Updated: Mar 12
Whiplash is an injury that occurs when your head is quickly and forcefully pushed backward and then forward. This can lead to disks between bones, ligaments, muscles, spine, and other neck tissues sustaining an injury.
When you sustain a whiplash injury due to the negligence of another party, you are eligible for compensation through either a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance your claim. In this post, we are going to take a look at the steps you should take in order to maximize the chances of getting compensated.
If you require help on your claim, many legal firms your claim can offer advice regarding your legal options and help with the process of obtaining fair compensation. Get in touch today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Steps to Take After a Whiplash Accident
Seek Instant Medical Attention
It is always wise to seek medical assistance immediately, even if you don't feel any pain. Some times, it can take hours or even days for whiplash symptoms to become apparent. These include:
Arm, shoulder or upper back pain
Pain when you move the neck
Restricted motion range in the neck
Numbness in the arms
Ringing in the ears
The sooner you seek medical care from a qualified practitioner, the sooner your injuries can be attended to. Instant treatment can ideally prevent the injuries from becoming worse and even hasten your recovery.
Getting instant medical attention is ideally vital to the success of your claim. It will help prevent insurance firms, juries, and judges from suspecting that your whiplash claim isn't legitimate or the injury wasn't sustained from the accident.
Stick To The Treatment Plan
It is vital that you stick to the prescribed treatment plan. This is to help you recover sooner and reduce side effects or other setbacks.
Following the treatment plan ideally shows the insurance companies, the other party's lawyers, and the judge that you have a severe injury. Failing to follow the treatment plan drastically reduces the chances of being compensated or make the process even more complicated, potentially affecting the amount of settlement you ultimately get.
File an Insurance Claim
It's ideally important that you file a claim with the insurance provider of the party at fault right after the injury to avoid missing the deadline. When filing the claim, ensure you stick to these practices:
Only State The Facts- Avoid giving opinions and speculating and only state the facts. Give the time, date, and scene of the incident. You can ideally tell the firm that you're receiving medical treatment. Avoid giving information about the severity of your injuries or how much pain you're experiencing. Disclosing such information can affect your chances of getting fair compensation.
Don't Admit Fault- This sounds obvious, but it's worth stating. Holding fault doesn't prevent you from getting compensation, but what you utter can and will be used against you by the other party. Just allow the claims process to proceed, and the evidence will show how much fault you're responsible for if any.
Don't take an Independent Medical Exam- The insurance company may require you to see their physician, but this isn't mandatory. Keep in mind that the practitioner works for the insurance company, and so, they will be looking out for their best interests. This will ultimately lead to unfair compensation.
Collect The Evidence
For a successful whiplash claim, you will need to collect evidence to support your case, including:
Medical records after the incident- these documents will show the diagnosis and prove the severity of the injury. Records before the accident will demonstrate your health status, thus helping rule out any pre-existing conditions.
Test results- these should include diagnostic test results and medical imaging.
Expenses documentation- this includes bills as well as payment receipts for treatment. It should ideally include the time you missed work when being treated or unable to do your duties. Comprehensive documentation of the expenses increases the chances of getting fair compensation.
Get Legal Help
Last but not least, you should have a reputable personal injury attorney by your side in order to negotiate on your behalf. This will help increase the chances of being compensated fairly. Ideally, a personal injury attorney can help file a personal injury lawsuit if the other party of the insurance company doesn't offer an ideal settlement.