Car accidents can have a serious impact on your quality of life, especially when serious injuries occur. Whiplash, caused by a sudden back-and-forth movement of the neck, is one of the most common injuries after a car accident. Whiplash can be very painful and interfere with daily life, making it difficult for you to work or care for your family. Filing a lawsuit may be your best course of action. To learn more about your legal options regarding auto accidents and whiplash, contact our Provo, UT lawyers at Flickinger Sutterfield and Boulton. In the meantime, read on to learn what you should do if you experience whiplash after a car accident.
Whiplash, also called neck strain or neck sprain, is characterized by multiple symptoms. Symptoms may occur immediately after an accident or they may occur 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. Some common symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, neck stiffness, lower back pain, dizziness, pain between the shoulder blades or in the shoulders, pain or numbness in the arm or hand, and headaches.
Seek Medical Attention
It's important to seek medical attention after a car accident, even if you feel only a small amount of pain. In some cases, the full symptoms of whiplash and other soft tissue injuries won't be felt immediately after an accident and will appear days later. A physician will be able to look for signs of whiplash or other injury that may go undetected at the time of an accident. Having a medical record of whiplash can help prove your case in court should you decide to file a lawsuit.
Document Medical Expenses
Document all medical expenses related to your injury. Keep a record of such expenses as medical bills, lost wages, prescription costs, insurance co-pays, and any other out-of-pocket costs related to your injury and recovery. Maintaining accurate records of medical expenses will help if you choose to file an insurance claim since insurance adjusters require proof of expenses before they will write a check.
File a Claim
If your physician has diagnosed you with whiplash, you may choose to file an insurance claim. File the claim as soon as possible once your whiplash has been medically documented. This will help get the insurance process underway to help you get reimbursed for medical bills sooner. Those who live in a no-fault state, such as Utah, will need to notify their insurance provider of their claim. Those who don't live in a no-fault state will need to notify the at-fault driver's insurance company in writing of their intent to file an injury claim.
When to File a Lawsuit
It may be necessary to file a lawsuit in order to collect damages. You may need to file a lawsuit because an insurance adjuster won't pay out on your claim or if the person who caused the accident doesn't have insurance. In some cases, it may be possible to recover damages for pain and suffering in addition to medical expenses.
Discover Your Legal Options
Whiplash can cause serious and lasting physical problems to the neck, making daily functions painful or completely unbearable. To learn more about your legal options regarding whiplash claims, we encourage you to contact our team of personal injury lawyers today.