A person suffers whiplash after being jerked around in a rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip – usually when in a rear-end car accident. Whiplash victims usually sustain severe pain in the neck, which will, unfortunately, limit their ordinary daily activities.
If you have suffered from whiplash, you need a Southaven personal injury lawyer to help you file a lawsuit that will help secure the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. Here at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC, over the last 50 years, we have helped tens of thousands of clients like you in the tri-state area. And we will plan to do the same for you.
Understanding the Causes and Symptoms of Whiplash
Sadly, approximately 3 million Americans each year sustain whiplash injuries, with half of those injuries resulting in chronic pain. Whiplash involves the muscles of the neck overextending, usually caused by a sudden impact that forces your head to be quickly thrown backward and forward. The types of sudden impacts that result in whiplash injuries can be caused by:
- Rear-end car accidents
- Physical assault, such as in an abuse case, when someone is punched or shaken
- Contact sports collisions, like football tackles
The whiplash motion can injure bones in the spine, disks between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and other neck tissues. Common symptoms can include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Headaches starting at the base of the skull
- Pain in the shoulder, upper back, or arm
- Loss of range of motion in the neck, with the pain worsening with any neck movement
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
Some people also experience blurred vision, ringing in the ears, trouble sleeping, irritability, problems with memory, and depression. Keep in mind that symptoms can take up to 12 hours to take form. While many whiplash victims only suffer from whiplash for a few days or weeks, closer to 90% of victims will fully recover within three months. Some people even tend to suffer from chronic pain and injury-related problems for years after the accident.
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How Whiplash Is Diagnosed
After a rear-end collision, you should seek medical attention immediately. To determine if your injuries can be diagnosed as whiplash, your doctor will need to conduct a careful examination by touching and moving your head, neck, and arms. Simple tests may include checking for:
- Range of motion in your neck and shoulders and to what degree of movement causes pain
- Amount of tenderness in your neck, shoulders, or back
- Strengths, reflexes, and any sensation in your limbs
Your doctor may also order multiple imaging tests to rule out any other serious conditions that could be the root of the pain. Whiplash injuries alone are not proven by imaging tests, which include:
- X-rays of the neck taken from many angles to show any fractures or dislocations.
- Computerized Tomography (CT) scans to further show possible bone damage through cross-sectional images of the bone.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which produces detailed 3D images that will show bone injuries, soft tissue injuries, and any damage to the spinal cord, disks, or ligaments.
Having a doctor’s professional diagnosis of whiplash will help you and your whiplash attorney in Southaven prove the other driver’s negligence and bolster the strength of your case when filing a lawsuit.
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How Whiplash Victims Can File a Lawsuit in Southaven
Drivers and passengers can file a lawsuit to claim compensation if they are in an accident that results in whiplash injuries. But, with the guidance of your experienced Southaven whiplash lawyer, they will need to provide evidence of your injuries and the cause of the crash. Examples of evidence include:
- Photographs of the scene of the accident, including the vehicles involved and the intersection – both wide views and close-ups
- Contact info of all drivers involved and any witnesses at the scene
The statute of limitations, or the window of time drivers with whiplash injuries have to file a personal injury legal claim in Mississippi, is three years from the date that the injury occurred.
The state of Mississippi follows a “pure comparative negligence” law to determine liability for a car accident, which means an injured party can recover damages in a car collision lawsuit, but their compensation may decrease, depending on their share of negligence (Mississippi Code section 11-7-15). For instance, if you won a $100,000 lawsuit, but it was ruled that you were 20% at fault, your compensation would then be reduced by 20% to $80,000.
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The Amount of Compensation You Can Claim for a Car Accident in Southaven
There is no definitive total amount of compensation you can claim for whiplash injuries and damages in Southaven. It all depends on the extent of your injuries and how they have affected your way of life. A skilled Southaven whiplash attorney will help you validate, quantify, and recover maximum compensation from the at-fault driver to completely cover all of your costs and “special damages,” which can include your:
- Emergency transportation
- Hospital stay
- Medical treatment, including doctors’ and surgeons’ fees
- Prescription medicines
- Physical therapy
- Mobility devices
- Loss of work and wages
Damages, like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and permanent disability, can also factor into the compensation amount. Insurance companies will evaluate how serious, painful, and long-lasting the injuries are when determining the payout.
The timeline of every whiplash claim is different, of course, but a couple more factors that may prolong the process are whether or not the other party involved in the car accident denies being at fault from the start and if they do not take responsibility for the accident.
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Contact Gatti, Keltner, Bievenu & Montesi PLC as Your Whiplash Lawyer in Southaven
If you were involved in a rear-end collision resulting in whiplash injuries and want to file a lawsuit, you will need to hire a whiplash lawyer in Southaven to fight for your case. Our team of whiplash attorneys at Gatti, Keltner, Bievenu & Montesi PLC has a successful history of winning settlements for our clients throughout the tri-state area. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today.