Sue for Whiplash in a Car Accident
You can sue for whiplash following a car accident, but many cases settle via an insurance claim or out of court. Because whiplash symptoms can take time to develop and are often undetectable on diagnostic scans, insurers, and liable parties tend to underestimate what you need in a settlement. Our car accident attorneys not only evaluate your grounds for suing for whiplash but also negotiate for fair compensation. Your initial consultation is free. Call (954) 633-8270.
Know the Grounds for a Car Accident Lawsuit
Whether you can pursue a lawsuit for whiplash depends on your case’s circumstances. In particular, the grounds for an injury suit are based on:
- Negligence in the case
- Fault laws in your state
- Severity of an injury
Car Accident Negligence
Any lawsuit requires negligence—a careless action or inaction by someone else that caused your injuries. To sue for whiplash or any other injury, consider if the following applies:
- A driver was careless and violated their duty to prevent harm while on the road
- You suffered whiplash or other injuries from that carelessness
- The connection between that carelessness and your injuries entitles you to compensation
If these factors sound like your case, you could pursue a lawsuit for a car accident injury.
Insurance in Whiplash Cases
You can possibly pursue an insurance claim for your whiplash injury before you file a lawsuit. States with at-fault laws usually involve an injured victim filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance to receive compensation for bills and losses. If no settlement is reached through insurance, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
If you live in a state with no-fault laws, you may have more limited options to pursue legal action against a driver. No matter who caused the accident, you typically file through your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to recover some compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other expenses.
That said, if you suffered injuries in addition to whiplash in your car accident, you could have the grounds to pursue a lawsuit even in a no-fault state. Check with an attorney to learn more.
Whiplash and Serious Injury Thresholds
Many states, especially no-fault ones, allow you to sue only if you suffered a serious injury. For example, Florida Statutes § 627.737 defines serious injuries as:
- Significant or permanent damage to a bodily function or organ system
- Scarring or disfiguring injuries
- Significant or permanent injury
In suing for whiplash in a car accident, the injury typically isn’t considered a serious enough one for this type of suit. However, if you suffered additional, serious injuries, don’t rule out the possibility of pursuing a lawsuit in a no-fault state.
Whiplash and Proving Pain After a Car Accident
Although it doesn’t generally qualify as a serious injury, whiplash is not insignificant. As the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) reports, symptoms range from neck and shoulder pain to depression and sleep issues. Whiplash is also linked to lower quality of life after an accident. Receiving proper treatment after a crash is therefore important not just for short-term health but for long-term quality of life. Yet some insurance adjusters view whiplash and soft tissue injuries with skepticism because they don’t typically show up on scans.
- Doctor’s visits showing you received medical care
- Prescriptions and out-of-pocket expenses for pain
- Medical equipment
- Physical and massage therapy
- Chiropractic assessments and care
- Doctor and therapist notes and treatment
- Records of time off work due to pain
- Secondary diagnoses like depression
An X-ray can prove a broken leg injury, but you can prove whiplash by showing how the painful injury affects your life. One scan might not show you are hurt, but a narrative of your life with this injury can.
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help Your Whiplash Case
Since whiplash in a car accident is often an area of contention, a personal injury attorney like the ones at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can lend a hand in proving pain.
Our Fort Myers car accident attorneys can:
- Advise you on how to file an injury claim with insurance
- Investigate your crash and gather evidence of whiplash
- Talk with adjusters about appropriate compensation
- Review grounds for a lawsuit in your state
- Assist you in filing a personal injury lawsuit if possible
- Represent you in court if necessary
Learn More About Your Compensation Options After Whiplash
Your ability to sue for whiplash in a car accident case greatly depends on your case’s unique circumstances, including whether there were other injuries, who was at fault, and what laws apply in the state. Contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato today at (954) 633-8270 to explore what is possible in your case. Get your case assessed at no cost.