Your Complete Guide to Whiplash Claims
If you’ve been in a car accident and, as a result, have pain in your neck and shoulders, you might have a whiplash injury. Whiplash is a fairly common injury, but that doesn’t make it any less painful or disruptive.
We’ve compiled everything you need to know about whiplash injuries, their causes and what you can expect from a whiplash personal injury claim.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury that can occur when your head moves backward and forward quickly and suddenly, often resulting in a neck injury. There are several common causes of this injury:
- Car accidents, particularly being rear-ended
- Physically being shaken
- Contact sports
- Cycling collisions
- Sudden and violent stops in cars, amusement park rides, etc.
- Horseback riding
- Workplace accident
The most common of these causes are motor vehicle accidents. Airbags and seatbelts can help lessen the movement that causes a whiplash injury but motor vehicles aren’t designed to prevent this kind of injury completely.
Symptoms of Whiplash Injuries
Whiplash symptoms can appear right away or take up to two weeks to manifest and range from minor injuries to more serious injuries that affect your every day life.
If you’ve been in an motor vehicle accident or road accident, be on the lookout for these common whiplash symptoms:
- Neck pain, neck injury and/or stiffness
- Shoulder pain
- Lower back pain
- Ringing in your ears
- Blurred vision
- Numbness in your arms or hands
- Problems with concentration or memory
Because whiplash can cause other parts of the body to hurt, it’s often mistaken for less serious injuries. It’s important to seek medical attention immediately after a motor vehicle accident if you believe you’ve sustained whiplash.
Be sure to detail every ache, pain and any other minor injuries you may have and update your doctor should symptoms worsen or appear later. Symptoms can linger and have long-term effects, causing pain and suffering and sometimes preventing you from working and enjoying life as you normally would.
If you are making a claim for injuries following a motor vehicle accident, the more documentation you have (such as photos of the car accident, medical expenses and medical reports) to support the presence of a whiplash injury, the better.
Can A Whiplash Injury Be Proven?
Because whiplash is a soft tissue injury, it doesn’t appear often on traditional diagnostics like x-rays or an MRI. These tests still need to be performed to check for other injuries, but most whiplash injuries will be diagnosed based on your description of the accident and your symptoms.
Insurance companies will cite a lack of physical evidence, like conclusive testing and the length of time before symptoms appeared as reasons to not pay a whiplash injury claim. There are things you can do to help validate your compensation claim:
- Seek medical attention immediately. The longer you wait after a motor vehicle accident injury, the more valid an insurance company’s claim that your whiplash injuries weren’t associated with the accident. Even if you don’t feel pain, see a doctor right away in a timely manner for a diagnosis and medical treatment.
- Follow doctor’s orders. This will show you took your injuries seriously after your motor vehicle accident and did everything you could to heal and prevent them from worsening.
- Make sure your whiplash injuries are well documented. Get copies of your medical records to ensure every symptom has been accurately recorded following a motor vehicle accident injury. Also, keep your own dated, daily record of how you’re experiencing your whiplash injury and how it’s affecting your life. This information will help you throughout the whiplash claims process.
How to Claim Compensation for Whiplash
If you have suffered whiplash and are looking to make a compensation claim, your claim begins the day of your accident. Whiplash, motor vehicle accident injury and personal injury claims have strict time limits, so it’s important to lodge your compensation claim as soon as possible.
For motor vehicle accident claims, it’s important you get a paper trail started and follow proper procedures following a car crash. First, always call the police to file a motor vehicle accidents report and ask for a copy. Next, contact your compulsory third party insurer that same day if they are available. Get names and phone numbers of witnesses involved in the car accident if possible.
As we’ve mentioned, attention to detail record-keeping is critical, but this doesn’t just apply to medical expenses and medical notes. Be sure to take your own pictures of both your and the other party’s cars after the crash. Take photos of:
- Both cars from a distance
- Damaged areas in detail
- Deployed airbags if applicable
- Broken glass or other debris on the ground
- Any jostled or broken contents inside the car
- Weather conditions at the time of the motor vehicle accident
- The injured person/people
As soon as you’re physically able, it’s wise to contact a personal injury lawyer to seek legal advice. They are experts in car accident whiplash compensation claims and can negotiate with insurance companies and the motor accident insurance commission on your behalf while providing legal advice throughout the entire process of your claim.
An expert compensation lawyer can guide you through the entire claims process, ensuring you receive a fair compensation payout for your whiplash compensation claim.
If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury and have lodged a claim, you may be entitled to claim for monetary compensation. How much you get and when is dependent on where you were injured, the severity of your injury, the pain and suffering caused and other factors a personal injury law professional will consider when making a personal injury compensation claim for whiplash.
How Are Whiplash Compensation Payouts Calculated?
In general, whiplash is considered a minor injury along with other kinds of soft tissue damage. However, it’s not just your physical pain to consider when negotiating a whiplash compensation payout settlement. At the start of your whiplash claim for compensation, your personal injury lawyer will factor in the following when determining your estimated compensation payout:
- Past and ongoing medical treatment bills
- Psychological injuries
- Travel reimbursement for care
- Lost earnings for time off because of injuries sustained
- Loss of future earnings if your ability to work is affected
- Care and support expenditures
- Pain and suffering compensation
- Other expenses directly related to your whiplash injury
Retaining the right legal representation after your motor vehicle accident can make all the difference when it comes to how much compensation you receive from your whiplash injury claim. They’ll be able to provide expert legal advice on your claim as well as any legal costs or associated claim expenses that may be required.
If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle or road accident and have suffered a whiplash injury, contact the expert whiplash compensation lawyers at Bradford Legal.
How Long Should a Whiplash Claim Take?
Your whiplash compensation lawyers will be able to give you an estimated timeline for the compensation you may receive. Claims can take a few months to settle once your whiplash injury has resolved and your expenses are finalized, including missed wages.
Cases where your injury has longer-term effects on both your physical and financial health will be evaluated by your legal professional.
There are strict time limits for claiming personal injuries after a car accident, and those vary by state. Due to these strict time limits, we recommend seeking advice as soon as possible.
Get Expert Help For Your Whiplash Personal Injury Claim
Whiplash is a painful injury with potentially long-term physical and financial effects that mostly occurs in motor vehicle accidents. Get the advice of a personal injury claims lawyer who can navigate the complicated legal process for you, protect your rights and help you get the maximum compensation you’re entitled to.
If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury in a car accident caused by another party, you may be eligible to claim whiplash injury compensation. To find out how much compensation you may be able to claim or to get help with an existing whiplash compensation claim, contact the expert whiplash injury compensation and personal injury lawyers at Bradford Legal.