Every whiplash injury claim must be documented thoroughly in order for the claim to be successful. For this reason it is important that the claimant’s doctor documents all symptoms as well as the treatment provided. All receipts pertaining to treatment, documentation regarding lost wages and a diary documenting all emotional and physical discomforts and pains during and after treatment should be made available as part of the claim file. In order to ensure that proper procedures are followed when filing documentation, its vital to hire a competent attorney that is seasoned in the field.
The claimant should keep all receipts regarding treatment of the whiplash. This includes receipts for any doctor’s visits, medications, medical equipment (crutches, whiplash collar, etc.) and co-payments. This documentation will provide clarity as to the severeness of the injury.
All time taken off from employment should be thoroughly documented by the claimant. Not only does this show the level of injuries sustained but it also helps in calculating the monetary amount needed for reimbursement for pain and suffering. Typically pain and suffering is calculated as to three times the loss incurred after the accident. In other words, if the claimant lost £3,000 in wages and incurred £5,000 in medical expenses, they can receive at least £24,000 (£3,000 + £5,000 = £8,000 x 3) in pain and suffering.
Keeping a Emotional and Physical Diary
Keeping a diary and documenting all pertinent information will serve as physical proof that the amount asked for pain and suffering is warranted. The diary should reflect any actions taken to alleviate the emotional and physical pain (doctor visits, amount of medications and times taken per day) and any occurrences of pain (unable to walk to the car, needed help to visit the bathroom, etc.). These events will factor in the amount of compensation the claimant receives.
It is best to receive medical attention and legal advice as soon as possible after any accident to ensure proper procedures are followed for any whiplash injury claim.
Hiring a Attorney
Hiring an attorney for the claimant’s whiplash injury claim helps to insure that correct procedures for the claim process are followed. This includes filing a police report, an accident report with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the eventual lawsuit. The attorney should be experienced in both personal injury and auto accident cases. They will provide specialized doctors to examine the accident victim who will document the injuries thoroughly. They also help advise against answering questions or speaking to any insurance representative or opposing attorneys.
The attorney actually becomes the accident victim’s spokesperson. This means that all contact with the accident victim will be through them. This prevents any information or admissions of the accident victim being used against them and their whiplash injury claim in court. Most often the insurance companies offer minimal payments quickly in the hopes of reducing their losses. These offers don’t necessarily properly reflect true losses sustained by the accident victim.