If you’ve had a car accident, chances are, you’ve suffered whiplash. Whiplash is a very common injury of the soft tissue, usually after, but not exclusive to, a minor car accident such as rear-ending. What happens is, your head and neck come to an abrupt stop and it causes an injury. To put it simply, your head is thrust forward from an impact, sort of like a headbang, only non-intentional and with greater force. You can see how a movement like that can cause an injury.
Although it might seem minor, whiplash can cause an abundance of problems and health complications, some sudden, some slightly offset. They could last a long time, even years in some cases and that can affect your ability to continue with your regular life. Both professional and personal life could suffer from an injury like that. Additionally, the expenses of a treatment or rehabilitation can be quite high. So, in addition to being unable to work and make money, you might need to spend a lot of it on recovery. Essentially, you’re stuck with a lot of problems that keep piling up.
What’s even worse, more often than not, suffering that injury is not your fault. A lot of accidents that cause these injuries, happen because of a lack of concentration, attention or just pure negligence. If you’ve suffered an injury that has been caused by another driver’s mistake, you have a right to claim compensation for your troubles. Either with an insurance company or through a personal lawsuit, you are entitled to claim a whiplash compensation if it’s not your fault.
However, supporting your injury claim is paramount if you plan on winning and that’s not easy. You will need to pay attention to several details and follow a couple of important steps to make sure everything goes according to plan. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Seek medical attention right away
It is paramount to seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if you feel all right, it’s important to be checked out by a medical professional right away. Don’t wait for symptoms to occur, because if you don’t seek medical attention within the first few hours, it leaves enough space to refute your claims of physical injury being caused by an accident. This is important, because, a lot of symptoms aren’t present right away. A shock can put your body into a state where you’re not aware of the pain or any other symptoms, so you might think you’re doing okay. Even if that’s the case, you should still get check out.
There could be many symptoms you could develop in the following days, such as dizziness, numbness in your upper extremities, neck or back pain or sleep issues, only to name a few.
Also, the faster you seek help, the faster your injuries can be treated. That can greatly affect your recovery process. If you wait, you risk your state worsening and therefore prolonging your suffering and recovery process. All of this can cost you your health, as well as your money.
2. File an insurance claim
Like we’ve said, filing an insurance claim is one of the possible steps you can take. Once again, it’s important to file a complaint as soon as possible, because many insurance companies have a deadline for those things. It’s not only recommended, but it’s also advised by whiplash compensation lawyers from Perth, like Foyle Legal. When filing an official report or a claim, it’s important to follow these rules.
2.1. State the facts – This is not the time or place to assume or speculate who’s to blame – only the facts should be given. State the date, time and place of the accident and stick to the truth. Also, it’s fine to mention if you are receiving medical help, just avoid talking about the seriousness of the injury, or how you feel. The fact that you are receiving help should be enough. Anything else could affect your chances of being compensated.
2.2. Never admit fault – It’s important to never admit fault. Although being at fault does not mean you’ll not be able to receive compensation, it’s best to deny being guilty. Whatever you say can be used against you, so leave the talking to the lawyers and evidence.
2.3. Deny outside medical examination – If the insurance company offers you additional medical examination, you even tell you it’s necessary, don’t fall for it, it isn’t. Independent examiners work for insurance companies and their only goal is to downgrade your injuries and negatively impact your compensation.
3. Stick to the doctor’s orders
A doctor is going to prescribe you with a treatment plan and you should stick to it. Do not stop or skip treatment if you feel better. That will only show that your injuries are not as severe as you make them out to be and it’ll affect your chances of obtaining compensation. So, even if you feel better, finish your treatment and follow the doctor’s orders.
4. Collect evidence
You are not going to win without any evidence. Claiming you’re injured can only get you so far and that is not far enough. So, you have to collect evidence that supports your claim.
4.1. Medical records – The most important part of the process, a document that proves your claim and shows the severity of your injuries.
4.2. Medical history – It’s important to show that you’ve haven’t had a pre-existing condition for which you’re trying to get compensated. It’s best to have your regular physician do the exam, as he’s best familiar with your medical history.
4.3. Proof of expenses – It’s important to back up your compensation claim by showing the bills and receipts for medical expenses to be properly compensated. Additionally, you can provide documentation proving you we’re out from work and therefore unable to perform and earn a paycheck.
5. Seek legal representation
Without proper legal consulting and advice, you may be stuck in a courtroom for way too long. Professionals know the system and can provide you with the best results. Whether you’re filing an insurance claim or a personal lawsuit, lawyers can help you out significantly. If you’re looking for one, you can consult with the previously mentioned firm.
Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand the process of filing and supporting a whiplash claim.