How to sue for a “whiplash” injury and how to arrive at a fair settlement

17 May

“Whiplash” is a common term and often gets associated with and popularized by TV shows like Law and Order and Seinfeld; however, the proper medical name for this type of injury is a “cervical muscle strain” or similarly a “neck strain.”

Whichever term you prefer, the reality is that whiplash injury is of no joking matter but instead highly disruptive and usually severely painful. A whiplash injury can also force you to be out of commission when it comes to working, school, and other social, business, and physical activities—your best chance at receiving the fair compensation that you may be entitled to (depending on who’s been deemed liable), is by filing a personal injury lawsuit.

How much is my claim worth?

Whether you are seeking compensation for a whiplash injury through an insurance claim or via lawsuit, the amount you are entitled to on a few different factors like:

the nature of the whiplash
the duration of the injury
severity of pain
length of pain
total medical bills
need for future medical care
time off from work
degree of temporary or permanent disability

Pro Tip: If you have just been in any motor vehicle accident, seek medical attention immediately (even if you feel fine at that moment). Due to various components like Adrenaline, emotions, and anxiety, symptoms resulting from injuries sustained in a car collision can be temporarily masked. However, days after impact, you may find yourself in excruciating pain. Always better to err on the side of caution!

To increase your chances of receiving compensation in a personal injury lawsuit as a result of any collision, it’s best to have documented your medical injuries and symptoms every step of the way via urgent care visits, doctor’s appointments and notes, and CT scans or X-rays. At the very least, a precautionary trip to the ER Dept post vehicle accident can protect you later should any symptoms arise pointing towards a personal injury.

Here are a few action steps to keep in mind if you believe you have experienced whiplash in an automobile accident:

Don’t ignore your pain. 

Most whiplash-type injuries go away within one to two weeks, in the more severe of cases, a patient is symptom-free within (on average) three to four months but some cases may take a year or longer.

Lingering symptoms of a neck injury should never go unchecked, ignored, or dismissed as “just whiplash.” The neck is fragile, sensitive, filled with nerve endings, and is part of the spinal cord. If symptoms persist, you should be as persistent with their physician until seeing a change moreover an improvement with ultimately positive results.

Being persistent is essential foremost for your wellbeing and secondly to your claim or case.

Keep track of all expenses.

As important as keeping track of medical records is keeping track of all medical bills and related expenses. Expenses related to the accident and whiplash such as medical equipment, receipts, transportation costs to and from medical appointments, and smaller items like bandages, neck braces, pain relief items, and larger expenses such as physical therapy costs should all be saved and tracked.

The medical paperwork, expenses, and bills helps to reflect and exhibit the duration of your pain. It is also prudent to keep track of all the hours of work or school missed due to the accident and whiplash injury.  

Seek legal counsel sooner rather than later.

Before speaking with an insurance adjustor, it is wise to speak with a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies are in the business of minimizing the funds they pay out in claims, and it is important to be very prepared to deal with them or have an attorney speak with them on your behalf.

The best way to determine whether your claim is viable is by consulting a knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorney, either after the initial accident or as soon as you are symptomatic or diagnosed. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis which means that they do not get paid unless you get paid.

If you believe you may have suffered a whiplash injury in a recent automobile accident, contact us today for a review of your case.