Whiplash is a neck injury that may arise from many different types of accidents. A common example is a rear-end car crash, when the neck is jerked forward and backward quickly. Some symptoms of whiplash include stiffness, tenderness, dizziness, headaches, and severe neck pain, all developing within 24 hours of the injury. Sometimes there are additional symptoms, such as tinnitus, blurred vision, or insomnia. Whiplash is often treated with pain medication, a brace, or physical therapy. In some cases it clears up with a few months, while in other cases it results in chronic long-lasting pain. If you suffer whiplash because of an accident in the Ocala area, the injury attorneys at the Dean Law Firm may be able to help you seek compensation.Pursuing Damages for Whiplash in Florida
In general, if you suffer whiplash or other pain after an accident, it is important to see your doctor, get a diagnosis, and receive proper treatment. To seek compensation for whiplash that is the fault of someone else, you will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant owed you a duty, the defendant breached that duty, causation, and actual damages.
If you are able to establish these elements, you may be able to recover compensatory damages to help you bear the financial burdens that arise. If you suffer whiplash, you may need medical care, follow-up care, physical therapy, medication, and time off work. You may also suffer pain for months or longer, depending on the circumstances. Damages may be both economic and noneconomic, including medical expenses, lost income, household services, pain and suffering, and lost enjoyment.
Damages depend not only on how severe your whiplash is, but the impact of the whiplash on you as an individual. For example, if you live a mostly sedentary life in which you live on an inheritance, you may recover fewer damages than a more active person. Somebody who used to play basketball regularly, run marathons, or work in construction, among countless other examples, may be more affected by whiplash and therefore may be entitled to greater damages.
Florida follows the comparative negligence doctrine. This means that the jury will assess the total damages and assign each person alleged to be at fault a percentage of responsibility. If, for example, you are in a car accident, after which you suffer whiplash and other injuries, the jury may find the damages to be $50,000, but if it also finds that you are 20% at fault, you would be able to recover only $40,000.Consult an Experienced Ocala Attorney to Protect Your Rights after an Accident
Whiplash is often seen as a minor injury, particularly if it only lasts a few days. However, it can also be devastating, depending on the speed of the vehicles, and the force and location of the impact. At the Dean Law Firm, we represent car accident victims and other people in Ocala and the surrounding communities, such as Crystal River and The Villages. We also assist injured individuals across Marion, Sumter, Levy, Lake, and Citrus Counties. Our willingness to try cases may give us more leverage with insurance adjustors, who know that we will fight tenaciously for the rights of our clients. Contact our office for a free consultation at 352-387-8700 or via our online form.