Car accidents usually involve a sudden and abrupt collision, which forces the heads of drivers and passengers to first travel forward, and then backwards, and then forward again in a whip-like motion. When this occurs, especially if the crash happens with a significant amount of force, those involved in a car accident may suffer from whiplash.
Whiplash is a type of soft tissue injury that is often dismissed as insignificant and not worthy of an insurance adjuster’s time. However, whiplash can be a very painful injury type, and is often characterized by neck pain, stiffness, numbness or tingling, vision problems, memory problems, depression, tinnitus, and lack of mobility and increasing amount of pain.
If you have suffered a whiplash injury in a car accident in South Carolina, it is important that you follow these tips when filing a personal injury claim for whiplash.
Use Detailed Medical Reports When Documenting Your Injury
It is imperative that you seek medical treatment for your whiplash injury as soon as you are able to – in many cases, an insurance adjuster will dismiss an injury as invalid if the claimant took more than a day or two to seek treatment.
Keep all documents related to your doctors’ visits, including records of the times and dates of appointments. You should also ask your doctor for a copy of all reports related to your injury, including any prescriptions or treatments that you have been recommended. Further, be sure to hang onto medical bills, and present a copy of these to the insurance company.
Get a Statement from Your Doctor
Ask your doctor to provide a written or recorded statement that you can use during the personal injury claims process. The statement should detail how your injury likely occurred (the car accident), the extent of your injury and how the injury may impair you moving forward, what treatment options are necessary for your injury, and information about your current limitations and pain.
Keep an Injury Journal
As you heal and seek treatment for your injury, you should keep an injury journal. Update it daily with information about your whiplash injury and how it impairs you. Be as detailed and accurate as possible. For example, “Today I woke up with severe pain in my neck, and weakness in my arms. I went to pick up my child, but upon doing so experienced a burst of pain, and had to call my spouse in to help. I immediately took the prescription pain medication my doctor offered me, but this left me feeling fatigued and I had to lie down for a few hours as a result. Then, the medication wore off and the pain returned.”
One of the worst things that you can do when seeing compensation for a whiplash injury to to exaggerate the injury or the amount of pain or disability you are experiencing. An insurance adjuster can often see right through hyperbolic statements about an injury, and suspicions about exaggerations will typically be confirmed by medical reports and doctors’ testimonies. Be thorough in your reports, but always honest.
Delete or Suspend Your Social Media Accounts
Most people do not think twice about their use of social media after a car accident and suffering a whiplash injury. However, social media activity can ruin your personal injury claim; insurance adjusters are infamous for using the web and online social media profiles to discover as much as they can about a claimant’s activities, and then undermine their claims. Consider a situation in which you are claiming damages for pain and suffering, but a social media post shows that you are smiling and having a good time out with your friends. The insurance company argues that the picture suggests that you are not really suffering, nor in pain.
If you have a social media account, suspend it or delete it throughout the claim’s process. If not, it can be used as evidence against you.
Contact an Experienced Whiplash Attorney
Finally, be sure to contact an experienced South Carolina car accident and whiplash attorney after you have suffered a soft tissue injury, such as whiplash, in a crash. An attorney can guide you through the dos and don’ts of filing a personal injury claim, can gather evidence on your behalf, can hire experts who can speak to the extend of your injury, and can effectively present your claim to an insurance company and negotiate for damages.
At the Joye Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys want to help you. Reach us today by filling out our online form, and we will contact you shortly in regards to your free case consultation.