Car accident injuries can have severe repercussions in a person’s life. From the psychological impact to the physical pain and suffering, car accidents can be traumatic and overall life-changing. One of the most common injuries resulting from car accidents is neck injuries. People who are involved in a car accident – especially in rear-end collisions – can suffer from what is known as “whiplash.” Whiplash is a common neck injury associated with car crashes.
While the results from this type of injury can be mild to some extent, in severe cases it can cause long-lasting distress and discomfort. If you were involved in a car accident and suffered a whiplash injury due to another’s fault, you could be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. At Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A., we are a team of dedicated and knowledgeable attorneys bringing over three decades of hands-on experience. For a free legal consultation about your case, contact us online or call Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A. today at (704) 377-3737.
What is a Whiplash Injury?
A whiplash injury is a type of neck injury associated with car accidents. Whiplash injuries occur when there is a sudden rapid forward and backward movement of the head. The acceleration-deceleration forces present in a car accident can cause a person’s neck to jolt, increasing the likelihood of a neck injury.
Since many muscles and tendons allow an extensive range of motion of the head, the neck is capable of moving freely. However, overextending or contracting the neck muscles after an accident can cause muscle strains and lead to a whiplash injury.
Generally, neck injuries tend to be painful, uncomfortable and can prevent a person from performing normal, everyday activities. Some of the symptoms associated with whiplash injuries include, but are not limited to the following:
- Tenderness in the shoulder area
- Neck Pain
- Neck Stiffness
- Tingling or numbing sensation in the arms
In other severe cases, people have reported difficulty concentrating, memory loss, irritability and more. Usually, symptoms of whiplash can take 24 or more hours to show up. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to seek immediate medical attention after a car accident. Getting checked by a physician can place you on a better path towards recovery after a car crash.
Who is Liable for my Whiplash Injury?
Typically, neck injuries in cars accidents are generally linked to rear-end collisions or “fender-benders.” A rear-end collision doesn’t necessarily need to be catastrophic to cause a neck injury. Even at low speeds, a person can experience a whiplash injury. As a general rule, motorists are required to keep a reasonable distance between cars. Furthermore, the law requires drivers to be aware and focused while driving. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), things like distracted driving and speeding are common causes of rear-end collisions.
In general terms, the person who rear-ends the driver in front is responsible for the accident. While this may seem like an obvious observation, it may not always be the case. North Carolina has what is known as contributory negligence. Contributory negligence basically bars a plaintiff from recovering any compensation if he or she is found to be partially responsible for the crash. Even a mere 1% of contributory negligence can prevent you from recovering damages.
However, there are exceptions to the contributory rule that can help you get compensation even if you were partially responsible for the accident. For instance, one of the exceptions you could bring to your car accident case is the “Last Clear Chance Doctrine.” Through this contributory negligence exception, a plaintiff can recover compensation if he or she can prove the defendant had the last clear chance to avoid the accident. The plaintiff is the party responsible for demonstrating by the preponderance of the evidence that:
- Plaintiff found himself or herself in an unavoidable perilous situation;
- The defendant discovered or should have noticed the plaintiff’s dangerous situation, had the time and means to avoid it but didn’t; and
- The negligence of the defendant caused the injuries.
A knowledgeable and experienced Charlotte, NC car accident injury lawyer can help you determine if there is an opportunity to incorporate this exception to your case.
Neck Injury Attorneys Representing Whiplash Injury Victims in Charlotte, NC
Dealing with a neck injury can be emotionally and physically challenging, especially when it prevents you from doing the things you love. Furthermore, recovering from this injury can take days, weeks, months and sometimes even years, often requiring continuous medical treatment. If you have been involved in a car accident and sustained a whiplash injury, you could be entitled to recover damages for your medical treatment. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Charlotte, NC, personal injury lawyers, call Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A. today at (704) 377-3737.