Can I Recover Compensation for Whiplash Caused by a Car Accident?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Car Accidents Published on July 25, 2018 and updated on March 6, 2022.

sore neckWhiplash injuries are common in car accident cases. They can be painful and may affect you for a considerable amount of time.

However, it can be difficult for accident victims to prove that they suffered this type of injury. This is why victims should strongly consider working with a Maryland car accident lawyer on their case.

The attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl can help gather documentation to establish the connection between the accident and the injury and the damages you suffered. We can use this information to pursue compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Schedule a free legal consultation today.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury in the neck that is typically caused by a rapid and forceful jolting of the neck. This often occurs in car crashes, particularly in rear-end accidents.

Whiplash damages the muscles and tendons of the neck. It is not a fracture and cannot usually be observed on X-rays or MRI scans. Symptoms of whiplash may include the following:

  • Neck pain and stiffness that worsens when moving the neck
  • Headaches, typically beginning at the base of the skull
  • Fatigue
  • Tenderness in the upper extremities
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty moving the neck
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms

Sometimes whiplash is a symptom of a traumatic brain injury. If you are suffering from whiplash and experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have a traumatic brain injury:

  • Blurred vision or ringing in the ears
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Problems with memory
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depression

Why Whiplash Is Difficult to Prove

Despite whiplash injuries being so common in car accidents, it is often difficult for victims to obtain fair compensation for damages caused by the injury.

Unfortunately, symptoms may not appear for days or weeks after the accident and victims often do not seek medical treatment until they experience any symptoms. This makes insurance companies and juries suspicious about the reason for the claim.

Another obstacle to recovering compensation is that the injury does not show up on an X-ray or MRI like a fracture does. Insurance companies and juries may think you are faking it.

Building a Case

Since it can be very difficult to prove you have whiplash, it is important to work quickly to protect your interests. Some ways that you can strengthen your claim include:

Seeking Medical Attention Right Away

The best thing that you can do to protect your claim is to seek medical attention immediately after the accident. The medical professional should be someone who is experienced in diagnosing and treating soft tissue injuries.

Explain any of the symptoms that you are experiencing to your health care provider so that they can be documented in your medical records.

It is also important to follow all of your doctor’s instructions for treatment. Go to all appointments, take prescribed medications and avoid activities you are instructed to avoid. Disobeying these instructions could hurt your chances of obtaining compensation.

Documenting Your Injuries

Keep records of all documents related to your injuries, including:

  • Physician notes
  • Diagnoses
  • Lab results
  • Image results
  • Photographs of your injuries
  • Medical bills

Filing a Claim As Soon As Possible

Do not delay in filing the insurance claim against the at-fault party. There are often deadlines for filing claims and you do not want to lose your chance to pursue compensation. Waiting to file can also make insurers suspicious of your intentions.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

It is also important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.

Our Maryland personal injury lawyers are familiar with all aspects of personal injury law, including how soft tissue injuries like whiplash occur and how they can be properly documented. We can answer any questions that you have about the process of pursuing compensation for your claim during a free, no-obligation consultation.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today or call us at 410-244-7005.