One of the most common injuries from a car accident is whiplash. You’ve probably seen movies and tv shows where accident victims wear a neck brace. A neck brace is a tell-tale sign of whiplash. It keeps the head from moving too far in any direction. This prevents any unnecessary pain in your head and neck.
Whiplash is one of the least serious injuries you can suffer. If you’re lucky, it will be the only injury you suffer. It is caused by your head and neck being thrown back and forth. This occurs when your car is struck by another vehicle. The impact forces your head and neck to stretch too far. When it is stretched beyond its normal range, you get whiplash.
Whiplash is painful. It can last for days or weeks. The problem is, it doesn’t show up on x-rays or MRIs. The only thing a doctor can go by is your word. If a doctor confirms that you are in pain related to whiplash, he will note it in your chart.
Whiplash injuries are often included in compensation claims after a minor traffic accident or fall. While there are many legitimate whiplash injury claims, it is also an area that is often exploited by scammers. With injuries that are often subjective in nature, the door is wide open for the dishonest minority to invent or exaggerate.
What Precisely is a Whiplash Injury, and How Can a Claimant Establish One?
First, let's define a whiplash injury.
A whiplash is a neck injury produced by an abrupt movement of the upper body, which is often the consequence of a car accident or a fall. Whiplash is caused by a rapid extension and flexion of the neck. When one automobile collides with the rear of another, the occupants' necks are pushed in one direction and then the other.
Neck stiffness, soreness, headaches, disorientation, tenderness, a burning feeling, and muscular spasms are all possible symptoms. All but one of these symptoms are beyond objective testing, and the only method to determine whether a person has them is to ask them.
A muscular spasm differs in that there is an objective test. Muscle spasms are involuntary contractions of muscles that cause the muscle to twitch or feel harder to the touch.
So How to Prove a Fake Whiplash Injury?
On occasion, a medico-legal expert will disclose a muscular spasm discovered during the claimant's examination. When dealing with a suspected fraudulent claim, you may come to the conclusion that a muscle spasm is an objective symptom of damage that cannot be manufactured, implying that the claimant was wounded in the accident. This is an argument often used by those allowing the claim for harm, and it may be true in real injury cases.
The plaintiffs in that lawsuit made various conflicting and fraudulent statements concerning their injuries and treatment. The mere occurrence of a muscle spasm did not provide the plaintiffs with an easy or even any path to compensation.
The reporting of symptoms by a claimant (together with other aspects pertaining to accident circumstances and variables relating to losses incurred) is critical in establishing whether or not a claim is legitimate. The decision in Richards reaches this stage. In the round, all evidence must be examined.
So, even if you have an objectively favorable signal, take the time to consider a variety of additional aspects, such as:
- Do your inquiries suggest that the claimant has not been forthcoming with a medico-legal expert about past accidents and pertinent medical history?
- Do the findings of your investigations into the claimant match the restrictions revealed to the medico-legal expert? This might be time off work, the capacity to garden, DIY projects, or managing personal care.
- Is there a shift in the reporting of the beginning of pain as the case progresses?
- Has the claimant received any further medical care, such as physiotherapy?
- Are clinical/treatment notes from physiotherapy compatible with claimant claims in GP records and documentation presenting the claim to insurers/defendants?
- Was the physiotherapy truly performed?
- Was it physiotherapy over the phone?
- Is it accompanied with an invoice for inflated/administration costs that are common in personal injury claims but seldom seen in private physiotherapy expenses when no claim is made?
Whiplash Injuries in Fort Walton Beach, Florida
If you’ve suffered whiplash, you will want to seek damages. You should definitely have an attorney help you with this. It is not something you want to do by yourself. You simply don’t have the experience and skills necessary to do this.
Whiplash is considered a fake injury by many people. Juries are sometimes skeptical when a victim claims he has whiplash. People on the street often think you are exaggerating your injuries. It is hard because whiplash is impossible to prove.
Florida law does allow for whiplash claims. If you file an insurance claim for whiplash, it may be denied. The insurance company will claim that it isn’t a legitimate injury. They may also argue that it wasn’t caused by the accident. Either way, you may end up having to get hard proof.
The only kind of proof available is your doctor’s testimony. Your whiplash lawyer will ask your doctor to testify as a medical expert. He will speak to your pain and complaints. He will testify that, in his professional opinion, you have whiplash.
You Will Need Help After a Fort Walton Beach Florida Car Accident
Regardless of how serious your injuries are, the last thing you need is a legal mess. Insurance companies have attorneys working for them. You should have the same. It is important that you contact a lawyer to help you after a car accident in Florida.
Your car accident lawyer knows how to negotiate with the insurance companies. They also know how to negotiate with other lawyers. If your claim is simply for whiplash, your lawyer should be able to settle it.
If you are not able to settle your claim, you may have to file suit. Florida law gives you up to four years to file your personal injury lawsuit. This is called the statute of limitations. Florida law is much more lenient than most states. Most states only give you two years to file suit.
Just because the law gives you four years, doesn’t mean you should wait four years. Work with a personal injury lawyer right away. The faster you file suit, the sooner you can settle. If you wait too long, you will run into the following problems:
- Will be hard to prove you were hurt
- You may lose your paperwork and records
- Eyewitnesses may no longer be available
- You want your doctor’s testimony to be fresh – it gets stale over time
- The other party could disappear (they could die, file bankruptcy, retire, etc.)
Don’t make your lawyer’s job harder by waiting to file. You should meet with a lawyer immediately following a car accident. Even if you end up not taking legal action, you want to explore your options right away.
Contact a Car Accident Law Firm
If you have suffered whiplash in a car accident, you will be in pain. You may miss time from work. Depending on how severe it is, you could be laid up for some time. You want to focus on your recovery. Let a legal expert handle the rest of it for you.
If you’ve been in an accident, contact a car accident law firm immediately. The initial consultation is free. You get a chance to go over your case with an experienced attorney. You can ask him your questions and get some peace of mind.
When meeting with your lawyer, you will go over your possible damages. Damages are the losses you have suffered as a result of the accident. Some damages common with whiplash injuries are:
- Medical bills (past, present and future)
- Time off from work
- Personal property damages to car
- Pain and suffering
The medical bills are easy to prove. Your car accident lawyer will just show proof of your hospital visit and treatment. It is also easy to prove time missed from work and property damages. It is a little harder to account for pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile accident, you should contact a Carrollton car accident lawyer. You will have to attend medical visits. You may be absent from work for an extended period of time. It is critical that you depend on an expert lawyer to manage the legal aspects of the situation.
Bring any evidence of your whiplash injury to your initial meeting with your attorney. This might include:
- Medical records
- A note from your doctor stating that you have been injured
- Statements from witnesses to your injuries
Florida law does allow for pain and suffering. This is money paid to compensate you for non-economic losses. This covers things like anxiety, depression, fear, loss of social interaction and the like. With a whiplash claim, there really won’t be much pain and suffering. You will have a hard time proving that your whiplash injury seriously affected your normal life.
This is why attorneys try to settle whiplash claims. You will get a few thousand dollars to make the claim go away. Contact a car accident lawyer in Florida today. The initial consultation is free and you pay nothing until you win your case.