What are my rights regarding injuries that I suffered when I was rear-ended in a car accident?

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What are my rights regarding injuries that I suffered when I was rear-ended in a car accident?

I was hit from behind about 2 months ago. Then 2 days after the accident my neck and shoulder were bothering me. I went to a doctor 3 days later and he put me on pain meds and took some X-rays. He said that if it didn’t clear up in another week to see an orthopedist. It didn’t clear up so I made an appointment with an orthopedist but it took a month to get one. She then took X-rays and said it was possible whiplash. She put me on more pain medication and prescribed physical therapy. Now, it is been 2 months since the accident and I am still having neck and shoulder pain. Do I have a claim for pain and suffering?

Asked on February 6, 2013 under Personal Injury, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You may well have a claim for pain and suffering, as well as for medical costs and any lost wages. To have a valid claim, there must be liability and there must be injury caused by the act giving rise to liability. The law presumes that the rear-driver in a rear-end collision was at fault (he or she either was not being attentive and/or was not maintaining a safe following distance), so you can likely establish liability, or fault. If medical opinion is that collision caused the whiplash or other injuries, then you can likely prove the causal link between the collision and your harm. From what you write, it would be worthwhile to consult with a personal injury attorney to explore the possibility of legal action.


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