Can a Lawyer Help With Whiplash From a Car Accident in Burlington, Vermont?

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Can a Lawyer Help With Whiplash From a Car Accident in Burlington, Vermont? - car on the main road

Whiplash Car Accident Lawyer in Burlington

Whiplash from a car accident can be physically, emotionally, and financially damaging. Fighting for what you deserve on your own in Burlington can feel exhausting, especially if the insurance company refuses an adequate payout. However, if someone else is responsible for causing your injury, our car accident lawyers could help you recover compensation such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, and wage loss. 

Morgan & Morgan has helped accident victims and their families get what they deserve for decades. Our experienced and committed car accident lawyers want you to have the best shot at receiving adequate compensation after suffering an injury. We can protect your legal rights and identify your next best steps. Contact us today for a free case review to determine whether you qualify for compensation. 

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is often associated with rear-end car accidents but can potentially happen in any type of crash. Whiplash can even occur in relatively minor accidents such as “fender-benders.” 

When a car suddenly stops in a collision, the torso is typically strapped in by the seat belt. However, the neck and head are free to move and can jolt back and forth during impact, causing whiplash. The severity of a whiplash injury can vary from one accident victim to another and depends on various factors such as the speed and force of the impact and the health or age of the individual. 

Accident victims may not immediately know that they have suffered a whiplash injury. Therefore, visiting a doctor even after a minor accident can be an excellent idea. A medical professional can also rule out a serious underlying injury. 

The Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash

Immediately after an accident, whiplash may not present with symptoms or apparent signs of an injury. Victims could walk away from the accident feeling fine, only to discover symptoms such as neck pain and stiffness in the days and weeks following the crash. Symptoms that could point to a whiplash injury include: 

  • General pain in the back and neck area
  • Shoulder pain
  • Pain with neck movement
  • Neck stiffness 
  • Jaw pain
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Headaches 
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck and shoulder area

If you experience any of these symptoms or others, seek medical help immediately. A doctor can diagnose your injuries and prescribe medications or treatment to help you feel better and heal. You will also receive a medical report from your doctor, which will be crucial if you later want to recover compensation.

How Long Does a Whiplash Injury Last?

How long pain and discomfort from a whiplash injury continues depends on the severity of the injury and the person’s circumstances. Most sufferers heal or experience marked improvement within a few weeks. However, those affected with severe whiplash may suffer effects from the injury for months or even years after a car crash. According to the Mayo Clinic, individuals more likely to experience long-term consequences such as chronic pain include:

  • Those with intense symptoms such as severe pain
  • Older individuals
  • Those who had whiplash before
  • Individuals with existing back and neck pain
  • Those injured in a high-speed crash

Is Whiplash Serious?

Mild whiplash can be relatively harmless. However, in some cases, a serious whiplash injury causes chronic pain and permanent disability. Severe whiplash can prevent you from living your life as before the accident and negatively impact your career and home life. Seeking legal advice and help from a car accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash could help you receive the compensation you need to put your life back together after a severe injury.

Steps to Take After Suffering a Whiplash injury in Burlington, Vermont 

Vermont is an at-fault state, which means victims typically file an insurance claim for damages with the responsible party’s insurer. If the insurance company minimizes or denies a claim, the victim could file a lawsuit to fight for what they deserve. An attorney can help negotiate a fair settlement from the insurer and file a lawsuit, if needed, to fight for adequate compensation. Acting quickly after an accident can be critical for preserving your rights. 

Seek Medical Help Immediately 

The most important action to take immediately after an accident is seeking medical advice, particularly if you notice any pain or other symptoms. It is not unusual for car accident injuries, such as whiplash, to only show symptoms after days or weeks. However, a doctor can assess you immediately and detect any underlying conditions. Prompt medical treatment could shorten your recovery period. Ensure to follow your whiplash treatment plan closely. Failing to do so could result in reduced compensation. 

Document the Accident

Documenting the accident and collecting evidence can be critical for getting what you deserve. Gather material such as:

  • Police report
  • Contact details of other drivers and eyewitnesses
  • Photographs of the accident, vehicles, and injuries
  • Medical reports
  • Receipts for out-of-pocket expenses
  • Proof of lost wages
  • Car repair or car replacement bills

Memory tends to fade or change over time. Therefore, it can be helpful to write down everything you recall about the accident as soon as possible afterward. 

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

Contacting a car accident lawyer when experiencing whiplash from a car accident can be critical for preserving your legal rights and receiving adequate compensation. A car accident injury could be with you for many years or even the rest of your life, causing steep ongoing medical bills and other expenses. A dedicated car accident lawyer from Morgan & Morgan can ensure that you are treated fairly and will fight tirelessly for adequate compensation on your behalf. Without legal representation, you might get pushed into accepting a low settlement offer and end up paying for your own medical bills down the line.  

What Not to Do After a Car Crash

It is just as important to know what not to do to preserve your rights to compensation after a car accident. While emotions can run high at an accident scene, refrain from discussing the accident or arguing with other drivers. It is generally best to keep any conversations to a minimum, such as exchanging contact and insurance information. Since everything you say at the accident scene could be used against you, try not to apologize, even if it seems natural. An innocent “sorry” or “I did not see you coming” could be misinterpreted as admitting fault for the accident.  

Generally, it is best not to talk to anyone other than your lawyer about your case, particularly during an ongoing insurance claim or lawsuit. The other side will try to find information to refuse or reduce your claim and may even monitor your social media accounts. Therefore, consider ceasing any use of social media and never post anything regarding your accident or injuries. 

Compensation You Could Receive for a Whiplash Injury 

Compensation for a whiplash injury will depend on various factors, such as the scope of injury, the extent of financial losses, and others. However, injured car accident victims could receive a range of damages, such as:

Loss of Income 

Although often considered a minor injury, whiplash can be excruciatingly painful and cause victims to miss work for several weeks or even months. Victims could be entitled to any wage losses during their recovery period, including future estimated income loss. 

Medical Costs

Although mild whiplash may heal on its own with adequate rest, severe whiplash can cause extensive medical costs. Victims may have to undergo surgery or face lengthy and costly rehabilitation therapies. Injured individuals are generally entitled to receive all medical expenses arising from a car accident injury, including specialist visits, diagnostic tests, medications, medical devices, and others. 

Property Damage

If your car was damaged or totaled, and another party was responsible, you deserve adequate compensation for vehicle repair or replacement costs. You are also entitled to reimbursement for any other property that was damaged or destroyed in the accident.

Pain and Anguish

If you got hurt in a crash, you likely experienced pain and distress. Injured victims could pursue so-called “non-economic” damages if another caused their accident. Depending on your injuries and accident circumstances, you could qualify for the following awards and others:

  • Physical pain and emotional distress
  • Loss of life quality
  • Permanent disability

How a Morgan & Morgan Car Accident Lawyer Can Help 

Our seasoned car accident lawyers in Burlington can be by your side if you or a loved one suffer a painful whiplash injury in a car accident. We can:

Gather Evidence and Build Your Case

To receive an adequate settlement or prevail in a lawsuit, victims have to prove the negligence or recklessness of the other party with relevant evidence. The sooner you contact us after a car crash, the sooner our attorneys can collect vital evidence, such as traffic camera footage and police reports, and build your case against the at-fault party. 

Identify All Liable Parties

Car crashes can be much more complex than they might seem at first glance. Although most car accidents are caused by driver negligence, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), other factors can play a role. For example, your crash may have been caused by a poorly constructed road or a vehicle defect. 

When several parties are at-fault for a crash, you could have various avenues for seeking compensation. An attorney from Morgan & Morgan can analyze your accident with the help of professional accident investigators to determine the cause of the crash and identify all responsible parties.  

Calculate Your Damages

Knowing the full value of your claim is crucial in negotiations with an insurance company. Unfortunately, many accident victims do not know the true value of their claim, which leaves them open to accepting lowball settlement offers. An attorney at Morgan & Morgan can calculate all your damages accurately and ensure that you are not being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous insurance company. 

Present Your Case Strongly at Trial

Unlike other law firms, Morgan & Morgan never shies away from taking an insurance company to court if they refuse to settle or offer a low settlement amount. We can file a lawsuit on your behalf and fight for maximum potential compensation.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

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  • How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit in Burlington?

    If you are unable to receive the settlement you deserve for your whiplash injury in Burlington, you may have to file a lawsuit against the insurer or at-fault party. In Vermont, victims generally have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek damages as per Vermont Statutes Title 12, §512. The time starts ticking down on the day of your accident and injury. Filing your lawsuit on time is critical as, once the statute has passed, your case will most likely get thrown out, leaving you unable to pursue compensation. 

  • Can I Receive Whiplash Compensation if I Was Partly Responsible for the Crash? 

    According to Vermont’s comparative fault laws, you could still receive compensation when partially responsible for a crash, provided you are no more than 50 percent at fault. However, your degree of fault will reduce the amount you can receive for compensation. Hiring a lawyer can be critical when you are partially responsible for an accident. The other side may try to assign you an unfair degree of fault to stop you from pursuing adequate compensation. 

  • Morgan & Morgan Is on Your Side

    If you suffer from painful and life-limiting whiplash after a car accident in Burlington, and someone else is responsible, you should not have to carry the financial burden alone. We understand that the time after a car crash can be confusing and stressful. However, you are not alone. Morgan & Morgan has your back. 

    Our attorneys never settle for less, giving you the best chance of receiving what you truly deserve and need. Our fee is free unless and until we win and recover for you. 

    Contact us now to learn about your legal rights in a free consultation. 

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