Whiplash in Car Accidents
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries caused by Florida car accidents. Symptoms of whiplash are not always evident immediately after a collision, but when they do arise, they can be extremely painful and often lead to lifelong impairments. The crashes that trigger whiplash injuries are usually caused by careless driving and could have been prevented if people operated their vehicles safely. People who have sustained whiplash in car accidents should not hesitate to speak to an attorney regarding the damages that they may be owed from the driver who caused the accident. At The Grife Law Firm, our Boca Raton car accident lawyers are committed to representing injured people in the pursuit of damages. If you hire us, we can advise you on your rights and gather the evidence needed to help you seek a favorable outcome.Causes and Symptoms of Whiplash
Whiplash is a term used to refer to the sprain and strain of the cervical spine and muscles and ligaments in the neck. Whiplash occurs when an extreme force causes a person’s neck to move rapidly forward and backward, while the rest of the person’s body remains stable. Whiplash frequently arises out of rear-end collisions but can occur in head-on and side-impact crashes as well. It is not uncommon for a person involved in a crash to feel fine initially and decline medical attention, only to later be diagnosed with whiplash. While whiplash does not generally involve fractures, it can cause significant pain, tenderness, and reduced mobility. Additionally, people suffering from whiplash may suffer long-term consequences, such as vertigo, headaches, tingling, numbness, and vision issues.Proving Liability Following a Car Accident
People who suffer whiplash in car accidents will generally pursue damages from the party responsible for the accident via a civil lawsuit. In most instances, a plaintiff in a case arising out of a car accident will assert a negligence claim against the defendant. In Florida, negligence is a legal term defining a breach of a known duty and harm caused by the breach. Thus, a plaintiff alleging negligence must first prove that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff. In some instances, the duty owed will be the duty to act with the care that a reasonable person would exercise, or it may be an obligation defined by a statute, such as a motor vehicle law.
The plaintiff then must show that the defendant acted in a manner that breached the responsibility owed. For example, a breach might involve driving too fast for conditions or following another vehicle too closely. After establishing these elements, the plaintiff must establish damages and causation. This means that there must be evidence that the plaintiff suffered damages that were directly caused by the defendant’s breach. However, the breach does not need to be the only cause of the plaintiff’s harm.
Whiplash is a soft tissue injury, and therefore it is often diagnosed via a person’s subjective symptoms and complaints. Consequently, it is not uncommon for a defendant in a case involving whiplash to argue either that the plaintiff did not suffer any actual injury or that the collision did not cause the harm. In these instances, a plaintiff’s lawyer will likely need to engage an accident reconstructionist, a biomedical engineer, and a medical expert to testify that the accident caused the plaintiff’s harm and explain the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries. Florida Statute 90.702 specifically permits such testimony if it will help a judge or jury determine a disputed issue of fact. Under the law, the person testifying must possess the requisite skill, training, education, knowledge, or experience to opine competently as an expert.Get Advice From a Boca Raton Attorney
Whiplash can cause severe pain and significant financial losses. If you sustained serious injuries in a collision, it is advisable to speak to an attorney about your options. The capable car accident lawyers at The Grife Law Firm offer the skills and experience needed to prove that careless drivers should be held accountable for whiplash in car accidents. We regularly represent injured people in car accident cases in Boca Raton, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. You can contact us at our Boca Raton office by calling 855-998-0770 or using our form online.