As you might already know, a whiplash injury resulting from an automobile accident is often dismissed as a "frivolous claim." However, these are real soft tissue injuries and have a real impact on victims, both physically and emotionally.
In an accident, an abrupt and violent jerking and recoiling of the neck can result in severe physical ailments and can impair one’s ability to function on a daily basis. While an insurance company may try to make light of it, we do not. We believe your pain and suffering deserves serious attention and we will hold responsible those who are at fault. Because of the fact that whiplash claims are often viewed as a less credible claim, immediate action is required. Furthermore, if whiplash claims are not pursued and less medical care is received because of it, long-term complications to the neck and spine can occur.If You Experienced Whiplash, act Fast
Getting medical attention after any type of car accident is strongly advised. Additionally, given that whiplash is often disregarded by opposing parties it is important to document this injury right away. Should you feel any discomfort in your neck, back, or any soft tissue, this will be critical to documenting a claim.
Obtaining immediate medical care after an accident is also highly advised as injuries are not immediately apparent, usually only noticed after a few days by victims. However, a qualified doctor will know to look for such injuries right away.
Be sure to go to a board-certified doctor. If you don’t then an insurance adjuster may try to toss out the claim as lacking credibility. The longer you wait, the more your case can diminish. Often, if a victim waits months and months, insurance companies may try to attribute your pain to something else, instead of the actual accident that caused your whiplash.
Avoid making statements yourself. Without realizing it, you might mention something that an insurance company may be able to use against you, especially by the other parties involved. It is better to discuss this with experienced physicians and attorneys. The records will suffice in making the statement.
Do not let insurance companies try to dismiss your concerns. Insurance companies want to make a claim just “go away.” They will often try to offer a small settlement that will not even begin to cover your long-term expenses. Instead, have an advocate on your side to vouch for your concerns, such as an attorney.Whiplash Injuries are not Just From Car Accidents
Contrary to popular belief, a whiplash injury is not just from a car accident.
Whiplash injuries can occur from:
- Defective large vehicles
- Slip and fall accidents
- High-impact sports like skiing and football
Another reason it is important to act right away in California is due to the complicated circumstances the state presents.
The Statute Of Limitations: The whiplash claim must be filed within two years with the insurance company. For medical malpractice, a claim must be filed within 1-3 years.
Comparative Fault: California law states that courts must use this rule to determine liability for damages. Basically, if it is determined that you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still receive some compensation for your pain and suffering.California and Non-Economic Damages
In California, a victim’s pain and suffering damages are considered part of a broader category, referred to as “non-economic” damages. This means that a claim can include both economic and non-economic damages compensation.
These would include:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of friendships
- Loss of a spousal relationship, called “consortium”
- Damage to reputation
- Alienation and depression
You Have Options
If you have experienced whiplash as the result of an accident or injury, contact us at Bridgewater Law Group. Our experienced staff work for you. We will not stop until we know we have gotten the best settlement for your pain and suffering. We work on a contingency basis for whiplash cases. This means that if you do not receive any compensation, you do not pay a fee. We know when insurance companies are trying to present a “low-ball” offer, how to navigate the subtleties of a case with an insurance company, and when a fair settlement has come in.Do You Have a Case?
Call us to request a free consultation and we will be able to discuss with you how viable your case is with us. You focus on your recovery and let us do the rest!