Whiplash can be a very serious neck injury. The neck is hyperextended, the muscles sometimes torn or stretched. Nerve damage can result. In really severe instances, the spine can sustain permanent damage. In most cases, whiplash results from a car accident. The victim is driving along when suddenly their auto is struck from behind, causing their head to snap in the direction of the body’s momentum. What’s actually happening in this scenario, is that the body is unexpectedly thrust forward, the head lags behind and then “whips” forward in an effort to catch up to the body. Though this is the most common occurrence, it’s certainly not the only one. Whiplash victims are sometimes pedestrians who are struck by cars. Other whiplash injuries include, but are not limited to falling off a horse, motorcycle or bicycle. Typically, the symptoms range from stiff neck or back muscles to headaches or sometimes, much worse. Because the symptoms range in severity and sometimes don’t show up immediately, whiplash is an injury to be taken very seriously. Proper medical care should be sought and one should consider filing a whiplash injury claim.
Stated below are your basic do’s and don’ts for filing your whiplash injury claim:
Do: seek medical help immediately. Very often the symptoms of whiplash are not felt right away. Many times the victim is “caught up” in the emotional rush of the accident and is not aware of any discomfort.. Other times, there is simply a gradual intensifying of pain. Whatever the case, the full details of the injuries must be reported and documented by a doctor.
Do: plan and keep regular office visits to your doctor or caregiver. When dealing with whiplash, new or developing symptoms often arise. They must also be treated and documented.
Do: hire or consult with a personal injury solicitor or whiplash attorney. The insurance companies have lots of “small print” that you must be aware of. There are provisions and special terms that must be gone over and fully understood. A top notch, experienced attorney can help you recover any out of pocket expenses incurred by you, such as automobile or medical costs.
Don’t: Delay. Far too often whiplash victims put off treatment. This isn’t very smart for 2 reasons:
Almost 50% of whiplash victims report new symptoms two years from the date of accident. Whiplash symptoms may grow gradually. Delaying treatment will often cause existing milder symptoms to evolve into more painful ones and cause new symptoms to develop.
If whiplash related injuries are not fully reported and documented, It makes it much more difficult to get full compensation from the insurance company.
Don’t: Rely solely on x-rays to find whiplash injuries.Soft tissue damage does not show up. A comprehensive exam must be given and the victim’s medical history must be taken into consideration.
Don’t take the insurance first offer if you agree to settle. They will low ball you, for certain. Do your due diligence. find out what payout averages are. Speak with other whiplash victims. Pick your lawyer’s brain.
Minor may be the accident, whiplash is not…