Car accidents are unfortunate tragedies that frequently happen anywhere across the globe – and in the United States, the state of Georgia is no exception. According to statistics, more than 1,720 drivers get involved in Georgia car accidents daily.
While not fatal, a car crash would usually leave victims to suffer from several types of injuries, including whiplash injuries, which happens no matter how severe the impact of the collision. Each year, more than three million new cases of whiplash occur.
Related Post: Will health insurance cover my car accident?
What is Whiplash?
The injury known as Whiplash acquired its name from the cause of this injury from the sudden movement that resembles the motion of a cracking whip.
People suffering from whiplash injuries feel the pain in the soft tissues in the nerves, ligaments, muscles on the neck after the accident
Whiplash injuries can be sustained in many ways. It can be a result of a sports accident, physical abuse, or a slip and fall accident due to the motion of the head. But it most often occurs during a rear-end auto accident.
In a rear-end collision, the victims in the front car would be hit pretty hard from behind, causing a sudden impact to fling the person backward and forward, which result in a whiplash injury.
Most victims often overlook these types of injuries, as the symptoms don’t always appear right away. Those with minor whiplash injuries are frequently lucky to feel better within a few weeks. However, some people have to keep experiencing pain several months or years after the injury occurred.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Even a minor car accident can be traumatizing enough to cause whiplash, which is indicated by the following symptoms of whiplash:
- Blurred Vision
- Neck and Back Pain
- Swelling or tenderness in Neck
- Muscle spasms in Neck
- Difficulty moving Neck
- Shooting pain from Neck to Shoulders and Arms
- Tingling feeling in Arms or Legs
The continuous pain from whiplash can severely impact your physical, emotional, mental, and financial well-being. If you’re suffering from, in a car collision accident, your response to your whiplash injury will prevent your condition from getting worse.
The following steps need to be taken to know what to do with yourself medically and legally.
Seek Medical Treatment for Whiplash Immediately
Every whiplash injury is different. Minor whiplash injuries are self-limiting conditions that would usually heal on its own or after using some homemade remedies. However, others with more severe injuries may experience residual effects of whiplash for years.
Symptoms of whiplash often take several hours to develop and become noticeable. It’s why knowing the full extent of your injuries after your accident is nearly impossible. Still, it’s essential to seek medical treatment immediately after the crash.
Prompt diagnosis and treatment would shorten the recovery time of the long-term seriousness and consequences of whiplash injuries related to a car accident such as disability and extensive medical costs.
It’s vital to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you notice even the slightest twinge of pain or discomfort. Your whiplash injury may seem minor at first, but before long, the seemingly small injuries can go on to have long term effects. Failure to visit a doctor would put your health at risk.
This would also jeopardize your personal injury claim. Insurance adjusters are naturally suspicious of whiplash claims since they don’t always immediately after an accident. A diagnosis by your doctor can act as evidence to support your claim and obtain appropriate compensation
Start the Claim Process as Soon as Possible
Whether your injuries get better or worse, your whiplash injuries could render you unable to work during your recovery time. This would hinder your ability to keep up with the day-to-day expenses of rent, utilities, food, and more.
In addition to your medical fees, this would be a massive burden to any recovering whiplash victims. It would be in your best interest to start the personal injury claim process soon after your doctor confirmed your injury.
Make sure that the potential payee of your claim is notified of your injuries and intent to file a claim or lawsuit in writing. In an at-fault state such as Georgia, the driver who caused the accident and their insurance company are responsible for the damages to other parties involved in the motor vehicle accident.
Though starting the claim process doesn’t mean you’ll begin to accept a settlement instantly, notifying the potential payee of your claim sooner would increase the chances of receiving reimbursement much earlier.
Document Your Car Accident Losses and Expenses
It would help your case to document all of the expenses you acquire due to your injuries. The insurance company could potentially reimburse any out-of-pocket expenditure, including your medical treatment and other losses. Some expenses you’ll need to track include:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Insurance Co-Pays
- Prescription Costs
- Mileage to and from appointments
- Other out-of-pocket costs related to your injury
Insurance adjusters require proof to validate the loss of every penny they pay out, which is why the documentation of any and all expenses are essential.
As established earlier, a visit to your doctor will create proof in support of your claim in the form of paper trails which documents your injury. Keep the records of any follow-up appointments or treatments, including physical rehabilitation.
You should also hold onto all bills and receipts since documents will help in calculating the damages or the amount of money the driver at fault ultimately owes you.
Not only does this provide evidence of your losses, but proper documentation would ease and speed up the claiming process
Prepare for the Possibility of a Car Accident Lawsuit
There is no absolute guarantee that the insurance adjuster would payout on your claim. Insurance companies often claim that the pain from whiplash injuries are fabricated by the victim since the symptoms don’t immediately appear or can’t be identified through an MRI or X-Ray.
There’s also a possibility that the at-fault driver does not have insurance. In either of these situations, the only way to receive the proper compensation for the pain and suffering is to file a personal injury lawsuit
To get what you’re owed, it’s essential to talk to a lawyer. While there are a lot of lawyers out there, not all of them are equipped to help you obtain the compensation for the injuries you sustained. Avoid this by making sure that your lawyer has the proper qualifications and experience.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident in Georgia, the skilled attorneys at the Brown Firm would be able to give advice on how to proceed.