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The #1 St. Louis Whiplash Lawyer

Use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a St. Louis Whiplash Lawsuit Claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman
Tor Hoerman

Attorney Tor Hoerman, admitted to the Illinois State Bar Association since 1995 and The Missouri Bar since 2009, specializes nationally in mass tort litigations. Locally, Tor specializes in auto accidents and a wide variety of personal injury incidents occuring in Illinois and Missouri.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and attorneys at TorHoerman Law and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Tor Hoerman, you can do so here.

TorHoerman Law does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

TorHoerman Law: The #1 St. Louis Whiplash Lawyers

Looking for an experienced St. Louis whiplash lawyer?

Our team of accomplished whiplash lawyers at TorHoerman Law has been awarded over $4 Billion in verdicts and negotiated settlements on behalf of our clients since 2009.

On this page, we’ll discuss the benefits of hiring a St. Louis whiplash Lawyer, how whiplash injuries occur, common symptoms of whiplash injuries, how to seek compensation if you have suffered a whiplash injury, and much more.

STL Whiplash Injury Lawyers

Whiplash is a common neck injury caused by various types of accidents, including car accidents and contact sports.

Whiplash injuries are caused by sudden and forceful back-and-forth neck movement, typically damaging muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues around the neck area.

Many people often dismiss whiplash as a simple stiffness in the neck or a minor injury that will heal quickly.

Whiplash can have long-lasting effects on the victim’s physical and mental well-being.

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If you’ve been hurt in an accident and believe you may have suffered a whiplash injury, it’s essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Once you have received medical care, it is highly recommended to consult with a St. Louis Whiplash Lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Contact our St. Louis car accident lawyers today for a free case consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page for a fast and free case evaluation.

Table of Contents

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the head is forcefully jerked backward and then forward, resembling the motion of a cracking whip.

Whiplash type injuries often happen during rear-end car accidents but can also result from various physical activities and accidents.

It’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly following an accident, even if symptoms of whiplash aren’t immediately apparent.

Some symptoms may take hours or days to manifest fully.

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Early intervention can prevent the progression of symptoms and promote faster recovery.

Documenting these symptoms through medical records is also essential for proper treatment and legal purposes, especially if you’re considering filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action against the responsible party.

How Do Whiplash Injuries Occur?

Whiplash typically occurs due to sudden acceleration or deceleration, causing the neck to hyperextend and then hyperflex.

Rapid movement strains the neck’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments, causing severe injuries and chronic pain in the neck.

Whiplash is often observed in rear-end automobile collisions.

Other types of car accidents can also cause whiplash injuries.

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Besides car accidents, other incidents could also cause this injury, including:

  • Workplace accidents (construction sites, warehouses, etc.)
  • Contact sports (football, martial arts, basketball, etc.)
  • Amusement park rides (roller coasters, steep slides, etc.)
  • Physical assault or fight
  • Slips and falls

Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash

It’s relatively easy to identify whiplash as it’s a common neck injury.

If you’re experiencing severe neck pain, then there’s a high chance that you have whiplash.

Some symptoms to help you evaluate if you have whiplash include:

  • Neck Pain: This is the most common symptom, often characterized by a dull, aching sensation.
  • Stiff Neck: Patients may experience difficulty moving their neck muscles, especially when turning or tilting.
  • Headaches: Persistent headaches, often starting at the base of the skull and radiating towards the forehead, are common.
  • Dizziness: Some individuals may feel lightheaded or dizzy, particularly when moving their heads.
  • Blurred Vision: Vision disturbances, including blurred or impaired vision, can occur due to the strain on the neck muscles, affecting blood flow to the head.
  • Muscle Spasms: Some individuals experience muscle spasms in their shoulders or arms when turning their heads.

How Is Whiplash Diagnosed?

Diagnosing whiplash involves a series of physical and imaging tests.

Imaging tests are the most definitive, but physical tests are conducted preliminarily to ensure that the patient is not experiencing any underlying injuries.

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Some of the most common physical diagnostic tests for whiplash include:

  • Range of Motion (ROM) Test: In this test, the doctor will evaluate your neck’s movement in different directions to determine any limitations or restrictions.
  • Palpation: The doctor may also use their hands to feel for any abnormalities, such as swelling or muscle tightness.
  • Neurological Evaluation: This test involves evaluating the function of your nerves, including any weakness or numbness.

X-rays and MRI scans are the most commonly used to diagnose whiplash injuries.

These scans can reveal any fractures, dislocations, or soft tissue damage that may be causing the symptoms.

How Is Whiplash Treated?

Many whiplash injuries are treatable with physical therapy or OTC medicine.

An individual may recover from whiplash within a few weeks or a month with proper treatment.

Depending on the severity of the injury, some individuals with a whiplash injury recover completely, while others may experience chronic pain.

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Some common ways to treat whiplash include:

  • Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and prescription pain medications can help alleviate discomfort.
  • Physical Therapy: Exercises and stretches prescribed by a physical therapist can improve neck strength and flexibility.
  • Heat and Cold Therapy: Applying heat or cold packs to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  • Supportive Devices: A neck brace or supportive collar may be recommended temporarily to support the neck and promote healing.

Long-Term Effects of Whiplash

While many people recover from whiplash within a few weeks with proper treatment, some may experience long-term effects, such as chronic neck pain or stiffness.

In severe cases, whiplash can lead to complications like vertigo or even cognitive difficulties.

Some individuals might have a limited range of motion in their necks, making it difficult to do daily activities.

They may also develop secondary musculoskeletal injuries if they have not received proper treatment.

Whiplash as a Secondary Injury

Whiplash is frequently identified as a secondary condition to more severe injuries sustained in car accidents, such as broken bones or spinal injuries.

This is because the sudden movement and impact that causes whiplash can also be sufficient to inflict more serious trauma on the body and soft tissue structures.

For instance, while the rapid jerking motion of the head strains the neck’s soft tissues, the same collision might simultaneously cause bone injuries, fractures, concussions, or other spinal injuries.

The complexity of diagnosing whiplash alongside these more pronounced injuries can sometimes lead to its symptoms being overshadowed or initially overlooked.

A physical exam following accidents are crucial to identify and appropriately provide specific treatment for both the primary injuries and secondary conditions like whiplash.

How an Experienced Whiplash Lawyer Can Help You

Following your initial medical treatment, hiring an experienced lawyer should be your next move.

A knowledgeable whiplash lawyer can help you recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages due to whiplash.

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Some ways a whiplash lawyer can assist you include:

  • Case Evaluation
  • Building a Solid Case
  • A Network of Vetted Professionals
  • Negotiation with Insurance Companies
  • Court Representation

Case Evaluation

An experienced whiplash lawyer begins by conducting a thorough evaluation of your case.

They review medical records, accident reports, and other relevant documents to assess the strength of your claim and determine the potential for compensation.

Your lawyer will look at various aspects of your case, including the severity of your injuries, available insurance coverage, and any applicable laws that may affect your claim.

These professionals will not leave any stone unturned, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

Building a Solid Case

Understanding the medical aspects of whiplash is crucial for building a compelling case for compensation.

A skilled whiplash lawyer works closely with medical experts to gather evidence supporting your injury claim.

This evidence may include diagnostic imaging results, treatment records, and expert testimony to demonstrate the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life.

Your lawyer can further strengthen your case by obtaining statements from witnesses or using accident reconstruction techniques to prove liability.

A Network of Vetted Professionals

Whiplash lawyers often have a network of vetted expert witnesses, including doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors, who specialize in treating whiplash injuries.

These professionals can ensure you receive the proper medical care and documentation to support your claim.

Many experienced lawyers have access to extensive resources, such as trial exhibits and medical literature, which they can use to present a strong case on your behalf.

These extensive resources can significantly improve your chances of recovering fair compensation.

Negotiation With Insurance Companies

Insurance companies may try to minimize or deny your claim to protect their bottom line.

An experienced whiplash lawyer knows how to navigate the complexities of insurance negotiations.

Your whiplash lawyer will advocate on your behalf to secure a fair settlement that compensates you for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident.

Court Representation

If negotiations with the insurance company are unsuccessful, a whiplash lawyer will take your case to court.

These lawyers have the litigation experience and legal knowledge to present your case effectively before a judge and jury.

With their expertise in whiplash injuries and personal injury law, they work tirelessly to pursue the compensation you deserve.

With a knowledgeable lawyer by your side, you can focus on your recovery while they keep the legal work running.

The Legal Challenges of Whiplash Claims

St. Louis whiplash lawyers are adept at overcoming the legal challenges of whiplash injury claims and they leverage their expertise in personal injury law, medical evidence, and expert testimony to build solid cases and secure fair compensation for their client’s injuries and losses.

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Some of the most commonly encountered legal challenges by whiplash victims include:

  • Proving the severity of the injury
  • Demonstrating the impact on the victim’s life
  • Assessing the non-economic damage

Proving the Severity of the Injury

One of the primary challenges in whiplash injury claims is proving the severity of the injury.

Whiplash injuries often lack visible signs, which can make it challenging to convince insurance companies or juries of the extent of the injury.

While imaging tests can provide an objective measure of the injury, insurance companies may still dispute the validity of these tests or the severity of the injury.

Insurance adjusters may argue that the accident was not severe enough to cause such injuries or that the injuries are pre-existing.

An experienced lawyer can recover essential medical records, expert opinions, and other documentation to disprove these arguments and prove the severity of your injuries.

Demonstrating the Impact on the Victim’s Life

Another challenge in such cases is demonstrating the impact of the whiplash injury on the victim’s life.

Whiplash symptoms such as neck pain, headaches, and cognitive difficulties can significantly affect a person’s ability to work, engage in daily activities, and enjoy life to the fullest.

Whiplash can cause long-term or permanent disabilities, making it difficult to return to work and participate in activities they once enjoyed.

An experienced whiplash lawyer can gather evidence from medical professionals and witnesses to show how the injury has affected your life, helping you receive fair compensation for these impacts.

Some victims can even develop mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, due to the pain and limitations caused by whiplash.

A lawyer can work with mental health experts to establish these links and seek appropriate compensation for these intangible losses.

Assessing the Non-Economic Damage

Whiplash injuries not only result in economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages.

These injuries also inflict non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

These non-economic damages are subjective and can be challenging to quantify, making it difficult to negotiate fair compensation for the victim’s intangible losses.

Some insurance companies may try to downplay or deny these subjective impacts to diminish the value of your claim.

A whiplash lawyer can work with you and medical experts to assess the full scope of non-economic damages resulting from your injury, ensuring you receive fair compensation for all aspects of your suffering.

What Evidence Could Help You With Your Case?

As repeatedly established in this article, evidence plays a huge role in a whiplash injury case.

The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be.

Some evidence, like medical records and accident reports, are easy to obtain, while others require a whiplash lawyer’s legal expertise and resources.

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Some evidence you and your lawyer must preserve to strengthen your case include:

  • Medical Records: Detailed medical records documenting the whiplash injury’s diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis are essential. These documents must include doctor’s visits, diagnostic tests, prescriptions, and rehabilitation therapy records.
  • Witness Statements: Eyewitness statements from individuals who observed the accident or witnessed the victim’s symptoms and limitations following the injury can provide valuable corroboration of the victim’s claims.
  • Photographic Evidence: Photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and visible injuries can help establish the severity of the accident and the impact of the injury on the victim.
  • Documentation of Financial Losses: Records of medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial losses resulting from the whiplash injury are crucial for calculating economic damages.
  • Personal Journal: Keeping a personal journal documenting the victim’s symptoms, pain levels, and limitations on daily activities can provide compelling evidence of the injury’s impact on their life.

Damages You Might Recover in a Whiplash Case

In a successful whiplash accident case, victims may be entitled to recover various types of damages.

Damages are the total costs, economic and non-economic, incurred as a result of an accident.

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Damages that victims may be able to recover include:

  • Medical Expenses: Whiplash results in significant medical expenses, including doctor’s visits, diagnostic tests, medications, rehabilitation therapy, and more. Victims can recover compensation for these costs.
  • Lost Wages: Treating whiplash may require victims to take time off work, resulting in lost wages. In severe cases, whiplash may cause long-term or permanent disabilities that affect the victim’s ability to earn a living. Victims can recover compensation for these losses.
  • Pain and Suffering: Whiplash injuries often result in severe pain and suffering, which are subjective but very real damages. Insurance companies use various methods to calculate these damages, such as the multiplier method or per diem method.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Compensation for the loss of ability to participate in activities and enjoy life to the same extent as before the injury due to pain, disability, or other limitations caused by the whiplash injury.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases involving egregious negligence or intentional misconduct by the at-fault party, the court may award punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.

TorHoerman Law: Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

Neck injuries might seem minor at first, but they can have significant long-term impacts on a victim’s life.

If you’re dealing with whiplash injuries from an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s essential to seek legal help immediately.

At TorHoerman Law, our experienced whiplash attorneys understand the challenges victims face when seeking compensation for their injuries.

Call our team now for a free, no-obligation consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to see if you instantly qualify for a case.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

    Whiplash is a neck injury resulting from forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, commonly occurring in rear-end car accidents.

    Symptoms of whiplash may appear immediately after the incident or develop days later, and they can vary in severity.

    Common symptoms of whiplash include:

    • Neck pain and stiffness
    • Headaches, often starting at the base of the skull
    • Dizziness
    • Blurred vision
    • Fatigue
    • Difficulty concentrating or memory problems
    • Irritability
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Tingling or numbness in the arms

  • How is Whiplash Diagnosed?

    Whiplash is diagnosed through an evaluation that includes a detailed medical history and physical examination.

    During the examination, a healthcare provider assesses the range of motion in your neck, the degree of motion that causes pain, and checks for tenderness in the neck, shoulders, or back.

    Imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scan, or MRIs, may be ordered to rule out other injuries like fractures, dislocations, or damage to the soft tissues and spinal cord.

  • How Do Most Whiplash Injuries Occur?

    Most whiplash injuries occur as a result of sudden acceleration-deceleration forces on the neck, typically in rear-end vehicle collisions.

    The sudden force can cause the soft tissues in the neck to stretch and tear, leading to the characteristic symptoms of whiplash.

    Whiplash injuries can occur in various types of car accidents beyond rear-end collisions, including side-impact and head-on collisions, where the force exerted on the occupants can similarly cause the neck to whip back and forth.

    Besides car accidents, whiplash can also result from:

    • Sports injury/collisions
    • Physical abuse or assault, such as being shaken or punched
    • Amusement park rides, especially those that jerk or shake the body
    • Falls where the head violently jerks back and forth

  • What Does Whiplash Treatment Look Like?

    Whiplash treatment typically focuses on pain management, restoring normal range of motion, and facilitating a quick return to daily activities.

    Common treatments may include rest, ice, heat application, over-the-counter pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and prescription medications for more severe pain.

    Physical therapy is also an option, typically involving exercises to strengthen the neck muscles, improve flexibility, and restore normal movement, sometimes supplemented by massage, ultrasound, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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