After a serious car accident, whiplash can be a common injury. With the additional medical expenses including physical therapy, the cost can become exceedingly straining for an individual’s budget. Often times, filing a personal injury claim for whiplash seems to be the only way forward. Below are some suggestions regarding how to claim whiplash in a personal injury case.
What causes whiplash?
Whiplash is most often found in people who have been rear-ended by another car. When a car is hit from behind, the torso moves forward rapidly and then the head bounces backward.
Research shows that the rear impact moves the lower bones in the neck into a backward position while the bones in the upper neck move into a forward position.
This abnormal position causes damage not to the bones but to the soft tissue that holds the spine together. This soft tissue includes ligaments, facet capsules and muscles.
Unfortunately, while this can cause a lot of pain, it is difficult to detect in medical tests. Whiplash does not show up on a traditional x-ray but can sometimes be diagnosed using a dynamic x-ray or with an MRI. However, these procedures can be expensive.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
Whiplash has a varied array of symptoms. The most obvious physical symptoms are neck pain and stiffness, headaches, shoulder pain and stiffness, jaw pain, arm pain, and back pain. Some of the less obvious symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, arm weakness, visual disturbances, and ringing in the ears.
In extreme chronic whiplash cases, symptoms may also be psychological including depression, anger, frustration, anxiety, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder and sleep disturbance.
How do I prove whiplash?
Documentation is incredibly important.
Proving whiplash is difficult because soft tissue damage is not visible in the same way as a broken bone. Also, since some people have tried to fake whiplash for monetary gain, many adjusters and jurors may be skeptical regarding the injury.
The most important thing to do when worried about whiplash is to document everything. Start before getting to the hospital. Take pictures of the accident scene if you can.
Write down or voice record what happened right away. Memories change over time, so having a record of all thoughts immediately after the accident can help save important details.
It is important to go to the hospital or urgent care so that all injuries are documented on the day of the accident. Make sure to report any concerns immediately. Do not try to “wait it out” to see if things get better. This will only slow the process of recovery.
When do I file a lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit only comes after an attorney has exhausted other options. The first step to recovering from whiplash caused by a car accident is to file a claim with either the insurance compnay or the insurance company of the other person involved.
Call Yearin Law Office Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, we invite you to give Don Yearin at the Yearin Law Office a call at 312-874-5066 for a free consultation.