You are stopped at a light when the car behind yours fails to stop and crashes into your vehicle. This is a classic example of the type of rear-end collision that often causes whiplash. Yet when you file an insurance claim, the company denies it, believing your claim is fraudulent. Whiplash injuries have earned a bad reputation largely because symptoms may not immediately appear, and few diagnostic tests reveal the injuries. If you become a victim of a rear-end collision or any accident that wrenches your neck, you can take the following actions to help protect your rights to compensation.
Know the symptoms — Symptoms of whiplash do not necessarily occur immediately upon impact, and they extend well beyond just the neck pain and headaches you might expect. MedicineNet provides a full list of symptoms you might not expect, such as fatigue, ringing in the ears and even a host of emotional issues in serious and chronic cases.
Get to the doctor — You may notice symptoms that justify going to the doctor immediately after the accident But sometimes you may not have symptoms for several days after the accident. Depending on the severity of the injury, the doctor may take X-rays or conduct other tests — or the doctor may diagnose whiplash based on experience.
Collect documentation — Retain all receipts for doctor visits and medication. You also can help your case by obtaining a written diagnosis from your doctor. Keep track of all other related costs, such as lost time from work, the cost of physical therapy and even the expenses of hiring someone to handle household chores during your recovery.
Seek legal support —Seek advice from an experienced auto accident lawyer to make sure the insurance claim is handled as effectively as possible. Any signs of difficulty — such as claim denial or significant delays — makes retaining an attorney all the more important to assuring you get the results you want.
Whiplash is a very real, painful condition that can have a significant effect on many aspects of life for a prolonged period. In some cases, victims are left with long-term or permanent chronic pain. Do not let public attitudes prevent you from seeking the full compensation you deserve.