Being rear-ended in a car accident can be a jarring experience, both physically and emotionally. One of the most common injuries suffered in rear-end accidents is whiplash, which can cause pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion in the neck and shoulders. If you’ve been rear-ended in New Jersey and are experiencing whiplash symptoms, it’s important to know your legal rights and options. Here’s what you need to know about whiplash claims in New Jersey.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully jerked backward and then forward, causing the neck to hyperextend and then hyperflex. This sudden movement can strain or tear the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck and shoulders, leading to symptoms such as:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Shoulder pain and stiffness
- Back pain
- Reduced range of motion
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
Whiplash can range in severity from mild to severe and may take days or weeks to fully develop. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after being rear-ended, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor can assess the extent of your injuries and provide appropriate treatment.
What Should You Do If You Suspect Whiplash?
If you’ve been rear-ended and suspect you may have whiplash, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Even if you feel fine initially, symptoms can develop later on, so it’s important to get checked out as soon as possible.
In addition to seeking medical attention, you should also take the following steps:
1. Call the police and report the accident.
2. Take photos of the scene, including any damage to your vehicle and any visible injuries.
3. Exchange information with the other driver, including names, contact information, and insurance information.
4. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
Proving Fault in Whiplash Claims in New Jersey
When filing a whiplash claim in New Jersey, it’s crucial to establish that the other driver was at fault for the accident. Proving fault is essential for seeking compensation beyond the benefits provided by personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Here are some key factors to consider when establishing fault in a whiplash claim:
1. Gathering Evidence: Collecting evidence is crucial to building a strong case. Take detailed photographs of the accident scene, including the position of the vehicles, skid marks, and any visible damage. It’s also important to document your injuries, such as bruises or marks on your body, as well as any visible damage to your vehicle.
2. Eyewitness Statements: If there were witnesses to the accident, try to obtain their contact information. Eyewitness testimonies can provide valuable support when establishing fault. Their statements can help corroborate your version of events and strengthen your claim.
3. Police Report: Contacting the police after a rear-end collision is essential. When they arrive at the scene, provide them with a detailed account of what happened. The police report will document important information, including the involved parties, their statements, and any traffic violations committed.
4. Medical Records: Seeking immediate medical attention after the accident is crucial for both your health and your claim. Medical records serve as evidence of your injuries and establish a link between the accident and your whiplash symptoms. Make sure to keep all medical documentation, including diagnoses, treatment plans, and prescriptions.
5. Expert Testimony: In some cases, expert testimony may be necessary to establish fault. An accident reconstruction expert can analyze the evidence, such as skid marks or vehicle damage, and provide an expert opinion on how the accident occurred. Their testimony can provide valuable insight into the dynamics of the collision.
6. Comparative Negligence: New Jersey follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, which means that fault can be divided among multiple parties. If it is determined that you share some degree of fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced proportionately. However, as long as you are less than 50% at fault, you can still pursue a claim.
Navigating the legal process and proving fault in a whiplash claim can be challenging, especially when dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of a car accident. Having an experienced personal injury attorney by your side can greatly improve your chances of a successful claim.
Contact Camili & Capo, PA Today For a Free Consultation About Your Rear-End Accident
Filing a whiplash claim can be a complex and time-consuming process, especially if you are also dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of a car accident. That’s where Camili & Capo, PA comes in. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the claims process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. We will investigate the circumstances of your accident, gather evidence to support your claim, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
At Camili & Capo, PA, we understand that no two whiplash claims are the same. That’s why we take a personalized approach to each case, working closely with our clients to understand their unique needs and circumstances. We understand how stressful and overwhelming it can be to deal with the aftermath of a car accident, especially if you’re dealing with whiplash symptoms. That’s why we’re here to help you every step of the way.
If you’ve been rear-ended in New Jersey and are experiencing whiplash symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We’ll review your case and help you understand your legal rights and options. We’re committed to helping you get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on your recovery.