The questions on this page were answered by our team of Virginia Beach & Norfolk personal injury attorneys. The questions are categorized by practice area such as car accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, etc. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact our firm to set up a free consultation with an actual attorney.
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How do I prove that the driver who hit me caused my whiplash?
To succeed in securing a personal injury insurance claim following a rear-end collision, you need a detailed diagnosis from a qualified doctor to establish the existence of a whiplash injury.
Whiplash injuries generally do not result from structural damage, just the sudden overextension of muscles and tendons. The doctor should take x-rays and do other types of imaging such as MRIs or CAT scans to rule out more traumatic injuries. The doctor should also document problems such as pain levels through a range of motion, limitations on range of motion, arm and leg tingling and weakness, frequency and severity of headaches, and tenderness of the neck and shoulders.
Information on the duration, accumulation and intensification of symptoms will be important for supporting an insurance claim.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
The most common symptoms of a whiplash injury are neck pain that intensifies with motion, headaches and stiffness in the neck, shoulders and upper back.
Whiplash symptoms tend to diminish over time with rest, light exercise and over-the-counter pain medications. A significant number of whiplash victims, however, develop chronic pain and experience more disabling effects such as
- Tingling or numbness in the arms,
- Blurred vision,
- Difficulty concentrating and
- Memory problems.
What causes whiplash?
Whiplash occurs when a person’s head snaps back and forth suddenly and with great force.
Rear-end collisions cause the majority of whiplash injuries. The most-common symptoms of pain, headaches and neck, shoulder and upper back stiffness develop when a person’s neck muscles and tendons become severely overextended in less than a second, which is exactly what happens to people riding in vehicles that get hit from behind.
Who is liable for injuries in a limousine accident?
If the crash was caused by recklessness or negligence of the driver (i.e. speeding), or if it was caused by negligence on the part of the company (i.e. failure to maintain the vehicle), the company could be held liable for any losses victims suffered. A car accident attorney can evaluate the case and determine how to proceed.
What are some mistakes that vehicle owners make when it comes to vehicle maintenance?
Premium Fuel: Most of the vehicles that are manufactured today are made to run on regular fuel, which is 87 octane. According to the Federal Trade Commission, unless the vehicle manufacturer says that higher octane is required for a vehicle, there is no benefit in paying for a higher price, premium fuels. More expensive fuel does not mean a vehicle will operate more efficiently.
Tire Pressure: Many vehicle owners make the mistake of gauging the tire pressure by looking at tire sidewalls. However, they should be checking what the required tire pressure with the vehicle manufacturer. Having the correct tire pressure not only improves fuel efficiency, but is critical when it comes to safety. Vehicle owners should make it a habit of checking tire pressure once a month. Pressure should also be checked if there have been any extreme weather fluctuations, as this can also affect the pressure.
Maintenance for New Vehicles: Some new vehicle owners are under the misconception that because a vehicle is new, it does not need regular maintenance. The truth is that all vehicles – no matter how new or old – need routine air filter replacements, oil changes, tire rotations, and more. Ignoring these vehicle needs can lead to bigger repair bills and risks of vehicle crashes.
What safety factors should a potential client look for in a stretch limousine?
Because a stretch limo is much longer than a regular passenger vehicle, it is more difficult to maneuver and control. Because the vehicle has been modified, it is critical that the brakes and tires of the vehicle have also been modified in order to adjust for the additional weight the vehicle now has.
When hiring a limousine company, you want to make sure that the company you are dealing with has a good reputation. Investigate the safety record of the company, make sure the driver is properly licensed, and check out the condition of the vehicle you will be renting.
What is it about the design of limousines makes them more dangerous than regular passenger vehicles?
The stretch limousines that we see on our roads are not produced by any of the major car manufacturers. Instead, stretch limousines are regular vehicles that are extended by cutting the vehicle in half and then inserting a longer middle section. To do this, it is not uncommon for the company making the limousine to remove safety features that regular vehicles are required to have, including easily accessible exits, reinforced rollover bars, and side-impact airbags. There are no federal safety regulations in place for a vehicle modified into a limousine.
What happens if a vehicle owner gets a recall notice for faulty brakes?
It is far too common for a vehicle owner to be unaware there is a brake defect until they receive a recall notice from the vehicle manufacturer. The recall notice will inform the owner should include:
- A description of what the issue with the brakes are
- What the hazards and risks are because of the issue
- What the warning signs are for the issue
- How the company plans to address the problem
- When the repair will take place
- How long the repair will take
- What the owner needs to do next
What are the signs that drivers should watch for that could indicate they have faulty brakes?
- Delay or Hesitation in Stopping: Any delay in stopping when the brake pedal is pressed is a strong signal that something is wrong and needs to be checked.
- Strange Noises: Grinding, screeching, squealing, or any other strange noises when the brakes are pressed is a signal that the brakes should be checked and repaired.
- Vibrations: When the brake is pressed, if there are any vibrations with the brake pedal, steering wheel, or any other part of the vehicle, the brakes need to be inspected and repaired immediately.
- Warning Light: If the brake warning light comes on, this is a strong indication that there is an issue with the brakes that need to be addressed right away.
Do faulty brakes cause car accidents?
Faulty brakes are responsible for approximately 5,000 car accidents every year. If a crash occurs because of faulty brakes and it turns out that the vehicle owner knew but failed to get the brakes repaired, they could be held liable for the crash and losses any injured victims have. If the faulty brake was due to a defect, then the vehicle manufacturer could be held liable.