Whiplash? Read This Before You Settle a Claim

There are many types of accidents that fall into the personal injury category. A common one among the long list is the ‘whiplash’ injury, which happens as a result of a car accident. It gets its name from the way this particular type of injury occurs.

At the time of a rear-impact collision, the body of the driver or passenger is held in check by the seat belt. However, the neck and head remain relatively unprotected. The impact of the accident can cause the neck and head to snap back and forward suddenly with a whiplash-like motion.

What Are the Symptoms of a Whiplash Injury?

Symptoms are not always obvious and do not always appear immediately. In some cases, whiplash manifests with a dull and persistent headache and/or stiffness of the neck. In others, more serious symptoms such as memory loss, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and even depression may develop.

What Should You Do if You Suspect A Whiplash Injury?

If you are involved in a rear-end collision, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Even impact from a slow-moving vehicle can lead to whiplash, and the position of the head and other issues may make an injury worse. Because the symptoms may not develop for a week or two, it is important to seek medical attention to document the injury, for example, with an x-ray or doctor’s records.

The Whiplash Claim – A Few Important Details

There are many injuries that can result from whiplash, from minor problems to permanent, painful and disabling injuries. In many of these cases, you will need a source of income to sustain yourself and take care of the medical bills. This is why your lawyer would file a whiplash claim for you.

There are two categories under which this type of personal injury claim may be filed, General Damages and Special Damages. Your lawyer can advise you on the best course of action.

  • General Damages cover all the suffering and pain caused by the accident; this type of damage also includes Loss of Enjoyment, in which category are psychological disorders triggered by the accident, such as depression.
  • Special Damages are those that require special compensation owing to any unique situation. These damages include compensation for lost earnings, medical treatment expenses, and the costs for special assistance that the injury requires. The rates, compensation and payment schedule are all unique to each case.

But what is common is the need to consult with a lawyer. Personal injury attorneys take up your case and charge you only if they win a claim; if they do not win, you do not have to pay. Also, an experienced personal injury attorney can provide the best assessment of your claim’s chances in court.

So before you settle with an insurance company, make sure you have talked to a lawyer about your accident. It can make a huge difference in the financial outcome of your claim.