At Case Barnett Law, we advocate for injury victims of every kind to pursue the compensation they deserve. If you’re struggling to recover after being injured in an accident caused by someone else, we may be able to help. Call us at (949) 409-0055 to get started. 

It’s no secret that the media isn’t always fair to personal injury victims, especially people who pursue whiplash lawsuits. 

In fact, movies and television have historically portrayed whiplash victims as people who are just trying to make a fast buck; swindlers who gleefully remove their neck braces as soon as they’re alone. This is a cruel depiction and couldn’t be further from the truth. 

The reality is that some whiplash injuries cause serious, long-term health consequences that cost a fortune to treat. Left untreated, they may leave injury victims in severe pain, unable to work, and incapable of enjoying life in the same way they used to. So ask yourself: If you suffered whiplash in an accident caused by someone else, wouldn’t you deserve compensation? 

We think so. As a top Costa Mesa personal injury attorney team, we do everything in our power to get our clients the justice they deserve.

Can you get a settlement for whiplash in California? Yes, but you may need professional help in order to do so. The first step is partnering with a knowledgeable attorney who understands the ins and outs of your case and has experience winning compensation for people like you. 

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about whiplash lawsuits, possible compensation, and how our Costa Mesa auto accident attorney team can help you protect your future. 

man with a whiplash injury after a car accident in Costa Mesa California

What Is Whiplash? 

Whiplash is a type of neck injury caused by a rapid, back-and-forth movement of the neck. Although the majority of people recover within a few weeks with appropriate exercise and medication, others suffer chronic pain and long-term complications.  

Although commonly caused by car accidents involving rear-end collisions, whiplash can be caused by any accident that causes the neck to jerk back and forth violently. Whiplash injuries can result from slip and fall accidents, sports injuries, assault, and more.  

Whiplash Symptoms

As with most injuries, whiplash can cause various symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Because whiplash can damage the spine, spinal disks, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, it should always be taken seriously, even when the injury victim initially feels fine. 

If you’ve been in a car accident and are experiencing the following symptoms, you may be suffering from whiplash: 

  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Increased pain when turning your head
  • Reduced range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches that originate at the base of the skull
  • Pain and sensitivity in the shoulders, upper back or arms
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Some accidents result in more severe whiplash symptoms, many of which are also caused by concussions and traumatic brain injuries(TBI). These symptoms can include blurred vision and ringing in the ears, sleep disturbances, trouble concentrating, memory problems, irritability and depression. 

Risk Factors and Serious Outcomes

Predicting a person’s recovery time is difficult and depends on various factors. Generally speaking, however, people who experience more intense symptoms from the onset are more likely to experience chronic pain and complications than those who do not.

These early symptoms may include the following:

  • Severe neck pain
  • Extremely limited range of motion in the neck
  • Pain that radiates through the arms

Additionally, certain circumstances and conditions can increase an injury victim’s chances for experiencing a worse outcome. These risk factors include a previous whiplash injury, pre-existing lower back or neck pain, involvement in a high-speed accident and older age. 

What Is My Whiplash Settlement Worth?

Similar to other personal injury settlements, the compensation you’re eligible to receive after a whiplash injury will depend on the severity of your injury and the extent to which it has affected your life. As a result, accident victims who’ve sustained serious, long-term injuries are more likely to be awarded a hefty settlement than those who recover quickly. 

Compensation for Whiplash in California 

After your attorney investigates your accident and gathers evidence, they’ll want to calculate your settlement demand. This amount can reflect different types of damages, most of which can be categorized as economic or non-economic. 

Economic damages refer to financial losses, such as medical bills, cost of treatment, lost wages, damage to personal property, etc. However, non-economic damages are losses that can’t be calculated. They may include pain and suffering, lost quality of life, disfigurement, disability and more. 

Whiplash Injuries FAQ

Despite being a relatively common injury, there are many misconceptions surrounding whiplash. If you have questions about whiplash injuries and lawsuits, it’s a good idea to connect with a top Orange County car accident lawyer who has experience winning whiplash lawsuits. In the meantime, check out the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. 

  • How fast does a car need to be traveling in order to cause whiplash?

Contrary to popular belief, a car doesn’t need to be traveling at high speeds in order to cause whiplash. In fact, whiplash can occur even when a car is only traveling a few miles an hour. 

  • If I feel fine after an accident, can I rule out whiplash?

In the direct aftermath of an accident, it’s not uncommon for an injury victim to mistakenly believe they are fine. This is in large part due to the adrenaline rush that temporarily masks their pain, but this anesthetic eventually wears off, though it could take hours, days or weeks. That’s why it’s essential for every injury victim to undergo a thorough medical evaluation. 

  • What happens when whiplash is left untreated?

Each whiplash case is different, and recovery time depends on the unique details of the situation. Whereas some whiplash injuries heal over time, others become more pronounced and can even result in chronic pain, herniated disks, disability, and more. 

Hiring a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

Hiring an attorney is strongly recommended in any type of personal injury case but is vital when you've suffered a spinal cord injury. You need an experienced advocate on your side who can ensure your settlement will meet your current and future financial needs. We highly recommend hiring a law firm with trial experience. 

Personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you don't need to pay upfront for your legal representation. The attorney asks for a percentage of your settlement as a fee for his or her services.

To learn more about options for pursuing a personal injury claim related to a spinal cord injury, please contact the legal team at Case Barnett Law to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.

Case C. Barnett
Costa Mesa Personal Injury Attorney practicing in child injury law, car accident injuries and elder abuse law