Nearly 1.25 million people die every year from auto accidents, and an additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled. One of the most common damaging and debilitating injuries that can happen to a driver or passenger is whiplash.
Whiplash happens when the head and neck change direction rapidly, often after a rear-end collision, and can lead to serious injuries, even if the car isn’t traveling very fast. Reduced range of motion, shoulder and upper back pain, headaches, tingling sensations in the arm and shoulder, and even psychological issues like insomnia and irritability are all symptoms arising from whiplash.
While many people typically recover from whiplash within 3 months, people can struggle with a lifetime of pain from their injuries, especially older adults, women, those with PTSD, and those with severe injuries.
What to Do if You Are Rear-ended in a Car Accident
Chances are, you will be involved in a car accident during your life. It’s critically important that you know what to do when one occurs, in order to protect your rights and defend yourself in court.
- Immediately after the collision, before you speak to anyone else, call the police and report the accident, even if it is a minor one, and especially if the other driver doesn’t feel it’s necessary.
- Call the paramedics and report any injuries to yourself or others. It is important that the police report be as accurate and thorough as it can be. Even though someone acts nice and friendly after an accident, doesn’t mean they won’t sue you or hold you responsible.
- Using your smartphone or camera, always photograph the scene from several angles prior to moving any vehicles. Get contact information from all witnesses, passengers, and drivers before they leave and if possible, record their statements.
- An insurance adjuster will probably try to speak with you to get a recorded statement of you. Don’t speak with them! It is always best to speak to an attorney prior to talking to any insurance representative.
If you suspect that you might be injured, seek medical attention immediately. It’s very common for people to feel only a slight headache after an accident, only for symptoms to manifest and pain to increase hours or days later. Also, if you delay treatment, the insurance company can argue that your injuries were not that severe.
Get Immediate Legal Help for Whiplash
It is important to speak with a personal injury attorney immediately after a car accident. Do not give any recorded statement to the insurance company until you have been checked out by a physician and have spoken with your attorney. As mentioned earlier, don’t delay treatment if you are injured. If you do, an insurance company can argue that your injuries were not serious, or did not arise from the accident.
Your attorney will speak with you to discuss the details of the accident, handle communications with the insurance company, file claims, and represent you in court if needed. There’s no need to try to take on the insurance company yourself.
Speak With a Local Personal Injury Attorney About Whiplash
It is important that you find a local personal injury attorney you can trust with a successful track record of handling whiplash claims. If you have been injured in an automobile accident, a consultation with us is free. You will owe nothing unless we recover compensation for you. Contact Herman & Wells today for your free case evaluation.
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