact information from witnesses who saw what happened. It may also be beneficial to write down any notes or thoughts you have related to the accident, to capture as many details as you can.
Do Not Make a Statement About Fault Or Your Health at the Accident Scene
After a serious collision, you will likely be in some form of shock and not fully aware of the existence or extent of your injuries. You may also not have all of the facts related to who is to blame for the accident. Because of this, it is crucial that you refrain from making any statements about your health or fault at the scene of the crash.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Visit a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. Not only is this important for your health but documentation of your symptoms and injuries will play a critical role in your pursuit of damages down the road. Medical records constitute crucial evidence in personal injury claims.
Preserve Your Medical Records
Because medical records are so crucial in injury claims, make a point to hold onto all of your medical records related to the accident. These documents may include:
- Hospital admission forms
- Hospital bills
- Written diagnosis from the doctor
- Test results
- Medication prescriptions
Following your initial treatment, you may be tempted to forgo future doctor visits. However, you should continue seeking professional treatment and follow the recommendations of your physician or physical therapist.
Document the Expenses that Relate to Your Whiplash Injury
Ensure that the costs of your injury are well documented and preserved. These can include the cost of lost wages, hospital visits, and other expenses that may arise. Keep receipts, invoices, and doctor’s notes that excuse time away from work due to your injuries.
Note How Your Injuries Affect Your Daily Life
Take detailed notes about how the injury is impacting your day-to-day activities and quality of life. This can include things like trouble sleeping, missing out on hobbies or recreational activities you would otherwise partake in, or any other way your life has been negatively affected.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
If you believe the negligence of another party or parties may have caused your crash and subsequent damages, contact a car accident lawyer to discuss your case. An attorney will listen to your side of the story and explain your rights and legal options. If you and the attorney decide to move forward with your case, a lawyer can investigate the details of your case, gather evidence to support your claim, negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement, and take your case to court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
This is crucial. You only have a limited window of time in which to make a personal injury claim, and the longer you wait to begin the process, the more difficult it becomes to investigate the accident, gather evidence, and link your injuries to the crash that caused them.
At O’Connor & Partners, PLLC, our car accident lawyers are passionate about helping the wrongfully injured recover the full compensation they need to move forward. We are standing by to help you pursue the justice you deserve.
Call O’Connor & Partners, PLLC today at (845) 303-8777 to discuss your case for free. Our car accident lawyers serve clients throughout New York, including Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and other areas.