Undiagnosed Whiplash And Personal Injury Limitations
Did you know that in the state of New Jersey you only have up to two years to file a claim in court for a personal injury claim? That is two years from the time the injury occurred. What many people don’t realize until it is too late that this is not actually a very long time.
For example, you are sitting at the traffic lights waiting for the green, when another car hits you from behind. Even a minor nudge can cause damage to both your car and your person (and if you have children in the car, you will need to replace their car seats after even a small accident). You swap insurance details, and it’s only a little ding, it could even buff out, but you arrange to have it taken to the panel beater for assessment as your insurance company wants. However, you and the children are all fine.
Until you wake up the next morning with a really sore and stiff neck, and a bit of a headache. Often people will just attribute this to sleeping a bit funny, take some pain relief medication, and carry on with their day. Unfortunately, this is almost a classic sign of whiplash.
What Is Whiplash?
Most people have heard of whiplash but may not be familiar with exactly what it is (see here). Your head is actually pretty heavy, and rests quite delicately on your neck, so when your body does a sudden stop, as when your car is rear-ended, or in a high-contact tackle during a sports game, your head will often continue forward, and then the muscles will drag your head back. This very rapid action is what gives it the name of whiplash, being very similar to the action of a whip.
For the vast majority of people (over 90%), the symptoms of whiplash are relatively mild and will clear up on their own within a week. However, for some people whiplash may go well beyond a little bit of neck stiffness and a headache.
Other, More Serious, Whiplash Symptoms
With whiplash you may experience migraines rather than the simpler headaches. However, you may also suffer from double vision or blurred vision, nausea and dizziness. These symptoms may go away on their own, but if you suspect that you have suffered whiplash you should seek medical attention, even without the more serious symptoms manifesting.
Untreated, whiplash can cause long-term pain, which can be debilitating.
This is one of the reasons that you should see your doctor immediately at the first sign of whiplash.
You should also look at speaking to an injury attorney in NJ.
Why Do You Need A Personal Injury Lawyer?
Hopefully you don’t! Hopefully the minor fender-bender you suffered has left no long term damage to yourself, your car, or anyone else that was involved. However, if you are going to need ongoing treatment for damage that has been the result of whiplash, or any other problems that have been caused by that minor car accident, you only have two years from the date of the accident!
Generally, a personal injury lawyer will offer a free initial consultation, so it is well worth taking the time to speak to one. If they feel that you are going to need to follow through with ligation, and have a strong case, then they will be able to start the filing process with the courts. https://statelaws.findlaw.com/new-jersey-law/new-jersey-civil-statute-of-limitations-laws.html
Your lawyer may recommend that you wait a few weeks or a few months to see if your injury improves on its own, as many well do. However, because you have already spoken to your lawyer they are more likely to remember to call you up in 6 months time and check in on you.
If you have gone to the doctor and simply continue to see a physiotherapist or chiropractor in the hopes that your neck and spine will soon start to feel better, you may quite quickly run out of time to lodge a claim in court.
Bear in mind that if your accident happened outside of New Jersey that each state has its own limitations around how long after an incident you can put in a personal injury claim.