If you were involved in a
car accident, especially a
rear-end collision, there is a good chance you sustained a “whiplash” injury.
Whiplash is caused by an abrupt back-and-forth flexion of the neck, similar
to the cracking of a whip.
This type of injury is a legitimate soft-tissue injury. A sudden, violent
extension and retraction of your neck can result in serious physical problems
that can impair your ability to function like you normally would.
The most common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Limited range of movement in the neck
- Shoulder pain
- Weakness in both arms
- Pain or soreness in the jaw
- Back pain or discomfort
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in ears
Whiplash injuries can be deceiving because you may not experience the symptoms
immediately. They may appear anywhere from a few hours to even a few days
after the crash. Seconds after a collision, adrenaline is being pumped
into your bloodstream, masking your pain so your body can react to what
the brain perceives as danger. Due to this numbing effect, you may believe
you’re okay when you’re actually not.
To avoid jeopardizing your whiplash injury claim, it is imperative to seek
medical treatment from a qualified medical professional immediately after
the accident. Even if you feel the slightest amount of pain or discomfort,
treating doctors will know to look for signs of whiplash that may otherwise
go unnoticed by an average person.
Additionally, seeking immediate medical treatment also helps to prevent
insurance companies, as well as judge and juries, from being suspicious
about the legitimacy of your claim. More often than not, whiplash claims
are typically looked at with suspicion.
The following are pieces of evidence that can help prove the legitimacy
of your claim:
- Bills and receipts of all medical expenses
- Photos of the accident scene
- Photos of your injuries
- CT scans
- Documentation of all doctor office and hospital visits
- The police report from the accident
- Documentation of missed time from work
However, if the insurance company doesn’t agree with your doctor’s
assessment, they may ask you to submit an Independent Medical Exam (IME).
This is basically a medical evaluation conducted by a physician chosen
by the insurance company. Be advised that the medical professional will
look out for the best interests of the insurer, so it is wise not to agree
to an IME.
If you have a medically-documented case of whiplash, do not hesitate in
starting the claim process. Notify the at-fault driver’s insurance
company—in writing—of your injuries and your intent to file a claim.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Fort Worth, TX,
contact the Law Office of James M. Stanley and request a
free consultation with our experienced personal injury lawyer today.