A whiplash injury is common after a car accident. But, making a claim for compensation is not as easy, and insurance companies purposely make it difficult.
Whiplash occurs when your body encounters a sudden back-and-forth motion. This whipping motion can lead to very painful and even disruptive symptoms, and sometimes can cause you to miss work or require long-term rehabilitative therapy in extreme cases.
Seek Medical Treatment Right Away
After an accident, you should seek medical treatment right away, even if you only feel a slight amount of discomfort. Some conditions, like whiplash or strain, do not show up right after the accident and could take several weeks to manifest.
A physician treating you for car accident injuries knows what to look for and their report is essential for proving your case. An insurance adjuster will look at whiplash claims with high suspicion and only a physician’s report can prove there was in fact an injury.
File Your Claim Quickly
Once you have a medical document stating you suffered whiplash injuries, the next step is to file your claim. Do not wait to file, because you are limited as to how long you have between the claim and accident. Your attorney can notify the at-fault driver’s insurance and if needed, file a civil lawsuit. It doesn’t matter if your injuries will get better or worse, filing a claim earlier means faster compensation and reimbursement.
Document Medical Expenses
Medical expenses related to your accident – whether it is initial treatment or rehabilitation – should be documented. Keep track of how much you pay out of pocket and your losses. That can include insurance co-pays, prescription costs, over-the-counter medications, rehabilitation treatments, lost wages and mileage. In order to be reimbursed, you need a thorough record of every payment you have made.
File a Lawsuit When Necessary
By involving an attorney early, you are a step ahead. If the insurance company refuses to pay or continues to offer low ball settlements, your attorney can then make the decision to file a lawsuit. Because insurance companies are often difficult with whiplash injuries, you may have to file your claim in civil court anyway.