Whiplash is an injury to the neck and spine that can occur during an accident when an individual’s neck is jarred in a swift, unexpected motion. Because motor vehicle crashes (even at low speeds) may jar a person’s neck, whiplash lawsuits are common between injured parties. Whiplash typically occurs to passengers in a car that is hit from behind. Sometimes the scope of a whiplash injury may take an extended period of time (weeks or months) to fully develop.
Medical issues resulting from whiplash can include serious neck pain, headaches, dizziness, back trauma, and others. The state of Pennsylvania allows individuals to file lawsuits regarding whiplash if they can prove such problems are due to a car crash. However, the type of Pennsylvania automobile insurance an individual selects stipulates the type of coverage and right to sue. The two kinds of coverage in PA are referred to as “No Fault” and “At Fault.”
Generally speaking, drivers electing the no fault option wave their rights to file suit with other drivers or against insurance companies in exchange for a guaranteed level of insurance payment, regardless of whose negligence caused the accident. If the insured has selected to opt-out of no fault coverage (at fault), he or she maintains the right to sue for damages or injuries sustained by the negligence of another driver if it can be proven that it was the other driver’s fault. However, the separation between these two levels of coverage is not black and white; there are customizable choices between the two and circumstantial factors that dictate an individual’s ability to sue. The choice can be confusing and it does affect the cost of insurance premiums, but most legal professionals would strongly advise that individuals hold on to all rights. If you’ve suffered whiplash injuries in a Harrisburg auto accident, consult an experienced Pennsylvania car accident attorney for more information about your legal rights.