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Were you recently rear-ended by another driver? Are you feeling stiffness in your neck, pain in the upper back that worsens with movement, headaches, and mental fogginess? If so, you could be experiencing the symptoms of whiplash, a disruptive yet often misunderstood injury commonly associated with rear-end collisions. The driver who hit you could owe you compensation, but the fact that whiplash often doesn’t show up on X-rays and other diagnostic images could make it hard to prove your case without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.

What Is a Rear-End Collision?

A rear-end collision occurs when the front of one vehicle collides with the rear end of another vehicle. Statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration show that rear-end collisions are among the most common types of accidents on U.S. roadways. Most rear-end collisions occur when a driver is tailgating or simply isn’t paying enough attention. 

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a type of neck and upper back injury common in rear-end collisions. It occurs when the neck rapidly and forcefully moves back and forth, like the cracking of a whip. Symptoms of whiplash can include neck pain and stiffness, pain with neck movement, headaches, tenderness, tingling or numbness in the arms, and fatigue.  

When left untreated, whiplash can cause chronic pain and other complications. After a rear-end collision, even a minor one, you should seek immediate medical attention and allow a medical professional to evaluate your condition and diagnose potential issues like whiplash. 

Seeking Compensation for Whiplash Injuries in Rear-End Collisions  

North Dakota follows a no-fault car insurance system. When an individual is injured in a crash, they turn to their own insurance provider for compensation, regardless of who caused the accident. In addition to minimum liability coverage, North Dakota requires drivers to carry what it calls “basic no-fault insurance,” which provides up to $30,000 in benefits for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages due to injuries 
  • Cost of household assistance 

Injured individuals may also seek compensation for significant whiplash injuries by filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, your claim must meet specific conditions to step outside of North Dakota’s no-fault system. To pursue a lawsuit against an at-fault motorist, the car accident must cause:

  • Medical expenses exceeding $2,500, or
  • Serious and permanent disfigurement or disability that lasts more than 60 days

Meeting one of both requirements means you can pursue a liability claim or lawsuit against the driver at fault for hitting you. Doing so allows you to seek compensation for the full value of your medical expenses and lost wages beyond those paid for by no-fault insurance. It also allows you to seek money for more subjective losses, like pain and suffering.

The overall value of your claim or case depends on numerous factors unique to your situation. The severity of your injuries, the cause of the accident, and the availability of insurance coverage play vital roles in determining how much your claim is worth. 

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you seek the full value of your claim. They can review your situation, calculate your financial losses, and outline your options for pursuing maximum compensation for your whiplash injuries. Next, they’ll negotiate with insurers for a fair settlement and can take them to court if they won’t make one. While they handle your claim, you can focus on treating and recovering from your injuries.

Contact Our Minot & Grand Forks Whiplash Accident Attorneys

Whiplash is not a minor condition. It can cause pain, loss of mobility, and other complications that can impact the quality of your life. If you’ve suffered whiplash as a result of a rear-end collision, discuss your situation with a knowledgeable North Dakota car accident lawyer with Pringle & Herigstad, P.C. We want to help you understand your legal options for seeking the money you need to cover your whiplash injuries and other expenses. Contact our office and set up a FREE consultation.

Pringle & Herigstad, P.C. is committed to supporting individuals in North Dakota, including Grand Forks and Minot, as well as the surrounding areas. Our dedicated team is here to provide legal assistance and guidance to those facing the complex challenges that arise from these incidents.