Why Do You Need a Virginia Whiplash Lawyer?
Whiplash, neck, and spinal cord injuries like herniated discs can be debilitating. In order to heal as safely as possible, you need funds to afford high-quality medical care and the time necessary to rest without risking reinjury. A whiplash lawsuit can help you access that compensation.
Whiplash is a type of neck injury that is caused by a sudden, jerking movement of the head. This jolting movement can cause the muscles and ligaments in the neck to stretch and tear, resulting in whiplash. A whiplash injury can also cause the more persistent harm of a herniated disc, which is when the cushions (discs) between the bones of your spine (vertebrae) bulge, slip, or rupture, causing pain and disability.
When a whiplash or herniated disc injury is caused by the negligence of another, you have the right to hold them responsible for the cost of your injuries and losses. This could allow you the time needed to heal before your whiplash injury develops into a long-term or permanent condition. It also helps incentivize better safety behavior from the person or entity that injured you in the first place by holding them accountable.
At the Smith Law Center, our practice has unique experience litigating traumatic brain and spinal cord injury cases thanks to founder Stephen M. Smith’s background in neuroanatomical science. Our attorneys know the true cost of injury — not just in bills and lost wages, but in the pain, stress, and time spent dealing with this interruption to your life.
Contact our experienced Virginia whiplash lawyers online, or by calling our Hampton, VA offices at (757) 244-7000. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options going forward.
What Kind of Settlement Can a Virginia Whiplash Attorney Help You Secure?
Here are various types of settlements a Virginia whiplash attorney can help you pursue:
- Personal injury claim: A personal injury claim settlement is an agreement between the injured party and the party responsible for the accident to exchange money to avoid a lengthy trial. A whiplash attorney can help negotiate a fair whiplash claim settlement amount based on the severity of the injury, the medical bills, and other damages like your pain and suffering.
- Insurance payout: Insurance companies involved in certain accidents may offer a settlement to cover the cost of the injury. A whiplash attorney can review the terms of the settlement offer and negotiate a higher amount if the offer is too low.
- Workers’ compensation: If the whiplash injury occurred in the workplace, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. A whiplash attorney can help you navigate the workers’ compensation system and negotiate a settlement that covers medical bills and lost wages.
These settlement types are not mutually exclusive, and your case may involve multiple compensation sources depending on the circumstances. Most whiplash injury cases are able to settle before going to trial. For you that could mean a swifter resolution that in no way diminishes the amount you’re entitled to for the full cost of your injury.
However, if the other side refuses to agree to a fair settlement, the next option is to go to trial before a judge. While this may take longer, judges and juries are able to award far higher amounts of compensation, including punitive damages — fees charged to the other side for any particularly reckless or intentional bad behavior that are then granted to you on top of what you already deserve. Punitive damages are meant to punish the responsible party and deter similar behavior in the future, while also benefitting you personally.
What Accidents Does a Virginia Whiplash Injury Attorney Handle?
An experienced Virginia whiplash injury lawyer can help with many of the most common accidents that cause whiplash, including:
- Car accidents: Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents, especially rear-end collisions. When a car is hit from behind, the impact can cause the head to snap forward and then backward, causing whiplash.
- Sports injuries: Contact sports like football or rugby can cause whiplash injuries, as can any sport that involves sudden stops or changes in direction, such as soccer or basketball.
- Falls: Slip and fall accidents on unsafe stairs or wet floors can cause the head to snap back and forth, resulting in whiplash.
- Workplace accidents: Jobs with occupational hazards like construction, demolition, or industrial work can cause whiplash, neck, and spine injuries that workers’ comp may not fully cover without a skilled legal negotiator on your side
- Roller coasters or amusement park rides: High-speed roller coasters or other thrill rides can cause whiplash if the head is jolted around during the ride.
It’s important to note that the symptoms of whiplash may not appear immediately after the injury. They can develop gradually over time, so it’s vital to seek medical attention if you’ve been in an accident or experienced trauma that could have caused whiplash.
Essential tip: In seeking professional medical evaluation after a whiplash injury, you not only help catch “invisible” injuries like internal ruptures, but also create valuable evidence that documents your injuries at the time of the accident for a potential lawsuit.
What Does a Whiplash or Herniated Disc Injury Lawyer Do for Your Case?
A whiplash or herniated disc injury attorney helps build your case by:
- Investigating the accident: A whiplash injury lawyer will investigate the accident to determine who was at fault and gather evidence to support the case.
- Determining damages: A whiplash injury lawyer will work with medical professionals to determine the extent of the injuries and calculate the damages that the injured party is entitled to, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Handling paperwork and deadlines: A whiplash injury lawyer will handle all of the paperwork and deadlines associated with the case, ensuring that everything is filed correctly and on time.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: A whiplash injury lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company on behalf of the injured party to ensure that they receive a fair settlement.
- Representing you in court: If a settlement cannot be reached, a whiplash injury lawyer will represent the injured party in court and present their case to a judge or jury.
In general, your whiplash injury lawyer does all this work to see that you are fairly compensated with the maximum available amount you’re entitled to receive. We do this while also ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
Contact Experienced Virginia Whiplash Injury Lawyers
Whiplash injuries can be mild and heal completely with enough time and care. However, without the financial means to access professional medical treatment or take time off work, your injury could worsen. An untreated whiplash injury can lead to a herniated disc in your spine, which could then contribute to paraplegia or quadriplegia and a lifetime of disability.
If someone else’s negligence caused your injury, you deserve compensation for your costs and suffering due to whiplash. By securing the funds needed to heal properly, you can avoid permanent injury. For long-term harm, you deserve dignified care for as long as necessary, even if it’s the rest of your life.
Contact Virginia whiplash lawyers at the Smith Law Center by calling (757) 244-7000 as soon as possible for a free, confidential consultation. Let us take care of the casework so you can heal in peace.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I was partially at fault for the cause of my whiplash injury?
If you believe you may have been partially at fault in causing the incident that resulted in your whiplash injury, speak to a knowledgeable attorney before giving any statement or signing any agreement with the other party. What you feel could be “your fault” may not actually meet the legal standard of fault — let your attorney help you make that assessment before accepting any fault or blame you may not be liable for at all.
What if I have a herniated disc injury unrelated to whiplash, can I still sue?
Yes, your herniated disc injury may qualify for a personal injury lawsuit even if it’s unrelated to whiplash. If you suffered any neck, back, or spine injury due to someone else’s negligence, a Virginia herniated disc injury lawyer can help you determine your options in pursuing compensation.
Do I need a lawyer to file a whiplash injury lawsuit?
While it is possible to file a whiplash injury lawsuit without a lawyer, it is recommended to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal process.
The other side will likely have counsel working aggressively on their behalf — you deserve an advocate on your side as well who can handle all the work associated with the case. We can bar any unnecessary invasions of your privacy, and accurately calculate how much you actually deserve over what the opposing side initially offers.
How long do I have to file a whiplash injury lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for whiplash injury lawsuits varies by state. In Virginia, personal injury cases must be brought within 2 years of the incident, including those that involve whiplash or herniated disc injuries. Contact the Smith Law Center right away at (757) 244-7000 — we can begin work on your case before your window for justice closes.
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