One of the most common injuries suffered by those who have figured in car accidents is the whiplash injuries. An injury to the neck, also called neck sprain or neck strain, whiplash is characterized by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck.
According to studies, 37.9 million out of the estimated 130 million visits annually to the emergency room made by Americans are due to injuries related to vehicular accidents. The figures show that many individuals will end up injured rather than safely returning home due to vehicular accidents.
It is caused by an abrupt backward or forward jerking motion of the head as a result of a vehicular accident.
Whiplash is relatively a common injury that is often ignored or mistreated due to lack of clear understanding of the condition. As there are no visible injuries from the accident, tendencies are people would often disregard whiplash injuries.
But failure to properly treat whiplash can lead to some serious problems like chronic psychological symptoms, including depression and anxiety.
It may not life-threatening, but whiplash can make you suffer for the long term as it may cause a prolonged period of partial disability. In fact, a study says that more than $30 billion of economic losses happen in the United States due to whiplash injuries.
An individual suffering whiplash would incur expenses for medical care, disability and sick leave, not to mention the loss on productivity levels and judicial costs that may ensue should there be litigation. Because whiplash can be very painful and disruptive to your regular way of life, the filing of lawsuit for a whiplash injury could be your best option.
What to Do After an Accident?
If you have been in a vehicular accident, it would be best for you to immediately seek medical treatment if you feel even the slightest amount of pain or discomfort. It is important that you be observed immediately by a medically-trained professional, as conditions like whiplash injuries do not immediately manifest after an accident and you will need documentation for a whiplash claim.
A doctor who specializes on whiplash injuries, when presented with factual recollection of the accident, will look for signs and symptoms that may go unnoticed by normal individuals.
Aside from the medical concerns, it is also important that there is an immediate medical disclosure as an important prerequisite for insurance claims.
Personal accounts after the accident do not hold much probative value once you file your whiplash claims. It is best that your medical records would tell your story as they have more weight.
Once you have already medically-documented case of whiplash injuries, it is imperative that you do not delay the filing of whiplash claims.
If you live in a no-fault state, you must immediately notify your insurance provider. On the other hand, if you reside in a state that allows for suits for personal injuries, it is the insurance provider of the offending driver that must be notified of the injuries sustained and the intention to file whiplash claims.
Bear in mind that time is of the essence as the earlier the notice is filed, the earlier you can receive the reimbursement for the medical bills and other expenses related thereto.
Documentation of Whiplash Injuries Claims
Before you file your whiplash claims with the insurance provider, you must first make sure that you have properly documented all the expenses incurred to treat the injuries and for your rehabilitation. These expenses may include medical bills, prescription costs and loss of earning capacity.
Insurance adjusters require proof to be presented for any expenses that they will reimburse. It would be best if you would already provide the detailed documentation of the expenses to hasten the processing of your whiplash claims.
Filing a Lawsuit
But there is no guarantee that the insurance provider will pay out your claims. In fact, there is even no guarantee that the erring driver in an accident would have an insurance policy to cover your whiplash claims.
In such cases, there would now be a need for you to file a personal injury lawsuit to facilitate collection of your damages.
Once you have already filed a suit and you come out victorious, you may be able to recover not only reimbursement for your expenses but also non-economic damages as indemnity for the pain and suffering that you have endured.
A lawyer is in the best position to give you much-needed advice on the applicable laws, jurisdictional matters and the potential result of the lawsuit so as to plan your alternative course of action.
Simply put, following the right steps early in whiplash claims on could tremendously increase your chances of getting compensation for your injuries.
Make sure you have the right insurance if you ever need to file a whiplash claim. Contact us today to discuss the perfect insurance policy for you.