Whiplash is a medical condition. It is a neck injury. A car accident can cause it. Particularly if the accident is a “rear-ender.” The quick “back and forth” motion of the victim’s neck, like the cracking of a whip, causes the injury.
Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, and headaches. Some victims will recover within a few months. Treatments include pain medication, exercise, and physical therapy.
Nonetheless, some victims will not recover quickly. Their symptoms may become chronic. There may even be further medical complications.
Other terms for whiplash include “neck strain” and “neck sprain.”
SUING FOR WHIPLASH
If you suffer whiplash in a New Jersey car accident, you may be able to sue for compensation for your pain and suffering.
However, it is also possible that you may not be able to sue. Believe it or not, much depends on your car insurance policy.
Most New Jersey residents want to save money on their insurance policies. Therefore, they buy car insurance that has an option usually called something like the “limitation on lawsuit option.” Or possibly “lawsuit threshold,” or “verbal threshold.”
If you buy insurance with that option, you limit your right to sue. Not only as to whiplash, but also for many other types of injuries.
Basically, if you claim whiplash, and selected the limitation on lawsuit option, you will likely need to prove that your case involves a PERMANENT injury. That is a high standard to meet. In order to win, you will likely need an objective test, like an MRI, that proves your injury is real. (As opposed to a “subjective” test, based on the patient’s own claim of pain).
Problem is, whiplash doesn’t always show up on an MRI. It almost never shows up on an x-ray. Thus, if you chose the lawsuit threshold, you may find it difficult or impossible to win your case. Even if you have chronic neck pain.
On the other hand, if you bought insurance with no limitation on lawsuit option, you will have a much better chance of winning compensation.
IF YOU HAVE AN ACCIDENT
If you suffer whiplash in a car accident, see an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately. Even if you selected the lawsuit limitation option on your insurance policy, an experienced attorney may be able to find a way to get compensation for you. There are some exceptions to the general rule.