Many people suffer whiplash injuries. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over six million car crashes are reported annually across the United States. And in these accidents, almost three million people suffer from injuries – one of them being whiplash. Proving this injury can be hard because signs of whiplash do not show instantly. And when you have whiplash, you anticipate a fair compensation from the insurance company.
What is Whiplash?
According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a neck injury caused by a vigorous, fast, back and forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. This type of injury is usually caused by rear-end car accidents. Some signs that you have experienced whiplash after an accident are:
- Stiff and painful neck
- Pain that worsens when you move
- Blurry vision
- Trouble recalling things
- Ringing in the ears
Irrespective of the severity of the symptoms, you can file a claim and recover compensation for your damages.
How to Maximize your Compensation
Get medical help
Even if you are not experiencing a stiff neck or any other symptom of whiplash, it is vital to go to a doctor immediately after an accident. Remember that symptoms of whiplash might not appear for days after the accident. However, the good news is that a qualified doctor can identify these signs.
Additionally, whiplash is a serious injury, and seeking medical attention fast can help speed up your recovery process. Also, seeking medical help will make your claim stronger and prevent insurance companies, juries, and the judge from doubting the claim’s validity.
Gather evidence and documentation
If you have been injured and cannot move around the accident scene, take pictures of cars and the area surrounding the scene. Also, if possible, get the contact information of the people who witnessed the crash. And if the other driver says anything like they did not see you in time, make sure you write it down. You will need every type of evidence to prove your case.
Additionally, you must collect documentation related to your injuries and the damages you suffered. For instance, medical reports will play a significant role in linking your injury to the accident and showing the degree of your suffering. So, collect every treatment record and admission file from any medical institution you visit, doctor’s statements, proof, prescribed medication, and imaging of your injury, like CT scans, X-Rays, and MRIs.
Apart from your witnesses and medical documents, you will need extra documentation to strengthen your claim. These include:
- Video footage of your car accident
- The accident report filed by your local police department
- Receipts for medical and repair bills
Speak with insurance companies
Before you speak to any insurance company, it is advisable to consult a reputable and experienced personal injury lawyer. But, if you choose to appear before the insurance firm alone, make sure that you tell the truth and avoid exaggerating the events that lead to the accident or the seriousness of your whiplash injury. Remember that making up stories will only lower your chances of getting fair compensation.
Follow your treatment plan
Regardless of the severity of the whiplash injury, it is important to follow the treatment plan recommended by your doctor. Following the treatment plan will prove to the jury, insurance company, and the judge that your claim is legit.
On the other hand, discontinuing treatment will make the process of recovering your compensation a long and antagonistic one, and affect the amount you will get.
Whiplash is a serious injury, and you should expect compensation for your damages. While linking the injury to a car accident can be challenging, it can be done. All you have to do is get medical attention immediately, collect evidence and documentation, speak to an insurance company, and never discontinue your treatment plan.