Can You Sue for Whiplash in New York?

Western New York Personal Injury Law Blog

Can You Sue for Whiplash in New York?

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries occurring in motor vehicle collisions, but it can happen due to other types of accidents as well. The pain from whiplash can be excruciating and debilitating, leading to steep medical bills, missed time at work, and long-lasting emotional suffering.

New York State law allows whiplash injury victims to seek compensation for these and other losses if another party caused the accident. Working with an experienced Western New York personal injury attorney can optimize your chances of receiving the full and fair compensation you deserve in a whiplash injury claim or lawsuit.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a sudden, forceful back-and-forth movement of the head and neck. This motion can strain or sprain the muscles and ligaments in the neck, causing pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. Whiplash is most commonly associated with rear-end collisions, but it can also occur in other types of accidents, such as sports injuries, falls, or physical assaults.

Symptoms of whiplash may include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and shoulder or arm pain. In some cases, symptoms may not appear immediately after the accident, making it essential to seek medical attention even if you feel fine initially.

The Grounds for Filing a Whiplash Lawsuit

Under New York’s no-fault insurance model, motor vehicle accident victims must first turn to their own insurance provider for coverage of medical bills and lost wages. Only if they meet certain criteria can they file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver. Specifically, to recover non-economic damages like pain and suffering for your whiplash injury, you must meet the “serious injury” threshold. New York defines a serious injury as any of the following:

  • Dismemberment or significant disfigurement
  • Fracture
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent loss of use of an organ, member, function, or system of the body
  • Permanent consequential limitation of an organ or member of the body
  • Significant limitation of use of a function or system of the body
  • A non-permanent but medically determined injury or impairment which prevents the injured person from performing their day-to-day tasks for at least 90 of the 180 days following the accident

Provided you can show that your whiplash symptoms are severe enough to qualify as a serious injury, you can file a lawsuit against the other driver to pursue compensation for various losses, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. You will need to show through evidence that the other driver was negligent or otherwise at fault for causing the accident in order for your lawsuit to be successful.

What Is the Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit for Whiplash?

In New York, the statute of limitations generally requires you to file a personal injury lawsuit for whiplash within three years of the accident date. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and it is essential to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss the deadline.

Missing the statute of limitations can result in your case being dismissed, regardless of its merits. Acting promptly can help preserve crucial evidence and witness testimony, strengthening your case.


Contact Campbell & Associates Today


When seeking compensation for whiplash via a personal injury lawsuit in New York, it is essential to work with an experienced litigator with a proven track record of results. The lawyers at Campbell & Associates have dedicated their careers to fighting on behalf of injured individuals in Western New York, and we have secured tens of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. Call or contact us online for a free consultation and let us get to work for you.


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