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Can You Suffer Whiplash in a Low-Speed Car Crash?

Contrary to what insurance companies would have you believe, people involved in low-speed vehicle collisions can suffer serious injuries — among them whiplash. This occurs when the sensitive muscles, tendons and ligaments in the neck are damaged by sudden head and neck movements. In some instances, a person who sustains a whiplash injury may be able to recover financial compensation from the driver responsible for the crash.

When you’re involved in an auto accident of any type, seeing a doctor is always a good idea. This is true even if you don’t feel injured in the immediate aftermath of the collision, because the adrenaline rushing through you at the scene may mask the pain from whiplash and other neck injuries.

There are five grades of whiplash injury, running from grade 0 (no physical signs of injury) to grade 4 (fractures or dislocations). In a low-speed accident, you may experience low- to mid-grade whiplash. Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Pain when moving your head back and forth
  • Limited motion in the head or neck
  • Tightness in the neck muscles
  • Headaches
  • Tingling sensations in the neck, upper back or arms
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Memory lapses or trouble concentrating
  • Irritability and depression

It’s very common for whiplash symptoms to show up days or even weeks after the trauma occurred. By keeping your doctor informed, you’ll be able to receive proper treatment and your medical records will be more complete, which can be very helpful if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit.

A successful injury lawsuit in a whiplash case could allow you to receive compensation for medical bills, prescription medication costs, neck braces, lost wages, temporary disability, and other losses you incurred. California uses a pure comparative negligence system for car accident cases. That means you can recover damages from the driver at fault even if you were partially at fault yourself. For example, if a jury determines that you were 30 percent responsible for the crash and the other driver was 70 percent responsible, you can recover compensation but your total award will be reduced by 30 percent.

Based in Santa Barbara, Patterson Law has successfully handled numerous whiplash injury claims for clients throughout the region and across California. Talk to our experienced attorney about your situation by calling 888-479-4589 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.