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Can I Receive Compensation for a Whiplash Injury?

Under Colorado law, drivers who cause accidents are responsible for paying for the damages of people injured in these collisions. Whether through a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance claim, obtaining fair compensation after an accident is a top priority for victims — but some injuries are under greater scrutiny than others. Whiplash, a soft tissue injury common in car accidents, is one of these conditions.

Whiplash is often difficult to prove since it is not immediately apparent following an accident. If you are suffering from whiplash due to someone else’s negligence, you are just as entitled to compensation as other car accident victims. However, you may need additional assistance to prove your injuries. Speak to a Denver car accident lawyer for help.

Whiplash Signs and Symptoms

During a car accident, you may be exposed to extreme and unexpected force, even during a seemingly minor collision. You develop whiplash when this force throws your head backward and forward in a violent, abrupt manner.

When you encounter this force, the connective tissue in your neck can overextend. As a result, you can suffer injury to the ligaments, nerves, tendons, and other soft tissues in your neck and back. You may also experience damage to your spinal cord and vertebrae.

Signs of whiplash may not appear until days after the accident. Some of the most common symptoms include the following.

  • Pain and stiffness in the neck
  • Increased pain when moving your neck
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the upper back, shoulders, and arms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms

Potential Damages in Colorado Whiplash Cases

Whiplash is a painful condition that could last for months or even years, depending on the nature of your injury. You may experience financial hardship, physical pain, and emotional turmoil while recovering from this condition. If someone else caused the car accident, you can file an insurance claim or lawsuit against him or her for the damages you experienced due to your whiplash.

You can recover two forms of compensation in whiplash claims: economic damages and non-economic damages. While economic damages concern the tangible financial losses you sustained, non-economic damages involve the physical and emotional pain the whiplash causes you. Common types of damages in car accident claims include the following.

  • Past and future medical treatment
  • Vehicle repairs and property replacement
  • Chronic pain
  • Emotional anguish
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Lost wages and loss of future earnings

Proving a Whiplash Claim

While you may be suffering from whiplash symptoms, it is not enough to experience an injury in a car accident to receive compensation. You will need to establish the four elements of negligence to prove your claim.

  • The driver owed you a duty of care.
  • The driver breached his or her duty of care.
  • The breach of duty directly caused your injuries.
  • You suffered damages due to your injuries.

For whiplash victims, establishing the nature of the injury and proving the need for damages can be challenging. Whiplash injuries do not appear on X-rays, so it can be difficult to convince an insurance adjuster or court that you need the compensation. In these situations, hiring an attorney to represent your claim can help.

Your lawyer will have experience handling whiplash claims and apply strategies to help secure the compensation you deserve. He or she can also partner with medical expert witnesses who can provide testimony in your case, giving insight on the nature of whiplash injuries. He or she can also help you collect and record evidence to prove your claim. If you develop whiplash after a car accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible for assistance.

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