Whiplash is an injury most often caused by a forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck or the violent jerking of your head from side to side. The sudden motion causes the ligaments and tendons in your neck to tear. Whiplash is a common injury after a car crash, but it can also occur during contact sports, because of physical abuse, falls, horseback riding, and blows to the head.
Personal injury claims for whiplash can be difficult to prove. Insurance adjusters try to show that the whiplash injury isn’t severe and/or the victim has exaggerated their symptoms. However, whiplash can be serious, and victims can miss work and experience long-term complications. An experienced Missouri car accident attorney can provide evidence of your injuries and help you recover fair compensation.
The Symptoms of Whiplash
Even though whiplash is a very common neck injury, its symptoms are not specific to the neck and can affect other areas of the body, including the upper back, shoulder, and arms. Whiplash symptoms may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Pain while moving the neck
- Limited range of movement in the neck or loss of range of movement
- Pain, tenderness, or soreness in the neck, upper back, or arms
- Tingling or numbness in the neck or arms
However, whiplash is not only a physical condition. Sometimes people with whiplash suffer other symptoms, including:
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
Because whiplash can have physical, cognitive, and psychosomatic effects, it is important to seek immediate medical attention whenever you begin experiencing symptoms. However, whiplash symptoms do not always show up immediately after an accident. In many cases, whiplash cannot be felt or diagnosed for days, weeks, or even months after the initial crash.
Why Whiplash Is Difficult to Prove
Getting compensation for a whiplash claim can be difficult without the assistance of an experienced car crash lawyer because:
- A doctor cannot “test” for whiplash, since whiplash does not necessarily correlate with any detectable injuries.
- Since whiplash cannot be medically verified, car insurance companies often accuse car crash victims of exaggerating or lying about their injuries for financial gain.
No matter how injured you are, the insurance company may try to convince your lawyer, a judge, or a jury that you’ve fabricated your injury, even if you’re genuinely hurt. Because insurance agencies are for-profit businesses, they will do everything they can to keep your compensation to a minimum.
Why Seeing a Doctor Is Important
Any time you’re involved in a car crash, you should seek immediate medical attention—even if you do not believe you’re hurt. A doctor can help identify, diagnose, and treat injuries you did not even realize you sustained in the adrenaline-filled aftermath of an accident.
Hospital records may also help prove your case in court. Since insurance companies often accuse whiplash victims of fabricating injuries, your medical history shows you had legitimate concerns about your health —concerns that emerged the same day as your accident.
Your Missouri car crash lawyer will help you build a compelling case for fair compensation by:
- Analyzing any evidence you may have collected from the crash site such as photographs or video walk-arounds. If you were unable to collect any evidence, your lawyer’s legal team will do their own investigation. This may entail subpoenaing surveillance tapes, interviewing eyewitnesses, and calling in experts.
- Reviewing your medical records to understand when and how your whiplash developed and then relating it to your car accident.
- Calculating the overall value of your damages—the money you have lost recovering from an accident, as well as the money you need for future treatment.
- Aggressively advocating on your behalf, whether in negotiations with the insurance company or in front of a judge and jury.
Are You Suffering From Whiplash Following A Missouri Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a Missouri car accident and are suffering from whiplash you should speak with an experienced whiplash lawyer as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 314.200.1229 to schedule a free consultation. We help whiplash victims throughout the state of Missouri including Columbia, Springfield, Kansas City, St. Louis, Kirksville and Cape Girardeau.