When Whiplash Becomes Chronic—Documentation For Compensation
There's no doubt you've heard the euphemism 'pain in the neck' as a way of expressing a nuisance or to describe a source of annoyance. But for those who have sustained whiplash injuries, a pain in the neck takes on a whole new meaning. When you have real neck pain, everything can become annoying and bothersome. Every movement your body makes can be felt in your neck when you have whiplash.
Whiplash can cause a wide range of symptoms that can make it difficult to continue employment, including blurred vision, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating. If you've recently sustained whiplash in a car accident that was caused by a negligent driver, it's in your best interest to seek medical care for treatment and to contact an attorney to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Here's why.
Possible 5 Year Prognosis
According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, people who had sustained whiplash continued to see a deteriorated quality of life five years later. Their diminished quality of life was related in part to the socioeconomic factors caused by neuropathic pain from the whiplash.
Essentially, the burning or shooting pain caused by their injuries resulted in their inability to interact socially and also affected their finances, whether from being unable to continue being gainfully employed, from mounting medical bills for whiplash treatment, or from a combination of both. Five years later, which means the whiplash has become chronic. Because of this, hire a car accident attorney to seek compensation for your injuries and your loss of income.
Documentation of Medical Treatment
Often, whiplash and other soft tissue injuries do not become apparent immediately after an accident. You may not have felt the affects of whiplash until the next morning or several days later. The reason for this is because adrenaline produced by your body during the car accident can mask the pain and affects of the whiplash. This may have caused you to not seek medical care immediately following the car accident, which could result in your whiplash becoming a chronic condition.
If this is the case, insurance adjusters looking at your claim could try to determine that your neck pain was not caused by the accident or that you contributed to the whiplash becoming a chronic condition by not seeking medical treatment immediately following the car accident. Your treating physician will play a key role in the determination made by the insurance adjuster, which is why it is crucial to have documentation of your injuries as soon as possible after sustaining them, as well as documentation that you have undergone treatment for the injuries and followed all medical advice.
Documentation of Medical Bills & Financial Impact
You'll need to have documentation of all the medical bills, other related expenses, and the financial impact the injuries have caused. Keep records of all of your medical bills, insurance co-pays, prescriptions, and lost wages. Any expenses you incur to receive treatment can also be tallied and claimed, such as mileage and parking costs. Your attorney can give you a detailed list of what to record and what documents to obtain for your compensation claim.
With a chronic condition that may be ongoing for a number of unforeseeable years into the future, you'll want to be sure to include those future medical expenses and lost wages in your claim. However, to do this you will need to have supportive evidence that the expenses and lost wages are reasonably certain and will be more probable than not. An attorney can hire a medical expert witness to assess your condition and develop a report to substantiate that your case may become chronic.