Whiplash Car Accident Lawyers

In New Jersey, approximately 221,259 car accidents occur every year. One of the most common injuries caused by traffic collisions is whiplash. It can leave you with pain, neck mobility issues, and even lasting discomfort.

Are you struggling with whiplash and dealing with medical expenses and emotional trauma because of an accident that was someone else’s fault? If so, one of the most important steps you can take is to turn to whiplash car accident lawyers for representation.

At Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, we can offer the assistance you need to get through the aftermath of a car accident in New Jersey. Learn more about whiplash and why you need an auto accident lawyer to represent you.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash refers to an injury that occurs when your head moves backward and then forward rapidly and with great force. This movement causes a type of neck sprain. It leads the soft tissues in the neck, including the ligaments and muscles, to stretch beyond their natural range of motion.

When you’re in a moving car, and a collision brings it to a stop, your body keeps moving forward. Your neck is one line of defense your body has to keep your brain from hitting your skull in these kinds of forceful stops. Your neck functions a bit like a shock absorber, twisting, extending, or even compressing to avoid brain injuries.

In cases when someone suffers whiplash, the neck, body, and head all move at different speeds. That leads to the overextension or over-compression of the ligaments and muscles.

The stronger and sharper the movement, the more damage it can cause to your neck. While most people think of whiplash as a minor injury, the severity of the crash can turn whiplash into a serious concern that causes many health problems.

What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

The symptoms of whiplash typically appear 24 hours after the accident but can sometimes take up to a few days. Whiplash’s classification system categorizes the injury into a few different grades. A Grade 1 whiplash includes experiencing pain and tenderness if you touch the injured area.

A Grade 2 whiplash injury causes all of the symptoms from Grade 1 but can also include:

  • Pain that radiates to the head, shoulders, back, and face
  • Bruising and swelling
  • Muscle spasms that make it difficult to turn your neck and head

With a Grade 3 whiplash injury, you can also have neurological symptoms. These occur from inflammation that disrupts nerve signals as they travel from the injured area to your brain. You may experience:

  • Numbness in your back, shoulders, or upper arms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Headaches
  • Vision problems
  • Tingling or burning in your back, shoulders, or upper arms
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Hoarseness
  • Trouble swallowing

The most severe type of whiplash is a Grade 4 injury. It involves all of the symptoms from the previous grades at a much higher intensity.

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How Common Is Whiplash?

Throughout the United States, there are approximately 3 million whiplash injuries each year. They most commonly happen during rear-end collisions.

When another vehicle hits your car from behind, it forces your neck backward and forward rapidly. Whiplash is even more likely to occur if the vehicles involved are traveling at high speeds or if one of the vehicles is especially large, like a commercial truck.

Although rear-end crashes are the most likely to cause whiplash, any car accident can lead to it.

What Should I Do if I Have Whiplash?

It’s common for people to sustain injuries, including whiplash, because of the actions someone else took on the road. When this happens to you, it’s essential that you get medical assistance and reach out to a car accident lawyer for help.

New Jersey laws around vehicular accidents are complex. As a no-fault state, all parties involved in a New Jersey collision can ask for compensation from their own insurance companies.

That said, The state also follows a modified comparative negligence statute. This means you can receive compensation only if you were less than 50% to blame for the crash.

And if you want to ask for compensation for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages, the law gets even trickier. If you have a standard policy with a limited right to sue, you can only claim these damages from the at-fault party after suffering a catastrophic injury.

When you have an unlimited right to sue policy, you can claim non-economic damages from the other party, no matter what kind of injury you suffered. Because of these complexities, you need to have a car accident lawyer by your side to help you so that you can get the compensation you deserve.

Even if you’re just dealing with your insurance company, it can try to pin as much of the blame on you as possible so that it doesn’t have to pay you any damages. Your insurer may try all manner of tactics to get you to drop the claim. When you have a lawyer by your side, you have a better chance of getting a fair deal.

A lawyer will have the necessary experience to deal effectively with insurers so that you can focus on healing from your injuries without the added stress of pressure from insurers. And if there are disputes on who’s to blame, your lawyer can take your case to court and litigate it there.

Types of Compensations Available for a Whiplash Injury

Each case is unique. Your lawyer will work closely with you to explain the exact damages you can claim.

Economic damages are those that are easy to put a number on because you have actual costs and bills that you can point to, including medical expenses. After a whiplash injury, it’s common to need physical therapy, chiropractic care, or other forms of treatment.

If the whiplash is a Grade 3 or 4, you may even require hospitalization. All of that makes a significant dent in your wallet, and you shouldn’t have to foot those bills on your own. If the whiplash is severe enough to leave lasting damage that requires ongoing medical assistance, you can claim future medical expenses as well.

Lost wages also belong in this category. The pain and discomfort that whiplash can cause may prevent you from going to work. Even the treatment process can mean having to take time off to go to medical appointments.

You have the right to seek compensation for:

  • Wages
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Vacation or sick days
  • Anything else you missed

For people who suffer severe whiplash and need to take more time off to heal, future lost wages are also available. Additionally, you could be compensated if the injury is so severe that you can’t return to your regular position.

There are going to be people who have a standard insurance policy with an unlimited right to sue (or with a limited right to sue but who meet the injury threshold). In those cases, asking for non-economic damages is also possible.

Pain and suffering is a non-economic damage. It strives to compensate you for the physical and mental pain, discomfort, and trauma you’ve suffered. Because these kinds of losses aren’t easy to quantify, your lawyer can use a per diem or multiplier method. Both methods take the following into account:

  • The severity of the injury
  • How long it will take you to recover
  • Many other factors

The per diem strategy involves assigning a daily cost to every day it takes you to heal. The multiplier option multiplies your economic damages by the most appropriate factor between 1.5 and 5.

You can also claim loss of enjoyment of life as part of non-economic damages. Sometimes, an accident makes it so you’re unable to live your life in the same way you did before. You can be compensated for that loss.

In instances when the defendant’s actions were malicious or grievously negligent, New Jersey courts can also assign punitive damages. As their name suggests, these damages aren’t meant to compensate you but to punish the other party.

There is a cap on the amount in New Jersey. The limit is $350,000 or five times the compensatory damages awarded, whichever one happens to be greater.

Why Choose Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq?

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident that leaves you battling injuries like whiplash can be exhausting and demoralizing. You may have to get treatment, miss out on activities you were looking forward to, and even lose out on economic gains.

If someone else was mostly at fault, turning to personal injury lawyers like the team at GGL can be the best option. At our firm, we know how stressful this entire process is and how tough it can be to get insurance companies to cooperate.

We’re ready to fight on your behalf. From the moment you walk into our offices, you get the support you need. We treat each client like family, offering respect and putting our many years of experience to work on your behalf.

At GGL, we appreciate that our community is diverse. This is why we offer assistance in both Spanish and English so that everyone can receive the guidance they need.

To further ensure that you feel understood and supported throughout the entire process, we focus on communicating regularly. It can be very difficult to deal with a long claim, so we keep you updated on any changes.

A common concern people have about hiring a personal injury lawyer is the fees involved. Because the last thing you need is more bills, we work on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t have to pay us a dime unless we win your claim.

You deserve to have people by your side who are as compassionate as they are tenacious in helping you. That’s what you get when you turn to us at Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq. No matter what kind of injuries you’ve suffered, we can help.

Contact Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq Today

If you’ve been dealing with injuries and other losses after a car accident in New Jersey, turn to experienced car accident lawyers like the team at Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq.

With a free consultation, you can get a fair and accurate assessment of your claim. Get started today by calling GGL at 800-923-3456.

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