A whiplash claim starts with you, minding your own business, driving down the street. It ends with you in excruciating pain that leaves you unable to work or function as you normally did. Your quality of life diminishes, and you no longer enjoy the basic activities that you loved before your car accident.
If you’ve suffered from whiplash due to a car accident, keep reading. These are the basic symptoms of whiplash and the ways you can prove your claim to the insurance company that is dragging its feet.
Medical Definition for Whiplash
Medically, whiplash refers to an injury to your neck caused when your neck bends forward and backward in a sharp, jerky movement. Some external force causes your neck to move in this way.
Whiplash most often occurs when someone rear-ends you.
When your head slams forward and then back, you often suffer tiny tears in your neck muscles and tendons. This, in turn, affects the stability of the discs and nerves in your neck. You experience pain at the time of the accident as well as weeks down the road.
Often the pain will increase as time increases, so you don’t know the full extent of your injury until well after the accident that caused it.
These are your basic symptoms:
- Pain in the neck
- Low back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Pain in your hand or arm
- Numbness in your hand or arm
- Blurred vision
- Memory problems
Because whiplash symptoms look like the symptoms of many other medical conditions, you need a doctor’s diagnosis to know you have whiplash. Do not just diagnose yourself.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you do have whiplash, you’re looking ahead to some lengthy treatment options. But first, you need an official diagnosis.
A physician will ask for your complete medical history and give you a thorough physical exam from the start. They will test for whiplash using an X-ray, an MRI, and a CT scan. If your doctor suspects whiplash, you can expect the following treatment options:
- Ice application
- Gentle, active movement once 24 hours has passed
- Cervical collar for the first 24 hours
- Over-the-counter pain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen
- Muscle-relaxing medicine
- Osteopathic manipulation or a chiropractic treatment
- Physical therapy
All of these treatments, together, will help you overcome the symptoms of whiplash. They also take time away from work and come at a great cost.
Proving Your Whiplash Claim
Because whiplash is not an obvious injury, you may have a difficult time proving your claim initially. When you are involved in a car accident, file an insurance claim immediately, even if you just have a small pain. Whiplash can manifest itself even more than 24 hours after the accident.
While you file the claim, do not rush to settle it. Let some time pass first and see what your doctor says. You do not know the full effects yet.
There’s a real possibility you may not be able to work, care for your loved ones, or function with the joy you had before your accident for quite some time. You deserve financial compensation for these losses caused by another driver’s carelessness.
But first, you need to prove that your inability to work or focus comes directly from the accident that caused your car accident whiplash. Many judges and insurance companies will attempt to say you had the injury previous to the accident or that you’re making it up.
Gather Paperwork and Evidence
X-rays alone will not prove your whiplash. You will need a full file of medical evidence on your side when you file your claim. Here’s what you should gather for your personal injury claim:
- Accident documentation: gather the information that states your speed, your position in the vehicle, the location of impact on the vehicle, the position of the headrest, and whether the airbags deployed or not
- Medical records: include all records that show you went to the doctor right away, including visits to specialists and medical records from before the accident to show the difference in your condition
- Medication records: show the medications you’ve had to take for pain
- Images: include results from X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans that show damage to your spine as well as the soft tissue
- Financial documentation: include all medical bills in this file especially your co-pays and deductibles that health insurance did not cover, lost wages, and the cost of traveling to your doctor.
- Emotional documentation: include documentation of the days when you could not do your normal activities because of your pain such as being a companion to your loved ones so you can include “pain and suffering” in your claim.
You should have a substantial file put together for your personal injury claim. You need more than just your story of how you’ve suffered. This evidence will help you build a solid case.
Hire an Attorney
Insurance companies tend to not believe all of their claimants. They won’t deny that you’ve been in a car accident, but they may claim your injury existed before the accident or that your injury isn’t as bad as you claim.
In these cases, you need to hire a professional attorney who specializes in personal injury claims. Look for an attorney with experience and a successful track record. Ask around or begin looking online for reviews on personal injury attorneys.
When an attorney does their job well, their clients will say so, be it online or in person. They will understand not just how to argue your claim. They will also understand the intricacies of the justice system that you have to navigate.
A good attorney will also protect your rights. The court system may attempt to file criminal charges against you, claiming you caused the car accident with your own negligence. The right attorney will protect your rights and know how to fight these charges.
Make Your Claim With Confidence
If you’ve suffered or are suffering from the effects of whiplash caused by someone else, make your whiplash claim with confidence. Gather your evidence and contact an attorney with expertise who can help you win your case and move on with life.
When you need the best personal injury and accident attorneys in Florida, contact us. Our team of attorneys and support staff wants to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Our attorneys work hard to guide clients through the maze of judges, lawyers, and insurance companies you will encounter. Furthermore, we only take payment when we win the personal injury case. We are that confident in our abilities.
Contact us and let us protect your rights.
CONTACT A TAMPA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.329.3491.