Whiplash is the “hidden injury” most often associated with car accidents. Affecting millions of individuals each year, whiplash often results from rear-end collisions and can be life-altering, causing chronic pain for many. The legal team at Gautreaux Law has experience helping victims of whiplash in central Georgia recover compensation for this injury in car accident claims.
If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury, you may be eligible to receive more compensation than you realize. An experienced personal injury attorney at Gautreaux Law will help you determine your legal options. Just contact us as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
Why is Whiplash a Hidden Injury?
Whiplash occurs when your head whips forward and backward rapidly. This motion causes strain on your spine, the nerves that run through it, and nearby soft tissue. However, this strain rarely results in immediate pain.
Instead, whiplash symptoms often take a few days to appear with swelling and inflammation occurring gradually. As a result of the injury, individuals often experience limited mobility, dizziness, headaches, and muscle weakness long after the accident.
Get Medical Attention Quickly
Unfortunately, many cases of whiplash go untreated and the victim may unintentionally cause the injury to worsen before they ever think about seeking medical attention.
This creates several problems. Medically, damage to your spine and nearby soft tissue is difficult to treat. The more damage you have, the more likely it will be permanent. If you wait to get medical treatment, you could end up with a permanent injury, which requires a lifetime of therapy to moderate.
This also creates a financial problem. Any damage you cause by delaying medical attention can cause the insurance company to say you must not have been hurt. Even if another party is liable for your initial injury (in a car accident, for example), you may be blamed for delaying treatment for your injury. That limits your ability to get compensation and may prevent you from getting any, if you wait too long.
By getting medical attention immediately after an accident where you might have suffered whiplash, you resolve both problems. If a doctor identifies whiplash immediately, they will start treating it. This decreases the likelihood that it will balloon into a much worse injury.
And if they don’t identify it immediately, at least you took all reasonable actions to determine the extent of your injury. If it is later discovered, even if it worsened in that time, you are not at fault for the worsening of the injury. This means you will still be eligible for compensation for all medical treatment related to the injury.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help After You Suffer Whiplash
How much is your whiplash injury worth? That question is trickier to answer than most people realize. At a minimum, you should get compensation for:
- All medical bills
- Any ongoing therapy
- Lost work time or decreased pay if you can only do limited work
- Other expenses associated with your injury, like transportation costs or medical equipment
However, an insurance company won’t just hand over money. It requires evidence of every expense and loss. An experienced personal injury attorney from Gautreaux Law will identify all expenses and losses associated with your injury and will help you document those damages.
Your lawyer also knows how to present this evidence to the insurance company in an effective way. Just because you have the appropriate records, that doesn’t mean the insurance company will read it the same way you do. Gautreaux Law firm will cut through that red tape when fighting for fair compensation.
Determining Long-Term Value
As important as documentation is, there are situations where it is impossible to fully document losses. This is the case when the injury will require years or more of therapy or support, as is often true for whiplash injuries.
We can’t wait years to file your claim. Georgia has a statute of limitations on personal injury claims. Once that deadline passes, you lose the option to file a lawsuit.
In these situations, your personal injury attorney needs to calculate an accurate estimate of the value of your claim. This estimate includes the likely costs of future medical procedures, therapy, and lost wages. It also includes what your lawyer considers fair compensation for your pain and suffering.
Typically, insurance companies don’t pay compensation for projected costs. But they may be likely to negotiate a settlement that includes that compensation to avoid going to court.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney at Gautreaux Law to Help With Whiplash Injuries in Central Georgia
If you were involved in an accident that could have resulted in whiplash, do not wait to act. A personal injury lawyer at our law firm can help you find the right doctor to evaluate your condition and determine whether you are eligible for compensation. Contact Gautreaux Law today to schedule a free consultation