How to File a Whiplash Injury Claim After an Accident
Posted on behalf of Edwards Law Firm on Aug 02, 2017 in Auto Accidents
Whiplash is a painful and often debilitating injury in which the neck is suddenly forced in one direction and then immediately in another in a whip-like motion.
Although whiplash is a common injury that occurs during a car accident, especially rear-end collisions, many auto accident victims find it difficult to recover compensation for whiplash through an injury claim.
For this reason, you should contact a reputable Tulsa auto accident attorney for help with your claim. We can help you fight for compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and other losses after suffering a whiplash injury.
What are the Common Symptoms of a Whiplash Injury?
The effects of a whiplash injury often depend on the seriousness of your car accident. The symptoms of whiplash may range from mild to severe and can include:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Stiff neck
- Difficulty moving your neck
- Pain in the arms or legs
- Difficulty sleeping
Although whiplash may not be visibly damaging, it can seriously affect your everyday activities and may prevent you from working or performing simple tasks.
What Should I Do if I Suspect a Whiplash Injury After a Car Accident?
There are certain steps you should take after a car accident, especially if you have suffered a whiplash injury:
Seek Medical Treatment
Not all car accident injuries are immediately apparent following a collision. For instance, it can take several hours or days for the symptoms of a whiplash injury to become noticeable.
Despite this delay, it is imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as possible to find out if you have suffered a whiplash injury. This will ensure your injuries are quickly and properly diagnosed.
Seeking medical care promptly after a car accident is also beneficial because it shows that you have legitimately suffered an injury. An insurer will heavily scrutinize your actions and decisions following an accident, and quickly consulting with a medical professional is the best way to demonstrate the severity of your injuries.
Collect Medical Documents and Records
During your medical treatment for your whiplash injury, you should collect all medical records and documents that relate to your injury and treatment.
This should include:
- The results from any tests you have undergone
- Imaging such as x-rays and MRIs
- Medications you have taken
- Doctor’s notes
- Hospital admittance records
- Treatment you have undergone
The medical documentation you collect will help establish that your whiplash injury was a direct cause of the accident. It will also justify that the medical treatment you have received was necessary to treat your injury.
It is essential that you follow through with any medical treatment your doctor prescribes for your injury. This will prove the severity of your injury, quicken your recovery rate and prove that you did not worsen your injury by deviating from treatment.
You should also collect and store any receipts for any medical expenses you might have incurred during the course of your treatment, such as:
- MRIs, x-rays and other imaging test results
- Co-pays for doctors’ visits
- Expenses for neck braces and other medical equipment
- Bills for hospital visits
- Initial ambulance ride to the hospital
- Prescribed medications
- Physical therapy expenses
Document the Accident and Your Injuries
Any evidence you have that documents your auto collision will be useful for supporting your whiplash injury claim. If you are physically able, you should obtain the following evidence after the accident:
- Pictures of the accident scene that include vehicle damage, the positions of the vehicles after the collision, traffic signals surrounding the accident scene and conditions of the road.
- Pictures of your injury, if there are any visible symptoms. Whiplash injuries are often not physically apparent; however, you may have bruises, cuts or scrapes, which will show you sustained physical damage during the accident.
- Statements from witnesses who were present during the collision. You should also collect their names, addresses and contact information so our attorneys can contact them later.
- A copy of the accident report made by the responding law enforcement officer.
- Your written personal statement of the accident that includes details of the events leading up to the collision and what happened immediately after.
- Detailed notes of how your whiplash injury has affected your daily life.
File an Insurance Claim for Your Whiplash Injury
You should file an insurance claim for your whiplash injury as soon as possible following the car accident.
However, it is important to remember that the adjuster’s job is to save the insurance company money. He or she does not have your best interests in mind. You should follow these tips when dealing with an adjuster:
- State only the facts about your accident and do not exaggerate or guess about events you are unsure of.
- Be careful of what you say to an adjuster, because everything can be used against you.
- Consult with a personal injury attorney before providing an official statement to an adjuster.
- Do not accept an offer until you know the full extent of your injuries and medical bills, and make sure the settlement offer includes payment for those expenses.
Our attorneys are experienced in handling insurance adjusters and will work to ensure your claim is properly handled so you receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney Today
If you are suffering from a whiplash injury and need qualified and experienced legal help for your insurance claim, do not hesitate to contact the Edwards Law Firm' accomplished Tulsa personal injury attorneys for a free, no obligation consultation.
We are ready to help auto accident victims fight to receive fair treatment and the compensation they deserve for an injury caused by another’s negligence. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we recover compensation for your claim.
Call 1-800-304-9246 to contact one of our attorneys today.