Whiplash is one of the most common injuries caused by car accidents in Atlanta. It can cause severe pain, mobility limitations, and long-term consequences that can even affect your ability to work. Under the law, if you suffered whiplash in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you can make an injury claim to recover money—it’s your legal right. A whiplash lawyer can help you file your claim.
Our attorneys are here to help. We’d like to give you a FREE consultation on your whiplash case. We can answer your questions, explain how the legal process works, and let you know if you have a valid claim. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
What is whiplash, and how is it different than other injuries?
Whiplash is a painful neck injury that happens when your head and neck are forcefully “whipped” back and forth, similar to a whip cracking. The whipping motion may harm the bones in your spine, the discs between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves and the soft tissues in your neck. Whiplash is common in car accidents, particularly rear end collisions. It can also happen because of an assault or sports injury.
Whiplash is different than other car accident injuries because it’s not visible from the outside. Many whiplash victims do not even realize they have been hurt until a day or two after the accident. That’s when the pain and stiffness first settles in. These two factors have given whiplash claims a terrible reputation as a “made up” injury. But whiplash is very real and it can be one of the most painful injuries you can suffer in a car accident.
Who is “at fault” if I have whiplash from a car accident in Atlanta?
Any car accident claim starts with determining who is at fault. This is because the driver who is at fault must pay the cost of everyone’s injuries and vehicle damage. Most of the time, a driver is at fault because they were careless behind the wheel. Legally, this is known as “negligence.” There are many ways to be a negligent driver, including speeding, running red lights, aggressive driving and distracted driving.
Whiplash is especially common in rear-end collisions. Fault is usually easy to establish when you are rear-ended, because the accident was usually caused by the carelessness of the driver in the rear. If the driver hadn’t been tailgating, or looking at a phone, they wouldn’t have slammed into you.
Occasionally the driver in the rear was not at fault, such as when a driver swerves into your lane without warning and you cannot avoid hitting them. And whiplash can occur in non-rear-ending accidents, too. A consultation with a lawyer can help you understand who is at fault in your accident.
Do I need to see a doctor if I have whiplash?
Yes. Whiplash symptoms usually start within a day or so after an accident. The pain may seem like it will go away on its own, but left untreated, whiplash can get worse, and more painful. And the longer you wait to get medical care, the longer it will take you to fully recover. In addition, a doctor can confirm that you don’t have fractures or other issues that are also contributing to your neck pain.
There is another important reason to see a doctor right away. Insurance companies are looking for ways to avoid paying claims, and a common tactic is to claim that whiplash victims are exaggerating their injuries. When you wait weeks to get medical care, it gives the insurance company ammunition to argue that you’re making up your condition, or that it was really caused by something that happened after your car accident. When you go to the doctor right away, you show that you knew you were hurt and took it seriously from the start.
How much money can I recover for a whiplash claim in Atlanta?
All accident victims in Georgia are allowed to recover 100% of the costs and damages related to an accident that was someone else’s fault. Whiplash claims are no exception. A typical whiplash victim is entitled to recover money for:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy, or any rehabilitative therapy to help you recover
- Vehicle damage
- Lost wages, if you missed time from work because of your accident
Some people suffer from whiplash as well as other serious injuries. If your injuries are severe, you may be able to recover additional large amounts of money for pain and suffering or a long-term disability. We realize that no amount of money can ever undo the effects of an accident, but money can help you stay on firm financial ground while you get treatment and work toward recovery.
How can a lawyer help me with a whiplash claim?
Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always take whiplash seriously. They may tell you your injury isn’t really as bad as you say it is. Or they may offer you only a small amount of money so they can resolve your claim quickly—without considering your future costs. Any car accident lawyer around Atlanta knows how painful whiplash can be, and our attorneys have decades of experience with these claims. We work hard to make sure you get the money you deserve.
A good lawyer will send you to a doctor who has experience with whiplash and can give you a full evaluation, diagnosis, and plan for what you need to recover. A lawyer will also develop other aspects of your claim, such as proving who is at fault. Your lawyer can then assemble a solid case and present it to the insurance company, showing them exactly how badly you were hut and what it will cost. A lawyer’s help can make the difference between getting almost nothing and getting the full amount your claim is worth.
How do I know if I have a valid whiplash claim?
If you have whiplash, you may have heard from an insurance company or even your own family members that your injury is not legitimate. Don’t listen to them. If you are suffering neck pain or if your doctor has told you that you have whiplash, it’s likely you have a claim. The best way to find out is to schedule a free consultation with an Atlanta car accident lawyer.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our attorneys know whiplash claims—and we listen to you. We will take your side and help you get the largest settlement possible in your case. Most importantly, we don’t charge you anything unless we win you money. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.