How to File a Whiplash Personal Injury Claim

Post by: Eric Jones | Posted Date: December 3rd, 2014 | Categories: Columbus Personal Injury Lawyer


Filing a whiplash personal injury claim can be challenging, especially when you don’t know where to start. You might ask yourself, what is whiplash, who should I talk to about my accident, and what are my next steps? Here you will find useful information to help you understand whiplash and the importance of the right lawyer to help file your personal injury claim can make all the difference. 

 

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash often occurs when you are in a stationary vehicle and are struck by a vehicle in motion.  If you have major pain in your neck and shoulders after a car accident, you likely have whiplash.  As you learned in your old science classes, an object at rest wants to stay at rest, and will stay at rest until acted on by an outside force.  When a moving vehicle strikes a slower moving or stationary vehicle, the slower or stationary car jerks forward.  When your car reacts, your body reacts and often causes your head to fall back and quickly snap forward.   While your body is caught by the seatbelt, your head is free to move and in an instant, the ligaments in your neck or shoulders can become torn or strained.

Common symptoms of whiplash include but are not limited to: neck and shoulder pain, blurred vision, ringing of the ears, soreness or weakness in one or both arms, and soreness or pain in the jaw.  Often when you are in a dangerous situation your brain will release adrenaline and cortisol to fuel the flight or fight response to danger.  Your body’s natural reaction masks the pain of the injuries so many whiplash victims report feeling these common symptoms hours after the incident.  It is this specific reason that you should always allow a first responder such as a paramedic to examine you after every crash.  You may have an injury that you can’t feel yet because of the body’s natural reaction to trauma.  In addition to symptoms that may appear within hours, there are some like stress, anxiety, and drug dependence that don’t reveal themselves for weeks.  Ohio personal injury attorneys also suggest that you provide the first responders with as much information as they need to make a proper diagnosis.  The report from the first responder is important when filing the whiplash claim with your insurance provider.

Listen to the Medical Professionals

 If the paramedic suggests a hospital visit, say yes!  The medical professionals at the ER may order various tests to determine the extent of the trauma to your head, neck, and shoulders.  It is better to allow a professional to examine your injuries as they understand the body’s reaction to car accidents and what types of chemicals may mask pain from swelling or torn muscles.  Personal injury lawyers always recommend seeing a doctor as soon as possible so the extent of your injuries can be observed and noted for any potential litigation.  Claims for insurance payouts will generally be dismissed without the proper documentation, so retain any records of hospital visits and doctor treatment recommendations.  Such information will be valuable when filing your claim. 

 If paramedics aren’t dispatched to the scene, then Ohio whiplash attorneys strongly encourage you to seek medical attention on your own.  Often times claims adjusters cannot understand the severity of your injuries and will not view your claims as serious if you hesitate to seek medical help.  Fighting with your insurance company is never fun, which is why legal professionals are so adamant about seeking medical attention at the earliest possible opportunity. 

Gather Documentation

Columbus, Ohio personal injury attorneys know in order to have a successful claim; you need to provide the proper documentation of your accident and the resulting injury.  Additional evidence is needed, such as eyewitness testimony and the resulting damage to the vehicles involved, however the medical records are key.  Before the insurance company is comfortable writing a check, they must have the proof that your injury is as severe as you claim.  This is why whiplash attorneys recommend gathering all medical records related to the injury such as: admission forms for emergency room visits or urgent care visits, and records showing your continued and uninterrupted care for your injuries. 

 If you seek treatment from chiropractors or massage therapists for injuries sustained during the car accident, be sure you are doing so under doctor’s orders. Self-medicating or self-treating the whiplash will not win your insurance claim.  Many times claims are denied because the whiplash victim attempted to “fix” the serious injury on his or her own.  Working with a whiplash attorney to gather all the necessary documentation and information can help you prove your case to your insurance provider.

Contact a Professional

The time is ripe to contact an attorney should the insurance representative deny your insurance claim, or require that you submit to an independent medical examination conducted by an insurance company physician.  A trained personal injury attorney will advise you of your rights, and the types of information that you must provide to the insurance company.  Insurance adjusters may fight the claim, but having a professional on your side will bolster your claim and insure your voice is heard. 

Contact a personal injury attorney in Columbus, Ohio today to discuss your specific situation.  The Jones Law Group in Columbus, Ohio represents personal injury victims in a variety of claims.  Our attorneys are dedicated advocates for our clients, and help injured clients recover physically, emotionally, and financially from their injuries.  Let the skilled personal injury lawyers of The Jones Law Group help you.  Call us at 614-545-9998 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation and determine whether you have a justifiable claim.  



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