Lever & Ecker, PLLC July 30, 2019 Car Accidents
Insurance companies are nothing if not good at PR. Through years of television ads and media campaigns, they’ve convinced the public that they are good neighbors, holding your hand and standing by your side when accidents happen. (Alas, when accidents actually do happen, they might start singing a different tune.)
One of the insurance industry’s biggest targets over the years: whiplash. It’s a common injury, and insurers have had to pay out a lot of money to whiplash victims. For that reason, we’ve seen a lot of anti-whiplash messaging. As a result, many people now have the idea that whiplash is an “illegitimate” or “less serious” injury. But that isn’t the case.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a soft tissue injury after an auto accident in New York, you might be wondering, “Can I claim whiplash as a passenger?”
As it happens, the answer to that question is fundamentally the same as it would be if we were talking about any other injury. Long story short, that answer is yes. But there’s a lot to know about claiming whiplash as a passenger, and the laws in New York work a little differently than in most states. Let’s take a look.
Whiplash happens when the force of impact in a car crash causes the head and neck to quickly “whip” back and forth. It can happen in just a few seconds and at speeds as low as 5 miles per hour. But the effects can last for weeks, months, or even years.
In fact, according to a peer-reviewed 2001 scientific study published in medical journal Neurology, nearly 8% of auto accident whiplash victims are unable to return to their normal activity levels more than a year after the accident.
Whiplash can cause a wide range of chronic and acute symptoms, including:
The anatomy of the human neck is complex; it is not built to withstand forceful impact. The fragile soft tissue and skeletal structure within is easily injured, and those injuries may be slow to heal. Some people never fully recover.
Moreover, whiplash can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as a concussion. TBI may occur when the whip-like motion of the head and neck causes the brain to move about inside the skull, potentially bruising the brain tissue and leading to an array of cognitive issues or other problems.
Passengers generally have the same rights to financial compensation after a New York auto accident as anyone else. As with most auto accident claims, passengers must typically look to one or more insurance companies to recover the compensation they deserve.
Whose insurance policy covers you as a passenger? The answer to that question requires a bit of explaining, thanks to New York’s no-fault insurance rules. We break it down in a broad overview below.
The foregoing is offered only as a general guideline. Insurance matters are inherently complex, and no two situations are quite alike. While this information can help you get a sense of the process from a big-picture perspective, it is critical that you consult an experienced attorney before making any decisions that might affect your legal rights.
Every case of whiplash is different. The amount of compensation available to you will depend on the nature of your injuries and the value of any other damages associated with your claim.
Some whiplash claims involve substantial financial damages. This may include compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damages, and so on. To learn more about the compensation you can claim for whiplash as a passenger, call the NYC & White Plains auto accident lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC.
If you have suffered whiplash as a passenger in New York, no matter what the circumstances may be, we encourage you to contact our office to discuss your situation. Please never make assumptions about your rights, duties, or options until you consult an experienced attorney.
Lever & Ecker, PLLC is a New York personal injury firm with years of experience in helping auto accident victims and their families claim the financial justice they deserve.
For accident victims, we typically offer a free initial consultation, and if we take your case, we will not charge a fee for our services unless and until we get you money.