Whiplash is a painful injury involving the muscles and tendons of the neck due to abrupt movement or deceleration/acceleration. Its leading cause is rear-end car accidents, followed by physical abuse or assault, and contact sports.
Filing both an insurance claim and a civil suit requires following careful steps and consulting with a good legal team. Here are the things you have to do to successfully file a claim after having a whiplash injury due to a car accident.
Ensure Your Medical Safety
Before filing claim, notify local law enforcement about the accident, and get yourself checked out by medical professionals as soon as possible. They need to pay particular attention to your head and neck, especially if you already feel rapid-onset pain in the region.
Whiplash commonly manifests as:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Worsening of pain with movement
- Tenderness or pain in shoulder, upper back, and arms
- Tingling or numbness in arms
Other symptoms include blurred vision, ringing in the ears, mood disturbances, like depression and irritability, sleep disturbances, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating.
Getting a prompt and accurate diagnosis is important for several reasons. First, complications of untreated whiplash can include general, chronic pain lasting for years, and other disastrous sequelae. Second, documentation of the results of a medical check-up is necessary to prove whiplash later on when you file a claim.
Gather Documentation of Event and Expenses
To file a claim successfully, you need evidence and support. The goal is to eventually prove that you were injured, the injury was reasonably due to a preceding action or accident, and the injury resulted to economic damages.
Documentation of the automobile accident is important. This includes:
An accident report from the authorities
- Video surveillance of the collision, such as from a dash camera
- Receipts for property damage bills
- Other expenses incurred due to the collision and injury
- On-site photographs
- Other driver’s contact information, license number, vehicle registration number, and the name of their insurer and their policy number
Medical documentation includes:
- Proof of whiplash, from statements of the physician and admission documents
- Treatment records, including prescription
- Imaging of the injury, including x-ray films, and MRI scans
While the documents above prove the accident and the whiplash injury, you also need to document expenses. These include medical bills, prescription costs, and insurance co-pays, as well as accident-related mileage costs and lost wages.
Consult a legal team to file a claim
Consulting a solid legal team as soon as possible may be one of the most important parts of successfully filing a claim. Insurance adjusters are inclined to undervalue or even deny your claim to insurance. As such, having a legal team who can help you substantiate your claim and assert your rights is important.
If you choose to file a civil suit, especially to facilitate the collection of damages, you need a legal team to help you recover economic and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. A personal injury lawyer with years of experience is best positioned to give you advice on specific laws and procedural details.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in New Jersey Today
Following a few simple and clear steps can keep your claim from being waved away by both insurers and the law. Here at DeZao Law, we believe in getting you compensated for damages and expenses as soon as possible.
DeZao Law specializes in personal injury claims, brain and head injuries, vehicle accidents, and other related fields of practices. We have the necessary experience and resources to handle a case involving whiplash injury. Contact us today at (973) 358-6134 or through our online form.