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Suing for whiplash – what to do and how to get a fair settlement

Mar 28, 2021 | Car Accidents

Moussa Sabzehghabaei

Personal Injury Lawyer

Suing for whiplash – what to do and how to get a fair settlement

When a car accident occurs, one of the most common injuries is whiplash. Although most whiplash injuries occur in rear-end car collisions, they are still common in accidents where the car accelerates or decelerates suddenly, such as head-on and side-long collisions. When the car stops or accelerates suddenly, this motion can cause the neck to bend forward and backward forcibly. Whiplash injuries affect the muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons on the neck. The first sign of a whiplash injury is often a slight pain in the neck. This can be misinterpreted and minimized until the symptoms become worse over time. Many accident victims report more serious symptoms several hours or even days following the incident.

Can you get compensated for whiplash?

Whiplash is a medical condition that you may get compensated for if you file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver or apply for accident benefits from your insurer.

Whiplash is considered a medical condition just like any other that someone can sustain after a car accident. If you sustain a whiplash injury in a car accident, you can receive statutory accident benefits. These benefits are available for both insured and uninsured road users and come with certain limits.

  • For minor injuries, the limit is up to $3,500
  • For non-catastrophic injuries, you can receive up to $65,000
  • For catastrophic injuries, you may receive total accident benefits and attendant care of up to $1,000,000

Have you received adequate compensation from your insurer?

There are many cases where victims only discover the full extent of their injuries much later after the accident occurred. They realize that the accident benefits paid by the insurer are inadequate to cover all the damages incurred. To determine if you’ve received sufficient accident benefits to cover all your medical care needs, you must consult a lawyer. The claims adjuster is likely to try and minimize the payout by failing to assess your injuries correctly. If this has happened to you, you can dispute it with the insurer or pursue a lawsuit with the help of a personal injury lawyer. Even though there is no exact formula for calculating how much compensation you’ll receive for the whiplash injury, an experienced lawyer will advise you on what a reasonable range is based on the facts of your case.

How to tell you have whiplash

Symptoms of whiplash may not manifest immediately after the accident. When the incident occurs, you may still have to recover from the shock, which masks the pain of whiplash for a few days.

The most common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Pain in the lower back, neck, or upper back
  • Difficulty moving the neck
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Dizziness and blurred vision
  • Constant fatigue
  • Inability to sleep, concentrate or focus

The symptoms above may take several days to manifest, but when they do, they may last for up to a year. To determine how much compensation you need for the whiplash, your age, loss of income, and medical or attendant care needs will be taken into account.

Proving whiplash

An experienced car accident lawyer can help prove your whiplash injury. The process involves gathering the medical and police reports and working with specialists to understand the full extent of the injuries and future medical needs. If you’ve suffered whiplash, it’s important to visit the doctor and get a diagnosis of the condition. Some of the factors that the court will review before determining who is at fault for the injuries include:

  • The speed and direction of the cars involved in the collision
  • Whether the injured victim had worn seatbelts
  • Whether airbags were deployed
  • Whether head and neck restraints were used by emergency personnel
  • Any pre-existing medical conditions

Whiplash is a serious medical condition that needs to be diagnosed appropriately. Car manufacturers are constantly trying to develop headrests that reduce the risk of whiplash caused by sudden acceleration and deceleration.

What to do if you think you have whiplash

If involved in a car accident, it’s important to seek medical help immediately. Symptoms such as neck pain, headaches and backache should never be ignored. Consult a car accident lawyer immediately to ensure you don’t forfeit your claim because you lack the important supporting documents. An experienced car accident lawyer will guide you on the next steps and ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your whiplash injury.

You will not pay any fees until your case is won or settled

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