Experts In This Article
- Michael T. Gibson, Esq., Lead Attorney & President at Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney, Catastrophic Injuries Expert and Licensed for 17 years
- Todd Curtin Esq., Partner & Lead Trial Attorney at Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney and Licensed for 8 years
- Amit Jhalli, Esq. Attorney at Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney, Personal Injury Pre-suit Investigation & Brain Injury Expert and Licensed for 9 years
Recover Compensation From Whiplash Injuries
Many people who are involved in Florida auto accidents end up suffering with a whiplash injury. This type of injury can occur no matter whether the accident took place at low speed or high speed. And, many times the person who sustained the injury doesn’t realize it until several days after the collision occurred. For this reason, getting an insurance company to cover a whiplash injury can be difficult—especially when there’s a lack of medical documentation. Learn what you can do to increase your chances of receiving the necessary compensation for your whiplash injuries from the Orlando car accident lawyers at Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney.
If you’ve been in a car accident in Orlando, you can take certain steps to avoid being left with the burden of covering medical expenses resulting from an accident that was not your fault.
- Get as many reports as possible.You will, in most cases, need a police report to file a claim with the insurance company. Getting reports from witnesses of the accident can also be helpful. Put together as much documentation as you can to show how your whiplash injury occurred.
- Get documentation from your doctor.When you go to visit your doctor, make sure you let him or her know you are there because you were involved in a car wreck. This will help your doctor to document your injuries in a more precise way, stating from a medical perspective whether the injuries were related directly to the accident.
- Go to all required follow-up appointments.It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and go to all follow-up appointments. Otherwise, you could be risking further injury and jeopardizing your insurance coverage.
- Separate all medical bills associated with the whiplash injury.Insurance companies are very good at covering only what they absolutely have to. We generally advise our clients to separate their medical bills and reports and submit only what is relevant to the whiplash injury when seeking compensation for that particular injury.
Dealing with whiplash injuries can feel incredibly traumatic. Even minor whiplash can interfere with your mobility and strength for days, weeks, or months. Chronic whiplash, on the other hand, can lead to long-term repercussions that make it difficult for you to work, enjoy leisure activities, or engage in basic self-care, including keeping up with your home and family.
If someone else’s negligence caused your whiplash, you may deserve compensation for those injuries, including the many limitations that may go along with them.
How Do You Know If You Deserve Compensation for Whiplash?
Dealing with an injury claim can prove very difficult, especially for injuries like whiplash, which are poorly understood and challenging to manage. If you have questions about the compensation you may deserve, or whether you may deserve compensation for the whiplash injuries you suffered in the accident, working with a lawyer can provide you with essential information about your next steps.
A lawyer will ask several critical questions to help determine whether you can pursue compensation for whiplash sustained in a Florida car accident.
Who caused the accident?
Your lawyer may want to look at the various factors that contributed to your accident. Did your accident involve a distracted driver or one under the influence? Did the other driver speed or ignore the rules of the road? If you can show clear evidence that the other driver’s negligence caused your accident, you may have better grounds for an injury claim.
Did you suffer whiplash injuries, or make existing injuries worse, in the accident?
To establish that you deserve compensation for your accident and your injuries, you may need to show that your injuries occurred in the car accident. Sometimes, whiplash can prove tricky to diagnose. You may not have immediate symptoms at the scene of the accident. In fact, symptoms of whiplash may not fully set in for a few days after the accident.
Medical treatment for your whiplash can make it much easier to establish when your injuries occurred—and most critically, they resulted directly from the car accident.
What Compensation Can You Recover for Whiplash?
To determine how much compensation you can recover as part of a whiplash claim, talk with an attorney about the financial losses you faced because of the accident, including any specific damages you may have suffered.
While compensation usually breaks down into predictable categories related to the specific financial losses that accompany your accident, an attorney cannot guarantee the compensation you will receive for your whiplash claim. Each claim will look a little different because of the unique circumstances that led to the accident and the extent of your injuries.
Medical Expense Compensation
Medical bills after whiplash can vary dramatically. Some patients may recover from whiplash with the use of over-the-counter medications. Others, on the other hand, may require much more extensive treatment.
You may need:
- Chiropractic care
- Physical therapy
- Braces and other supportive measures
In addition, you may have ongoing medical bills related to repeated follow-up appointments with your care provider. Talk to your lawyer about the specific medical costs you have faced due to whiplash.
Compensation for Missing Income/Wages
For some patients, whiplash can make it difficult, if not impossible, to take care of usual work responsibilities. Some people have trouble sitting behind a desk and working at a computer because the neck angle causes discomfort and places additional stress on the injury.
Others may have a hard time with manual labor tasks, especially those that involve a great deal of bending or stretching. Exercises that involve strain on the back may also increase symptoms of whiplash.
If you had to miss work because of your whiplash injuries, you may have the right to seek compensation for those financial losses.
Talk to your lawyer about the time you have missed at work, including time missed due to:
- Immediate stress and pain from the injury
- Follow-up appointments with your care provider
- Ongoing therapy for your injuries
- Decreased hours when you cannot return to your full job duties after your accident
Talk to your lawyer about all the time you have missed at work due to whiplash and the steps you need to take to receive compensation for those lost hours.
General Damages/Pain and Suffering
Many injury claims, including whiplash claims after a Florida car accident, may include a “general damages” segment that includes compensation for the non-financial losses caused by your injuries. General damages can depend heavily on the limitations posed by your whiplash and the losses you have faced because of those injuries.
If you suffered extensive injuries and had a long road to recovery, especially if you suffered chronic whiplash, you may deserve more compensation.
How Can You Recover Compensation for Whiplash After a Florida Car Accident?
While you may deserve compensation for the whiplash injuries you sustained in a Florida car accident, you may struggle to get full compensation for those injuries.
Always Report Your Car Accident Immediately
In some cases, the Florida driver that hits you may not want to report the car accident immediately. That driver, like nearly a quarter of Florida drivers, may not carry insurance and may want to settle the claim out of court. The driver may not want to report the accident due to an increasing number of points on his license or he might worry about other potential repercussions.
Report even a minor accident that involves any property damage or injury to the police. A police report can serve as essential evidence when you need to file an injury claim or property damage claim following your car accident.
Get Immediate Medical Attention After an Accident
Any time you have an accident, even if you think you did not sustain injuries in that accident, have a doctor look you over immediately. Whiplash can prove tricky.
You may have symptoms that appear several days after your initial accident. If you notice additional symptoms, particularly if you did not seek medical care immediately after your accident, see a medical care provider as soon as your symptoms arise. A medical record can prove essential to establishing both that you suffered whiplash and what limitations you faced because of it.
Document everything about your accident as soon as it occurs. Proving whiplash can prove very difficult. Establishing clear documentation of your injuries and the treatment you have pursued can make it much easier to recover the compensation you need for those injuries.
The Police Report
Obtain a copy of the police report as soon after your accident as possible. The police report will establish when and where your accident took place and, in many cases, what led to your accident. If you notice any inconsistencies with the police report, you should contact the police department as soon as possible.
Your Medical Records
Carefully document any treatment you receive for your whiplash injuries. You may need to show proof of diagnosis and proof of the procedures you went through to treat your injuries.
Having a statement from your doctor that establishes when your injuries took place and what limitations you have had to deal with as a direct result of your whiplash can also prove beneficial as you attempt to move forward with your injury claim. You may also want to include records from your chiropractor or physical therapist if you sought those treatments after your accident.
Your Medical Bills
In addition to your actual medical records, which will establish the injuries you sustained in your Florida car accident, you may also need to produce copies of your medical bills. Your medical bills will lay out what you spent treating your injuries and, therefore, what compensation you need to pursue for actual medical treatment.
Often, your lawyer will use your medical bills as the foundation of your injury claim. That vital foundation can help establish exactly how much compensation you may deserve for your injuries.
Take Care With Your Medical Needs
Treating whiplash can prove trickier than anticipated. Sometimes, you may have symptoms crop up long after the initial accident, just when you think you have started to recover. Unfortunately, you may trigger additional whiplash symptoms unexpectedly, leaving you struggling to manage your symptoms or to figure out what steps you need to take next.
Exercise care with regards to your medical needs. Pay attention to the care you need. Attend all follow-up appointments or recommended physical therapy appointments. If you miss vital appointments with your care provider or skip exercises that could alleviate whiplash symptoms, you may find yourself struggling to recover from your injuries—and to recover the compensation you really deserve.
Avoid Activities That Could Worsen Your Symptoms
Your doctor may provide you with a list of activities that could worsen your whiplash symptoms and lead you to suffer longer. For example, you may notice that engaging in energetic activities or sports worsens your symptoms, either temporarily or long-term. To decrease the impact you will face because of those symptoms, you may need to avoid those activities for some time after the initial accident.
Talk to your doctor about the activities you usually engage in, particularly sporting activities or other activities that could stress your neck, arms, or back. If you participate in activities that make your whiplash worse, it could not only make your recovery take longer, it could prevent you from receiving the compensation you may deserve.
Contact a Lawyer to Deal With the Insurance Company for You
Some whiplash patients assume that they can handle the insurance company on their own. You might have suffered relatively minor whiplash and feel that the insurance company will likely issue reasonable compensation for those injuries.
In reality, however, insurance companies often fail to provide the full compensation patients deserve for the injuries they may have sustained in a Florida car accident, especially in the case of injuries like whiplash. Working with a car accident lawyer can help you get a better idea of the compensation you deserve for those injuries and help you fight for it.
A lawyer can lay out the full compensation you should expect for whiplash.
You may not know how much compensation to expect or how to best deal with the insurance company after your car accident. A lawyer can help you determine how much compensation to expect and what steps you should take next.
A lawyer can help you establish vital documentation related to your whiplash injuries.
To seek compensation for whiplash after a Florida car accident, you may need to show not only that you suffered whiplash but that it left you with significant limitations or costs. A lawyer can help you locate documentation to establish those injuries and your right to compensation.
A lawyer can fight for you.
Do not deal with your whiplash claim on your own. Instead, let a lawyer help fight for you. A lawyer can protect your rights and best interests after an accident.