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How to Prove a Whiplash Injury Claim After a Car Accident

by | Jun 22, 2022 | Injury Types

Vehicle accidents happen every day; according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, more than six million car accidents occur in the United States each year. Nearly 3,000,000 persons are injured as a result of these incidents.

Whiplash is one of the ailments that a car accident victim may get. Whiplash injuries might be difficult to prove since symptoms do not often appear right away.

THE MEDICAL EXPLANATION FOR WHIPLASH

When most people hear the phrase “whiplash,” they assume it refers to a minor injury that produces transient neck pain. The medical definition of whiplash, on the other hand, informs individuals that it is often more complicated than a little ache.

Whiplash is an injury to the neck muscles produced by a quick back and forth movement. These injuries are often accompanied by neck pain, upper back, shoulders, and arms. A neck injury should be treated as serious as any other injury, such as traumatic brain injury.

Whiplash symptoms may be treated simply by resting and cooling the neck. On the other hand, victims are often required to wear a neck brace and receive chiropractic care, electrical stimulation, physical therapy, and other treatments.

Car accidents are the major cause of whiplash, according to the NIH National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke NINDS. Nerve damage, intervertebral joint injury, and muscular injuries are some of the concerns and consequences that might occur. Victims might anticipate at least a few weeks of recuperation time. However, this may be optimistic in certain situations.

Doctors examine the patient’s ability to move their neck freely without discomfort, as well as diagnostic tests such as MRIs or CT scans, or an X-ray, according to Mayo Clinic. Whiplash treatments may be simple, such as rest and ice, or they can be more involved, such as exercise, neck pain management, and a foam collar, depending on the severity of the injury.

A variety of reasons may obstruct your recovery from a whiplash injury. Whiplash victims might take longer to heal due to their age, previous neck and back injuries, and high-speed automobile accidents.

UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF WHIPLASH TREATMENT

The insurance company will inquire about when and where you had treatment when you claim your injuries. As a result, even if you are not suffering any pain symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible following an automobile accident. Inform them that you were involved in an automobile accident and the details of the incident. In automobile accidents, whiplash symptoms are a frequent injury, especially in rear-end crashes. When someone has a whiplash diagnosed, they will want to focus their efforts on getting the whiplash treated.

It’s fantastic news if you’re given a clean bill of health right after an accident. However, that clean bill of health might be deceiving—whiplash injury victims typically don’t display symptoms for a day or two after an event.

UNEXPLAINED DISCOMFORT IN THE ARMS, NECK, SHOULDER, OR HAND

Victims may experience pain in their arms, neck, or hand. Whiplash victims may have discomfort in their lower back in certain circumstances. If you have inexplicable discomfort after a vehicle accident, you should see your doctor ensure you are not badly hurt. Keep in mind that the adrenaline surge that occurs after an accident might hide physical symptoms.

NUMBNESS

Whiplash victims often complain of numb places. Numbness in the arms, hands, or shoulders is possible. Do not disregard this since it might be harmful, and you could end up with a more severe injury due to the numbness.

OTHER STRANGE SYMPTOMS

Dizziness, anger, insomnia, blurred vision, and ringing in the ears are not symptoms one would identify with whiplash symptoms. Yet, they are all probable signals you have sustained a whiplash injury after a vehicle accident.

Any symptoms you get after an automobile accident should be taken seriously. If they experience any strange symptoms, vehicle accident victims should seek medical assistance right away to ensure they are not jeopardizing their long-term health due to an undiscovered injury.

INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE DOCTOR: IT’S CRITICAL TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS

After any injury, follow your doctor’s recommendations. The insurance company will want to examine your medical records if you need to submit an insurance claim for reimbursement after an accident.

If you disobey a doctor’s instructions, your claim is likely to be denied based on that information alone. That stiff neck is something to be taken seriously. You may also be suffering from neck movement loss, severe symptoms, and neck strain and neck sprain. These are common symptoms of serious injury to your body. The cervical spine is the medical definition for you neck area.

It’s aggravating to recover after an injury. You might be well one day and sick the next. When a doctor says you’ll be out of work for two weeks, three weeks, or three months, it’s because they want to make sure you heal completely. Your long-term health is more essential than your money problems. When you are out of work, your automobile accident lawyer can assist you in understanding your choices.

NEGLIGENCE IS HOW YOU PROVE YOUR WHIPLASH CLAIM A CAR ACCIDENT

If you are hurt in an automobile accident and want to bring a lawsuit against the motorist who caused it, you must first show that they were negligent. Every motorist on the road has a duty of care to others, regardless of where they reside.

The following are the four components of demonstrating negligence:

DUTY TO INJURED PARTY

In an automobile accident, the motorist who caused the accident has a duty of care to everyone else on the road. As a result, establishing the first element is simple.

BREACH OF DUTY

When a motorist causes an accident by speeding, driving while intoxicated, or driving while distracted, they have violated their obligation to others on the road, including the accident victim.

HARM CAUSE

If you were injured due to a driver’s failure to exercise reasonable care, you have established the cause of injury.

THE VICTIM WAS INJURED

When you are injured due to another driver’s violation of duty, this is considered the last ingredient in demonstrating carelessness.

Witness testimony, police reports, and traffic cameras may all help you prove your case. An attorney who has handled vehicle accident cases before understands what questions to ask witnesses, what information to look for in police reports, and how to get traffic-camera or neighbouring security film to help you prove your case.

FOLLOWING A WHIPLASH INJURY

INSURANCE SETTLEMENT OFFERS

Before you accept an insurance company’s settlement offer, be sure you understand what accepting an offer entails. Accepting a settlement usually precludes any future claims.

It’s critical to comprehend what this means: If the settlement offer includes lost earnings, any wages you could lose due to the settlement are gone for good. You must pay those bills if you incur medical expenditures after accepting an insurer’s settlement offer since there is no way to recoup more monies.

Keep in mind that insurance company adjusters are aware of this information, and they are hoping that you are unaware of it and will not read the small print in the settlement agreement.

They also know you’re out of work and in a financial bind, so they’re hoping you won’t consult with an accident injury lawyer before signing and settling. Accepting an offer without first consulting with an experienced lawyer is a bad idea.

A WHIPLASH CLAIM’S POTENTIAL DAMAGES

Every incident is unique. Your whiplash injury may be deemed minor in a low-speed collision. Your whiplash injury might be serious if you are involved in a high-speed collision.

Furthermore, each victim is unique. Younger victims recover more quickly than elderly ones. Some individuals recover from whiplash injuries in a matter of days, while others may have neck pain, back pain, and shoulder pain for months. Several variables determine the size of your claim.

The following are some examples of possible damages you might allege in your claim:

MEDICAL EXPENSES

Most individuals consider medical expenses to be simply the cost of their treatment. Prescriptions for neck pain, medical equipment such as a cervical collar, transportation to and from the doctor’s office, and rehabilitation expenditures may all be included.

TODAY’S AND TOMORROW’S WAGES

Whiplash injuries may last months in certain cases. You may be able to collect your lost pay while you are out of work healing. If your rehabilitation takes longer than expected, you may want to submit a claim for future earnings.

Remember that your income is just a percentage of your total earnings—you may have gotten perks while working that you will lose during your rehabilitation. Inquire with your vehicle accident lawyer about these advantages and whether or not they may be included in your claim.

NON-ECONOMIC CLAIMS

Victims may include non-economic elements in their claims in certain situations. These would include things like pain and suffering, pleasure loss, and other comparable things. More information on this and how it might operate in your instance may be obtained from your attorney.

It’s impossible to predict whether or not your claim will be granted. However, you must be aware of the damages you are entitled to; you will not obtain it if you do not seek compensation.

IT’S IMPORTANT TO HIRE A CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER IN YOUR CASE

Whiplash injury sufferers sometimes assume they may make their claim because they believe they can establish the accident was not their fault. Even if you can establish that someone else caused your injuries, you’ll still have to overcome additional challenges.

Insurance companies will not just accept a claim—even if the accident was not your fault—and may present a variety of defenses, including:

THE INJURY WAS PRE-EXISTING

If you have pre-existing back, neck, or shoulder problems, the insurance company will most likely argue that the injury was pre-existing and attempt to limit your claim to one of aggravation.

ASSIGNING RESPONSIBILITY TO THE VICTIM

In a rear-end incident, the insurance company will look for methods to assign blame to the victim. They may claim the victim forgot to utilize a turn signal, came to a halt suddenly or had faulty brake lights.

INJURY NOT AS SEVERE AS STATED

The insurance company may allege that the sufferer is not as seriously wounded as they claim and that they are faking pain. This is one of the reasons why, if you experience whiplash injuries in a vehicle accident, you must follow all doctor’s directions.

You are engaging an advocate to safeguard your rights and interests when you employ an attorney. Their role is to do all they can to reach a fair settlement in your case.

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