Whiplash injuries are some of the more underestimated injuries, especially because symptoms often do not appear right after the accident. It may be days before you see symptoms including pain, numbness, and stiffness in the neck and shoulder muscles. Bigger challenges may lie ahead, however, when you try to file a claim for damages after suffering whiplash from a car accident.
Should I get a lawyer for whiplash and how can I prove my pain and suffering?
It can be hard to prove a whiplash injury, but our trained attorneys can help you determine what compensation is fair for the injuries you have sustained. The claims process is a little more difficult when it comes to soft tissue injuries like whiplash because they don’t always show up in imaging tests like x-rays or MRIs. It is important to seek treatment and be direct with your doctor about your symptoms. If a lawsuit needs to be filed, having medical documentation becomes a crucial part of your case.
What are the possible defenses to a whiplash injury claim?
You can expect the defendant’s attorney to allege that your injuries are exaggerated, do not affect your life in the manner that you claim they do, or were not the result of the accident in question at all. Therefore, you must provide strong evidence linking your whiplash injuries to the accident and establishing their impact on your life. Remember, you might find several of the defendant’s allegations bizarre and unfounded, but it is important to prepare for the following, so that you can put up a strong defense.
- Your injuries have already been treated.
- Symptoms of whiplash are often chronic and constant, and they can continue for months after the injury has occurred. However, you can expect defense lawyers to claim that most people who suffer whiplash injuries are completely healed within four to six weeks.
- The accident did not cause your injuries.
- The defendant may claim that your injuries were pre-existing and had nothing to do with the accident that you suffered. The lawyers could even claim that you did not suffer an injury at all.
- The impact of the accident could not have caused the injury.
- Lawyers may try to claim that your accident was a low-impact accident, and therefore, could not have resulted in the kind of injuries that you are claiming compensation for. They might claim that a low-impact accident at low speeds could not have possibly caused injuries so severe that they prevent you from going back to work.
- You are exaggerating your symptoms
- You can also expect lawyers to come right out and say that you are exaggerating the symptoms in order to recover a higher settlement amount, or that you are lying about needing to continue treatment several months after the injury has occurred.
- Your injuries have not had a major impact.
- You can also expect defense lawyers to claim that your injuries have not had as severe an impact on your life as you claim they have. For instance, if you are claiming diminished earning capacity because your whiplash has made it impossible for you to return to your former job, you can expect lawyers to claim that your injuries have not affected you as much as you claim.
How do I deal with the challenges presented in my whiplash injury claim?
Your attorney must present substantial evidence linking your injury with the car accident that occurred. Medical tests, especially the results of CT scans, MRI scans, and electromyography scans can provide evidence of the existence of the injury.
Your attorney must also present evidence that clearly debunks the theory that your whiplash injuries could not have been caused in a low-speed or low-impact accident. Chronic injuries can and do occur in moderate-speed accidents.
How much compensation can I get for my whiplash injury?
The amount of your settlement payout for a whiplash injury will depend on the circumstances of your case. Each claim is different. Do NOT accept the first settlement offer from the insurance company! Insurance companies are notorious for “low ball” offers so they can hurry up and get your case settled.
If you suffered whiplash in a car accident that was not your fault, Max Meyers Law can help. We will go over every detail of your claim and make sure you receive the maximum compensation. Call 425-399-7000 today to speak with an attorney about your claim.
Does the severity of my whiplash affect my payout?
Yes. Whiplash can occur on a spectrum from mild to severe. Severe cases often have higher settlements since victims experience more injury-related losses. A mild whiplash injury can heal within a few months, while severe whiplash can leave you with chronic pain and long-term impairment. If you suffered severe whiplash, you may lose the ability to do your previous job for years or longer.
Our team will evaluate the police report, witness statements, and your medical history to assess the extent of your whiplash injury. Whiplash claims can be challenging, as the insurance company and lawyer for the at-fault party may push back hard against your claim. At Max Meyers Law, we have devoted our practice to helping injured people and we are ready to face any opposition, so you do not have to.
How can a whiplash injury impact my daily life?
After a whiplash injury, you may experience a constellation of symptoms that can have a direct impact on your daily life. Stiffness in your neck can make it difficult to turn your head, limiting your ability to drive safely. Headaches can affect your cognitive abilities, directly affecting your ability to work. If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness, you may be unable to stand for periods of time, which can prevent you from doing your job.
Neck pain, muscle spasms or back pain can render you unable to lift heavy items. If you have numbness and tingling in your fingers and arms, you may be unable to type on a keyboard, resulting in your being unable to perform a desk job.
All of these effects can dramatically reduce your long-term earning potential. Lost wages and lost earning capacity are just some of the damages we will fight for in your case.
What damages should my whiplash settlement include?
Immediately after your whiplash injury, you may face costs such as:
- Ambulance and emergency room bills;
- Prescription medications;
- Medical testing and evaluations, including x-rays and other imaging;
- An initial course of treatment by a physician or chiropractor;
- Physical therapy;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Loss of services to your household; in other words, having to pay someone to perform ordinary and necessary tasks you usually did at home.
We will collect your medical bills and receipts from the hospital, ambulance service, doctor or chiropractor, pharmacy, and physical therapist. Together with records from your employer, we will generate an analysis of your short-term damages.
Your long-term damages will depend on how quickly and how well you heal from your whiplash injury. Some people only have short-term damages, while others suffer for years after the crash. Long-term damages from a whiplash injury can include:
- Ongoing medical follow-ups;
- Medical testing and evaluation, including x-rays and other imaging;
- Extensive physical therapy;
- Rehabilitation services;
- Pain medications and muscle relaxants;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning potential;
- Pain and suffering;
- Depression and other mental health issues; and
- Long-term or permanent loss of services to your household.
Our team will take care of the legwork for your damages while you recover. We will gather the bills and records to establish your expenses and lost wages. We will discuss with you the ways your whiplash injury has changed your life. If necessary, we will work with vocational experts to document your lost earning potential and disability. We will build your case for the best possible settlement under your circumstances.
We negotiate directly with the insurance company, so you do not have to. You do not need any extra hassle and stress on top of your physical pain and discomfort.
If you have suffered whiplash injuries from a car accident, you may qualify for compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and other losses. Discuss how you can establish liability by discussing your case with a car accident lawyer. Call 425-399-7000 to speak with one of our car accident attorneys and identify all of the parties liable in your claim. Schedule a consultation with a legal professional at Max Meyers Law PLLC today.