An estimated three million people in the U.S. sustain a whiplash injury each year. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of whiplash injury, as a result of a rear-end auto collision by another driver.
When this happens, the impact forces the driver’s body forward causing the neck to hyperextend and the head to be violently thrown back and forth in a whipping motion. As a result, the soft tissues, muscles, ligaments, and vertebrae in the neck can become damaged with varying degrees of severity, often leading to neck pain and stiffness, dizziness, headaches and potential long-term problems.
If you have suffered whiplash as a result of being in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. To help you better understand your rights and responsibilities, in this article, we will explore some of the legal aspects of pursuing a whiplash claim.
Importance of Seeking Medical Attention
Seeking immediate medical attention following your accident is crucial even if you do not feel any pain or discomfort. In some instances, whiplash symptoms can appear some time after an accident, with symptoms developing several days, weeks, or even months later.
From a medical point of view, prompt diagnosis and treatment can prevent any complications and the worsening of your injuries but it can also help to establish a causal link between the accident and any whiplash or other injuries you have sustained. This is essential for building a strong case in support of your claim.
Timely medical care will also avoid any doubt being cast on the severity of your injuries or on the cause of your whiplash. In addition, ensure you follow your doctor’s instructions and take reasonable steps to ensure a full recovery. This may include chiropractic care, wearing neck support, or taking leave from work to rest. Visit this site to find a chiropractor near me.
Consult an Attorney
Navigating a whiplash claim can be challenging without specialist legal support from a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience and understanding of this area of the law. A personal injury lawyer can help your case in the following ways:
- Gathering evidence: An experienced attorney will work with experts, eyewitnesses and medical professionals to gather evidence that links your injuries to the accident.
- Negotiating with insurers: Insurance companies are adept at handling claims and will often attempt to pay out less than the value of the claim. They may also exert pressure on the claimant or employ tactics to delay the claim or dispute the facts. An attorney who specializes in this area of the law will be able to handle negotiations ensuring a fair settlement.
- Calculating damages: An attorney can help you assess the value of your claim accurately. Whiplash can result in several types of damages including medical costs, lost earnings due to the inability to work, and pain and suffering. Correctly quantifying these damages will enable you to seek the compensation you deserve.
- Representation in court: In the event that a settlement is not reached, an attorney can represent you if you decide to go to court. This includes opening and closing statements, cross-examination of witnesses and countering any arguments from the defense.
By following these steps, you can increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.