How To Make A Successful Claim For Whiplash After An Auto Accident

If you have been injured in a vehicle accident, you should be aware of whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the head is jarred forcefully back and forward. You may be entitled to compensation. Here are some tips on filing whiplash injury claims.

Learn the Symptoms

Whiplash symptoms are usually not obvious after an accident. Some symptoms include headache, dizziness, pain in neck, shoulders, or arms, blurry vision, trouble sleeping, and a reduction in range of motion. After a vehicle accident, the body release cortisol that masks the pain which is why you think you are not injured.

Get Medical Attention Immediately

For a successful claim, don't delay getting medical attention for whiplash even if you feel little or no discomfort. Delaying medical treatments is the biggest error whiplash claimants make. Waiting  even several days after the accident to seek medical attention could get your claim denied.

Adjusters are often leery of whiplash claims especially cases in which you wait to get treated. If you wait too long, you could have a more difficult time proving your case to the claim adjuster. See your doctor right away if you develop new symptoms.

Avoid consenting to an Independent Medical Exam. The responsible driver's insurance will send you to someone who will agree with them to keep from paying. The only time you should consent to an IME is through your own provider or you have filed a lawsuit.

Provide Documentation

Save doctor prescriptions, hospital bills, blood tests, admission slips, notices from your doctor, therapy costs, insurance co-pays, ambulance bills, or anything you think may be useful. Keep a diary of how the condition impacts your daily life such as loss of sleep or inability to enjoy hobbies.

File the Claim

The rules for filing whiplash claims vary by state. If your state allows you to make claims against another driver for injuries contact that person's insurance provider in writing. Let them know you intend to file a claim.

Some states are no-fault meaning you have to file claim with your own insurance. Your provider will cover a portion of your medical costs and lost wages based on the lowest amount between you claim and the state no-fault limit. You may be able file a claim if medical bills exceed a limit. The provider is only responsible for a small amount if you carry health insurance. 

You should never try to negotiate claims with another driver's insurance adjuster on your own. A car accident attorney (such as one found through can better handle the negotiation and represent you if the case goes to trial.