Woman suffering from neck pain May 18, 2018
Whiplash and Chronic Pain: Does That Qualify for Compensation?

Whiplash injuries might sound minor, but for some accident victims they can lead to long-term chronic pain, headaches, difficulty sleeping, and ultimately affect their quality of life.

If you have been in an accident and diagnosed with whiplash, you may wonder if you can seek damages or compensation for your injuries and the chronic pain you now suffer.

It is important to realize that any time you are considering a lawsuit, you should consult with an attorney. You can meet with an attorney from Jacobs Law, LLC for free and without obligation to explore your rights. While you wait for your meeting, we will briefly discuss whiplash and when you may receive compensation for chronic pain issues.

The Difficulty of Whiplash in Indianapolis Car Accident Claims

Whiplash is one of the harder injuries to prove, and it is one that insurance companies love to deny. The term “whiplash” covers injuries that result from the violent back-and-forth motion of the neck, which is typical in a car accident.

Whiplash itself can be quite painful and disruptive. It can affect your daily life, make it harder to work, and cause you to suffer other mental and physical complications as a result. The reason insurance companies like to deny whiplash claims is because it is hard to prove you have whiplash. There are no medical tests that can scan and show whiplash. Instead, the diagnosis is based on your symptoms. Historically, whiplash has been used to file false insurance claims. While there are still some who would use this to their advantage, most claims for whiplash are legitimate.

Getting Treatment Right Away Makes a Difference

One of the best ways to thwart an insurance company from trying to deny your claim is getting medical treatment right away. Even if you feel fine after a motor vehicle accident, receive treatment. The moment you feel slight pain or discomfort, receive treatment.

Whiplash, strain, and other soft tissue injuries might not be immediately symptomatic. The sooner you receive treatment and have it documented that you are suffering these symptoms, the better for your case.

If you are not sure if you have whiplash, some common symptoms can include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in the shoulder or between your shoulder blades
  • Dizziness or vertigo spells
  • Numbness or pain in your arms
  • Sleep disturbances, constant fatigue, and irritability
  • Inability to remember or concentrate

How is Whiplash Diagnosed?

While you cannot outright diagnose whiplash, you can identify factors contributing to the whiplash injury. For example, your physician will use specialized imaging, such as a CT scan, to look at the soft tissues, discs, and ligaments of the affected area. These scans will help prove that an injury occurred within the soft tissue, which explains your symptoms and chronic pain.

If you seek medical attention right away rather than waiting weeks afterward, it will be easier to document the injuries to your soft tissues.

Chronic Pain from Whiplash

Chronic pain can happen after a car accident and especially if you suffer from soft tissue damage. Chronic pain is considered any pain that lasts longer than six months and ranges from mild to agonizing. The pain could be just  inconvenient, or it could be so debilitating that you cannot function.

Some chronic pain symptoms often noted with whiplash injuries include:

  • Shooting
  • Burning
  • Electrical-like pain
  • Aching
  • Tightness or stiffness
  • Soreness
  • Continual discomfort
  • Migraines or chronic headaches

Chronic pain may force you to withdraw from everyday activities, increase your need to sleep, cause anxiety or depression, affect your immune system, and even limit your ability to work.

Pursuing a Claim for Chronic Pain after a Car Accident

If you want to recover damages for chronic pain that stems from whiplash following a car accident, you may face multiple hurdles. Sometimes, medical professionals may struggle to connect the chronic pain you suffer to your accident. Other times, medical professionals will be unable to prove the existence of your chronic pain – mainly when imaging scans no longer show damage to the soft tissues where you sustained a whiplash injury.

Insurance companies will use medical experts to try and disprove your chronic pain, and they will do what they can to avoid classifying your chronic pain as a permanent injury.

What Compensation Can You Receive for Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain compensation is not the same as regular injury compensation. You may not have direct costs  except for medical bills. Furthermore, your attorney will need to justify the future pain and suffering damages for your chronic condition. These undefined damages can include physical pain, mental anguish, and the emotional suffering that comes from dealing with pain for the rest of your life.

Because the future damages are harder to prove (medical experts cannot say with certainty how long your chronic pain will remain), your attorney will need to use medical evidence and witness testimony that estimates how long your chronic pain is likely to continue, medical costs associated with it, and the economic losses (such as lost wages) that you will incur because of your chronic pain.

The key to succeeding with a chronic pain lawsuit is that you must work with an attorney who can not only show the whiplash is the source of your chronic pain, but that the pain is not curable or manageable and that you deserve compensation for your suffering.

Injured and Suffering from Chronic Pain? You Need to Speak with an Attorney

If you have suffered whiplash and now have chronic pain, you need to discuss the circumstances of your accident with an attorney from Jacobs Law, LLC. We can determine what types of claims we should file, and we will aggressively protect your rights and best interests.

Contact one of our auto accident attorneys today by calling our office or asking a question online. Our consultations are free, and you do not pay our attorneys unless we succeed in your case.