A whiplash injury is one in which the tendons, muscles, and ligaments in the neck tear or strain from a whipping motion of the head, such as what occurs in a rear-end auto collision. Whiplash can cause immediate pain, or a victim may experience delayed symptoms hours or days after the initial impact. Someone with whiplash may have to spend weeks or months in a neck brace, make multiple visits to the doctor, and spend time in physical therapy to recover.

Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents, and one of the most frequent reasons drivers file lawsuits against other drivers. Whiplash is common, but it is a serious injury that requires emergency medical attention and time spent recovering. If you suffered whiplash in an auto accident, you might have the right to file a claim against someone else. You will need to prove that person’s negligence caused your accident and whiplash injury. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Prove Negligence

In California, for example, injured accident victims have the legal right to seek financial recovery for their losses. They can do so by filing a claim with their county’s civil courts. The claim will describe the accident and injuries, as well as list an amount the victim is seeking in damages. Damages can encompass medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and more. A lawyer can help accident victims fill out and file the correct paperwork to begin a whiplash claim.

For a judge to award compensation to a whiplash victim, that victim must prove the other party’s (the defendant) negligence caused the injury. “Negligence” under California law is the act or failure to act a certain way when one owes another person a duty of care. Failing to act as someone who is “reasonable and prudent” would have in the same situation is negligence if it causes someone else an injury. For example, texting while driving and running into the back of someone else’s car is an act of negligence that may cause whiplash.

Proving negligence in a whiplash case requires demonstrating that the driver or other party owed you a duty of care, breached this duty, and thereby caused your accident and injuries. This may involve recreating the crash, talking to eyewitnesses, hiring experts, using photographs from the accident, using medical records, and more. A great attorney can help make the burden of proof lighter for whiplash patients by handling these processes.

The Benefits of Filing a Whiplash Claim

Whiplash can cause you to have hospital stays, X-rays, a neck brace, missed time at work, medical bills, prescriptions, rehabilitative therapies, and months of physical recovery. Furthermore, the accident that caused your whiplash injury might have given you property damage, physical pain, emotional suffering, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you believe someone else was negligent in causing your whiplash, hire a lawyer to represent you in a personal injury claim. According to Richard Harting, a Long Beach car accident lawyer, a successful lawsuit could result in payment for all your related losses, as well as additional awards to punish the at-fault party. It can give you the financial stability you need for the future. Filing a whiplash claim isn’t just for financial gain for an expensive injury — it’s a chance to hold a careless or negligent party accountable for his or her actions.

Don’t let someone talk you into thinking filing a whiplash injury claim is a bad idea or not worth your time. Schedule a free consultation with a lawyer for a trustworthy legal opinion. An attorney won’t accept a whiplash claim unless he or she believes the client has a case and can win financial compensation. If this is the case, you could be eligible for the financial recovery you need to move on after a serious whiplash accident.