If you or a loved one suffered a whiplash injury in a car accident caused by the negligent actions of another motorist, you may be asking yourself, “do I need a lawyer to get compensation for a whiplash injury?”
The answer is – most likely yes. The reason you will likely need to retain a lawyer to get the compensation you are owed is that many insurance companies are hesitant to offer reasonable settlements on claims featuring “soft tissue” injuries. This is primarily because a whiplash injury is not immediately apparent and could be viewed as “not serious.”
What Exactly a Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash, in medical terms, is considered a hyperextension injury. When a car accident occurs, the body of the driver or passenger is propelled forward while their head is thrust backward then whipped forward. This movement can cause significant trauma to the tendons and ligaments in the neck and upper back.
Factors that Can Impact the Severity of a Whiplash Injury
Some of the most common factors that can impact the severity of a whiplash injury as a result of a car wreck include:
- The speed at which the collision occurred (higher speed, the worse the injury is likely to be)
- Whether your head was turned at the time of the collision
- Whether you or a passenger had a seatbelt on at the time of the collision
- Whether you have a preexisting condition with your neck or back
Symptoms of a Whiplash Injury
Some of the most common symptoms associated with a whiplash injury include:
- Constant pain in your neck or upper back
- Persistent headaches
- Sudden nausea
- Sudden dizziness
- Difficulty sleeping
An unusual aspect of a whiplash injury after a car accident is that many of these symptoms might not appear or be noticed by the victim for several hours or days after the collision. This can present issues with your potential personal injury claim since, if you did not seek medical treatment until a week after the car accident, an insurance adjuster will likely argue that this “gap” in medical treatment is an indication that your injury was not that serious and could have been caused by something other than the car accident.
Pursuing Financial Restitution for Your Harms and Losses
If you were badly injured in a car accident caused by another motorist, you likely have a legal basis to file an injury claim to pursue financial restitution for your harms and losses. However, it is also important to know that, under Massachusetts law, you can immediately access personal injury protection benefits, regardless of fault. In many cases, you can access up to $8,000 for medical and wage losses through your PIP benefits; other people may be limited to $2,000 in benefits.
Generally, if your damages are in excess $2,000, you then have the option to pursue a third-party personal injury claim against the other motorist for your harms and losses. The types of damages you can pursue through a third-party personal injury claim include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Contact an Experienced Whiplash Injury Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one suffered a whiplash injury in a car accident, do not be surprised if your injury claim is viewed with a level of skepticism by an auto insurance adjuster. This is because a whiplash injury is not immediately visible and could be considered “not serious” when assessing what types of monetary compensation for payout for your harms and losses. This is why it is so important to retain an experienced and respected car accident law firm like Eden Rafferty. Contact our office today to schedule a free, confidential case review.