What Is Whiplash and Does It Qualify for Compensation After a Car Accident?
Summary: You can file a claim for compensation for whiplash caused by a car accident, though the process may, in some cases, prove a bit difficult. Work with a St. Louis car injury lawyer to make sure your claim does not get denied unjustly.
Imagine you were in a car accident and got yourself a few broken ribs and a concussion. According to the law, the liable party will generally have to pay for your medical bills and cover lost wages. A St. Louis car accident attorney can likely help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
However, what happens when your injuries aren't visible immediately after the accident. We're talking here about whiplash.
With over 3 million whiplash cases a year, these question can pop up a lot more often than you’d think.
Here’s everything you need to know about it.
What Is Whiplash?
Medically speaking, whiplash is a neck injury caused the moment the head is thrown forcefully either forward or backward, as it may happen in the event of a car collision. The impact can cause the neck muscles and ligaments to stretch beyond their normal range and tear the soft tissue. In some cases, it can also affect the bones of the neck or even the nerves.
Unfortunately, it can present at first just as neck pain and the symptoms of whiplash may show up a few days or even weeks after the collision.
What Does the Law Say?
Per Missouri law, any injury during a car accident may be cause for compensation, and you can (and often should) include whiplash in your claim even if the symptoms aren't apparent yet. However, the law is not an issue in cases involving whiplash.
For instance, if you are asking for damages through the other driver’s insurance company, there is a possibility the adjuster will refuse the claim on the basis that the whiplash is not a direct cause of the collision, therefore not compensable by law. In this case, you’ll need medical proof that shows the direct link between the collision and your symptoms.
What Should You Do?
One of the first things to do after the incident is to seek medical care for your injuries, even if you think you feel fine. Just as in the case of whiplash, some injuries or symptoms can appear later on, and the higher levels of adrenaline caused by the accident can protect you from feeling any pains on sight.
A medical checkup can put your mind at rest, and it will also help you if you will seek compensation for your injuries. Then, it’s best to contact a St. Louis car accident lawyer to help build your case and negotiate a fair settlement either with the insurance company or even in court if you wish to proceed this way.
Legally speaking, you can file a claim for compensation for whiplash caused by a car accident, though the process may, in some cases, prove a bit difficult. Work with a St. Louis car injury lawyer to make sure your claim does not get denied unjustly.
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