How to Build a Whiplash Claim After Your Car Accident
Among all the injuries sustained during motor vehicle accidents, whiplash is one of the most common car collision injuries. Whiplash occurs due to the sudden force of motion the head and neck area experience during an accident, tearing soft tissue as it happens. It can leave victims with many health issues that may last months to years.
Whiplash can make it difficult for victims to work a regular job. This, in turn, can make it even more difficult for them to afford the cost of rehabilitative care like physical therapy or medical treatments. However, if the whiplash a car accident victim experiences occurred due to another person’s driving negligence, it may still be possible to file suit and recover their losses.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully jerked back and forth, like the cracking of a whip. This type of injury is often associated with car accidents but can also occur from sports injuries, physical assault, or other trauma.
Whiplash can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Blurred vision
These symptoms may not appear until several hours or even days after the injury occurred. In severe cases, whiplash can also lead to nerve damage, chronic pain, and other long-term complications.
If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident and are experiencing whiplash, below are a few of the most important steps you can take to ensure your legal claim is protected.
1. Seek Immediate Medical Care
Whiplash is not always immediately apparent following your car accident. However, that’s one of the reasons why receiving medical care directly following your accident is so important.
Because whiplash can often take days or weeks to develop, having a clear medical record of treatment and symptom development can greatly help your case. This will prevent insurance companies from scrutinizing the legitimacy of your claim or trying to argue that your whiplash is the result of a preexisting injury. The faster you seek medical treatment after your accident, the quicker any existing injuries will likely be diagnosed.
2. Follow Your Recovery Instructions
Not adhering to the rules your doctor created as a part of your post-treatment recovery plan might jeopardize the status of your health and cause more significant injury to occur. This can subsequently give the insurance company a reason to refuse to pay for your medical damages, which is why it’s vital to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Additionally, following your treatment plan shows the insurance company, judge, or jury that you are taking your injury seriously and trying everything to recover. Any refusal to complete treatment or abide by instructions will be proof of the opposite and likely decrease your chances of receiving fair compensation.
3. File a Claim with the Insurance Company
It’s crucial to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company promptly after sustaining a whiplash injury to avoid missing the insurance company’s deadline.
When filing an insurance claim for whiplash, sticking to the facts and avoiding speculating or giving opinions is essential. Provide only the accident’s date, time, and place and indicate that you are receiving medical treatment. Refrain from discussing the severity of your injuries or pain level, as this could adversely affect your chances of obtaining compensation.
Additionally, it’s crucial not to admit fault, as this information can be used against you by the insurance company. It’s best to let the claims process proceed, and the evidence will determine your level of fault, if any. Likewise, do not agree to undergo an independent medical exam requested by the insurance company, as the doctor conducting the exam may be biased toward the insurer’s interests and could potentially undermine your compensation claim.
4. Collect Any Possible Evidence
To support your whiplash injury claim, it’s essential to gather evidence, such as medical records from after the accident, to establish your diagnosis and help demonstrate the severity of your injury.
It’s also critical to provide medical records from before the accident, which can rule out any pre-existing conditions that could be falsely attributed to your whiplash injury. Test results, such as medical imaging and diagnostic reports, are also crucial in demonstrating the extent of your injury and tracking your recovery progress.
Additionally, it’s essential to document all expenses related to your injury, including bills and payment receipts for medical treatment, as well as documentation of any time missed from work due to treatment or injury-related inability to perform work duties. Providing comprehensive documentation of your expenses will significantly improve your chances of receiving fair compensation.
5. Seek Legal Help
Having an experienced legal professional to represent your claim against scrupulous insurers is the best way to maximize your compensation. A lawyer will protect your case and provide the proper guidance to ensure you don’t say or do anything that may jeopardize your chances of a thorough settlement. They can also guide you through the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages if the insurance company does not offer a fair initial settlement.
In conclusion, whiplash is a common injury sustained during car accidents, which can have long-lasting effects on victims’ health and ability to work. However, if the injury occurred due to another driver’s negligence, it may be possible to seek compensation for losses through legal action.
To ensure a successful claim, victims should seek immediate medical care, follow their recovery instructions, file a claim with the insurance company, collect any possible evidence, and seek legal help if necessary. By taking these steps, victims can protect their legal rights and increase their chances of receiving fair compensation for their injuries and related expenses.