WHIPLASH CLAIM ATTORNEY IN PHOENIX, AZ
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Whiplash Claim Injuries in Phoenix
Whiplash is a serious injury that must be treated as such. These injuries may occur in a variety of ways for residents and visitors in Arizona. Whiplash is defined as a sudden and fast back-and-forth jerking of the body caused by an external impact. Vehicle accidents are the most prevalent cause of these injuries. Unfortunately, these injuries can result in substantial medical bills, missed earnings if the victim cannot work, and other out-of-pocket expenses. The most effective approach to recoup your damages is to file a whiplash claim.
It is critical for anybody who has suffered a whiplash injury due to another person’s reckless or negligent acts to obtain compensation for their losses. At Ybarra Maldonado Law Group, our Phoenix personal injury lawyers work tirelessly for our clients. If you or someone you know suffered a car accident injury and want to file a whiplash claim, contact our office. Call 602-910-4040 to schedule your free consultation today.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a violent, fast, back-and-forth neck movement. Rear-end collisions are the most prevalent cause of whiplash. Sports accidents, physical abuse, and other forms of trauma, such as a fall, can also cause whiplash. Below, we list common symptoms associated with whiplash.
- Stiffness and pain in the neck
- Pain that worsens with neck movement
- Range of motion loss in the neck
- Headaches that start at the base of the skull
- Pain or tenderness in the shoulder, arms, or upper back
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
Other less common symptoms include blurred vision, tinnitus, difficulty sleeping, irritability, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and depression. Sometimes, whiplash symptoms take a while to present themselves. You may think that you’ve just gotten into a non-injury car accident, but we recommend seeking medical attention anyway, just to be safe.
What Does Whiplash Feel Like?
Because of the jarring action, you may have neck pain or a headache as soon as your automobile comes to a stop. Your body may have been jostled substantially depending on whether or not you were using a seatbelt. If you hit your head on the steering wheel or headrest, you may need to be checked for a concussion.
However, because your body may be sluggish to react due to the stress of the occurrence, you may not experience any symptoms immediately. In this scenario, you may be inclined to think to yourself, “I’m OK,” and get on with your day. However, keep a careful eye on any new symptoms that appear.
Whiplash causes discomfort and stiffness because the muscles and tendons in the neck are overstretched and even damaged due to abrupt motion. The hyperextension of the muscles, as well as any soft tissue injury in the neck and adjacent regions, cause the discomfort.
Swelling and inflammation in the affected area may occur as your body reacts to the stress. Neck and upper back muscles can become tight, and you may find it difficult to turn your neck from side to side or up and down.
This loss of range of motion may be accompanied by pain, and your muscles may feel sensitive or knotted as a result. Whiplash is also associated with headaches, as the brain was likely jostled during the collision.
How Long Does It Take for Whiplash Symptoms to Appear?
Whiplash symptoms can emerge hours, days, or even weeks after a person thinks they are fine following an accident. Unfortunately, just because you don’t notice neck discomfort right away doesn’t mean it won’t be severe when symptoms do appear. To ensure that you receive prompt treatment for whiplash, you must first understand how long it generally takes for symptoms to emerge.
Within the first 24 hours, most whiplash symptoms will develop. If you are not experiencing any of the symptoms listed above after the first full day, it is unlikely that you will develop whiplash. It’s essential to remember, however, that some people don’t suffer any whiplash symptoms for the first several days following a vehicle accident. Make an appointment with a medical expert to determine if you suffer from whiplash.
What If My Whiplash Symptoms Are Delayed?
If symptoms of whiplash take longer than a day or two to develop, this could be classified as late whiplash syndrome. Delayed whiplash injuries can occur from any car accident that causes whiplash. This is why it is so important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible following the accident. Even if you can’t feel or see any symptoms of whiplash, a doctor will be much more likely to catch any unseen injuries you sustained.
How Long Does Whiplash Last?
Most people with whiplash recover in a few weeks and do not appear to have any long-term consequences from the injury. Some people, on the other hand, have pain for months or even years following an accident.
It’s difficult to say how each person will recover from whiplash. In general, if your early symptoms were severe, came on quickly, and included any of the following, you may be more prone to develop chronic pain.
- Severe pain in the neck
- An even more limited range of motion in the neck
- Pain that spreads from the neck to the arms
Additionally, certain risk factors exist that have the potential to make your whiplash injury worse.
- Having had whiplash in the past
- Older age
- Neck back or low back pain that already exists
- High-speed injuries
What Can I Do for Whiplash?
Once you visit the doctor for your whiplash treatment, they will develop a treatment plan for you. The severity of your whiplash injury will determine your treatment options. Some patients just require over-the-counter drugs and in-home care. Prescription medicine, specialist pain treatment, or physical therapy may be required for others.
In terms of pain management, there are several common options. Milder whiplash cases involve a lot of rest, heat or cold application, and over-the-counter pain medications. For more serious cases, a doctor might recommend prescription pain medicine, muscle relaxants, or even injections for the pain.
You will most likely be given a list of stretching and mobility exercises to complete at home by your doctor. These exercises can help you regain your neck’s range of motion and return to your usual activities. Before exercising, moist heat to the sore area or a warm shower may be advised.
Your doctor may recommend consulting a physical therapist if you have chronic whiplash discomfort or need help with range-of-motion exercises. Physical therapy can help you feel better and may possibly save you from being hurt again. Your physical therapist will lead you through exercises to help you strengthen your muscles, correct your posture, and reclaim your normal range of motion.
How Do I File a Whiplash Claim?
The greatest proof you can give in a whiplash claim is documentation of the accident and injuries. Take photographs of the collision and the damage to both vehicles if you can. After you’ve gotten medical care, call your insurance agent to discuss the circumstances of your accident.
It’s vital to know that speaking with the other party’s insurance agent after an accident is not encouraged. They aim to uncover any information showing their client is not at fault. Your insurance company can relay the information you’ve provided them, and your lawyer can talk with the other party’s insurance company on your behalf.
Car accident lawsuits differ according to how your state’s laws handle this area of law. To sue a motorist for whiplash, you must show that their reckless driving was the direct cause of the injury. Medical documents will show that your injuries are legitimate, but you and your attorney must show fault. This isn’t usually a straightforward job.
In a whiplash insurance claim, insurance company reports, police reports, and personal statements/witnesses can all be used to show fault and negligence.
What Causes Whiplash Claims?
The most common cause of whiplash injuries is motor vehicle accidents. Rear-end collisions, in particular, are notorious for leading to whiplash claims. Even minor, low-speed collisions can cause whiplash injury claims. An insurance company may try to downplay the severity of your accident and injuries, but even minor accidents can cause major injuries.
What Are the Steps of a Successful Whiplash Injury Claim?
To have the best chance at a successful personal injury lawsuit, it is crucial to take certain steps after your accident. With our extensive experience in whiplash injury claims, we recommend taking the following steps to strengthen your case.
As soon as you are able, seek medical attention. We strongly recommend doing so even if you don’t initially see or feel any injuries. This is extremely important not only for your health, but also to generate medical records that will serve as evidence of your whiplash injuries.
If your healthcare provider gives you a treatment plan, follow that plan as closely as possible. This will help you recover more quickly while generating a trail of medical records and documenting your medical expenses.
If you have or develop any visible signs of injury, be sure to take pictures of those visible symptoms. Document your experience in as much detail as possible by keeping medical records, medical bills, and prescriptions. We also recommend taking notes on your pain and discomfort. All of this documentation will serve to strengthen your personal injury claim after you suffered whiplash.
After you have sought medical treatment, it is imperative to speak with experienced personal injury attorneys. Personal injury cases can be extremely complicated without the necessary training and experience. However, working directly with a personal injury attorney can mitigate this.
An attorney can greatly enhance your chances of receiving full and fair whiplash injury compensation. We will also guide you through the entire personal injury claims process, from gathering evidence to negotiating a settlement to representing you in court. Let us put our experience to work for you after you suffer whiplash in an accident.
Keeping a journal is a great way to accurately and consistently record your daily symptoms and limitations, as well as how they have impacted your life. Remember to be honest while describing your injuries, as exaggerating or downplaying them will only serve to hurt your case.
Accurately reporting your injuries will add credibility to your claim and provide your attorney with more evidence to use in your favor. Note all of the physical, emotional, and psychological consequences stemming from your neck injury.
We also recommend that you refrain from posting about the accident on social media. Insurance companies are quick to search claimants’ social media profiles for any inconsistencies in their stories. Do not post or share anything that may undermine your claim. Also, be cognizant of what others post about you or tag you on social media. Only communicate about your accident in private with family and close friends.
If you get a call from an insurance adjuster, direct them to your attorney. Insurance companies exist to make a profit, so their agents will do whatever it takes to either avoid a payout or give you a lowball settlement offer. Letting your attorney handle the insurance company is a good idea, as they can protect you against saying anything incriminating.
How Much Is a Whiplash Claim Worth?
After experiencing a whiplash injury due to an accident, there are no precise rules for how much compensation a person will get. However, just because Arizona doesn’t have set standards for a whiplash claim doesn’t imply a victim won’t get any money. The entire amount of compensation an automobile accident victim receives after suffering whiplash injuries varies depending on the severity of the occurrence as a whole.
For soft tissue injuries like whiplash, the typical compensation in Arizona ranges from $10,000 to $25,000. Remember that this also includes the upper end of the spectrum for more catastrophic injuries. The payout will be on the lower end of the scale for something as minor as whiplash.
What Are the Steps in Phoenix Whiplash Injury Claims?
Before filing your claim, it’s important to understand the general process of filing a whiplash injury claim. Our attorneys will ensure that you fully understand every step of the process. Not only will we keep you informed and involved, but we will also work closely with you and guarantee that your voice is heard.
In the following sections, we outline the general process of filing whiplash claims after car accidents.
Calculating the Damages
First, our attorneys will evaluate the full value of your damages. To do this, we will determine the severity of your injuries, the value of your medical treatment, and give an estimate of the overall value of your claim.
Sending a Demand Letter
Then, your personal injury lawyer will draft a demand letter to send to the insurance company. Demand letters include an outline of your injuries, medical expenses, and other financial damages. The letter will conclude with a settlement proposal, which is supported by all the evidence and documentation you have gathered so far.
Once the insurance company receives the demand letter, they will either accept or reject the settlement proposal. If they reject it, they will likely respond to the letter with a counteroffer. This is what kick-starts the settlement negotiation process. When you work with a personal injury attorney, they will ensure that you do not accept a settlement that won’t cover all of your damages.
Arbitration or Mediation
If it is difficult to reach an agreement, both sides may participate in arbitration or mediation. This involves a neutral third party overseeing settlement negotiations between the parties. Your attorney will guide you through this process and ensure that your best interests are protected.
If no agreement is reached between the parties, the negotiations may lead to a lawsuit. Litigation is a complicated process, but a whiplash injury lawyer can help you every step of the way.
Contact a Whiplash Claim Lawyer in Phoenix
If you sustained a whiplash injury in a car accident, you need a qualified attorney. In order to prove your damages, an experienced Phoenix car accident attorney will work with you and all other involved parties. Trust Ybarra Maldonado Law Group to handle your case with dedication and care. For more information about filing a whiplash claim, or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office. Call 602-910-4040 today to start fighting for just compensation.