Whiplash is common after car accidents, particularly rear-end crashes. It occurs when the head jolts forward because of a sudden impact. The neck muscles and ligaments stretch to their breaking point and then contract quickly when the head is thrown back.
Whiplash can cause strains, tears, and other very serious injuries to the neck and spine. Even though whiplash injuries usually heal over time, symptoms can be painful and debilitating.
Our experienced car accident attorneys have compiled a guide to whiplash personal injuries, including symptoms and steps you should take when pursuing compensation.
Contact our attorneys today for a free, no obligation legal consultation to determine if you have grounds for a claim.
Whiplash Signs and Symptoms
Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that can cause any of the following symptoms:
- Jaw pain
- Memory problems
- Numbness in the arms
- Pain in the neck, shoulders or back
- Trouble sleeping
- Decreased range of motion in the neck
It can take hours or days for the symptoms of whiplash to appear. This is because the body often releases adrenaline and cortisol after a car crash, and these chemicals can mask symptoms of an injury.
Preserving Your Whiplash Claim
Follow these steps when pursuing a whiplash injury claim:
1. Seek Medical Attention Immediately
This is particularly important if you notice any symptoms of whiplash, as these could be signs of something more serious, such as internal injuries.
However, you should also seek medical attention even if you are not experiencing whiplash symptoms, as it sometimes takes hours or days for them to appear. Waiting to seek treatment could cause your condition to worsen and delay your recovery.
A qualified medical professional should be able to diagnose and treat all of your injuries. Not only does this provide a record of your injuries, but it also helps link them to the accident.
This is important because insurance companies are often skeptical about the authenticity of whiplash claims. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more skeptical the insurance company will be about whether your injury was caused by the crash.
You also need to make sure you follow the doctor’s treatment plan. Many insurance companies assume that you are not as hurt as you claim if you do not follow the physician’s treatment plan. This could devalue your claim or cause the insurance company to deny it.
2. Keep Records of Your Treatment
Obtain a copy of all medical records from the treatment of your whiplash injury. These are crucial pieces of evidence in any insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Be sure to also keep copies of medical bills and any other related expenses. These documents will be helpful in calculating the amount of compensation you are owed.
3. Start the Insurance Claims Process
Many insurance policies have deadlines for filing claims and if you miss the deadline, your coverage may not apply. That is why you should file a claim as soon as you are able.
4. Document the Accident
You should also write down everything you remember about the accident. Include details about how you felt and what happened immediately after the crash.
Getting this information down on paper while it is fresh in your memory can be critical to your case. You may not remember important details in the days, weeks and months following the crash. These details could be the difference between obtaining compensation and getting nothing. They could also increase the amount of compensation you receive.
5. Get Legal Help
A personal injury lawyer can evaluate your situation in a free consultation and determine if you have a viable claim. If you do, and you decide to proceed, an attorney can manage every aspect of the claim from that point forward, from investigating the accident and communicating with the insurance company to filing a personal injury lawsuit if necessary.
Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Lawyer
If you believe your whiplash injury was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other effects of the injury.
Our attorneys are prepared to conduct a thorough investigation to help build your case and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Your initial consultation with our trusted personal injury attorneys is free and you will not be charged legal fees unless there is a favorable resolution of your claim.
Contact Janet, Janet & Suggs today for more information.