Albuquerque Whiplash Claims: Everything You Need to Know

March 29th, 2024 | by RON BELL

Albuquerque Whiplash Claims: Everything You Need to Know

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that Albuquerque car accident lawyers encounter. Though often considered minor, this soft tissue injury can have serious and long-lasting consequences for a person’s health, job eligibility, and overall quality of life. Read this article to learn how you can best ensure you will be fairly compensated if you ever suffer whiplash in a car crash.

Whiplash, also known as cervical muscle strain or neck strain, is one of the most common kinds of car accident injuries. According to some estimates, over a million people in the U.S. sustain a whiplash injury every year.

Even though whiplash is commonly thought to be a minor injury, it can have serious consequences for the victim’s health and quality of life—both short and long-term. For example, one study showed that 7% of whiplash injury victims were not able to return to work. Another source also mentions that up to 40% of victims never fully recover from whiplash.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is not actually a medical term, but physicians consider it a cervical sprain, which is just one type of neck injury. Most commonly, whiplash involves pain and stiffness in the neck, but it can also include injuries in the head, chest, shoulders, and arms. Severe whiplash injuries may include injury to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots.

Whiplash injuries can cause serious pain. While early intervention helps, some people still suffer from extreme, disabling pain even after treatment. A person who sustained whiplash may be unable to work or complete daily tasks. They may also need physical therapy and pain medication on an ongoing basis.

Causes of Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when the soft tissues of the neck (including ligaments, muscles, and tendons) are injured by a sudden jerking of the head, causing the muscles and ligaments to go beyond their normal range of motion. It usually occurs when there is a sudden backward motion of the neck followed by a sudden forward motion of the neck.

While rear-end car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash injuries, they can be caused outside of car accidents. Sports injuries, being shaken, and falling from bicycles are also common causes of whiplash injuries. Whatever the cause, whiplash injuries can be painful to the point of disability.

How to Recognize Whiplash Symptoms After a Car Accident

Recognizing a whiplash injury is essential to your long-term health and your potential injury claim. Depending on the extent of the neck injury and the strain of the impact on the cervical or neck area of the spine, whiplash may initially produce no visible or perceivable symptoms. Whiplash can occur after a serious wreck, and even a minor car accident can cause whiplash.

The injury, however, may manifest itself in the hours or days following the accident as:

  • Neck pain
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Low back pain
  • Shoulder pain and stiffness
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased range of motion in the neck and the spine
  • Tingling in the arms and legs

If you start experiencing any of these symptoms after a low speed, rear-end collision, you should seek medical attention immediately. However, due to the nature of whiplash, it is usually advisable to see a doctor for a medical checkup.

This is a vital step, even if no visible signs of an injury can be discerned and you believe you are in good physical condition. If your medical provider is able to recognize the injury, you will have a greater chance of a fast and complete recovery. In addition, the medical records will serve as an important piece of evidence, backing up your compensation claim and making it harder for the insurance company to deny it.

How to Make a Whiplash Claim in Albuquerque

If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury in Albuquerque, it’s important to understand how to navigate the process of making a claim. The first (and most critical) step is to prioritize your health. Seek medical attention promptly after the accident. Even if your symptoms seem minor, do not delay medical treatment after a car accident.

If your injury isn’t extensive, you may start gathering simple evidence—including photographs of the scene of the accident and the damage to your car—right after the collision. You should also document the impact of the accident and injury on your life, health, and budget. The evidence you may gather should include your medical bills as well as the proof of other losses such as those related to lost wages due to days off work.

It is also important to remember that the car insurance company of the person responsible for your injury is likely to try to devalue your whiplash injury and offer you a quick but low settlement. You should be wary of these practices and not be intimidated into accepting the first offer you get.

In addition, it may be advantageous to work on your whiplash claim with an Albuquerque personal injury attorney experienced in handling whiplash injury claims. This is especially true if your whiplash is serious and is likely to have extensive, long-term consequences for your health.

Compensation for Whiplash Claims: Why It Can Be Difficult

Despite whiplash injuries being so commonplace, its victims may sometimes find it challenging to recover compensation after filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The reasons for this are two-fold. First, a whiplash injury can occur after a low-speed, rear-end collision that produces little property damage. Second, any symptom of whiplash, along with the true extent of the injury, may only manifest itself after a few days or even weeks after the accident.

As a result of both of these factors, whiplash injury victims sometimes delay the decision to start working toward their compensation claim. Insurance companies tend to take advantage of this delay by downplaying the injury, minimizing its effects on the victim’s life, and ultimately making an unfairly low compensation offer.

Thus, it’s important to learn how to recognize a whiplash injury and what medical treatment and legal steps you should take to ensure you will be able to recover—both in terms of its physical and financial impact.

What Should I Do if My Whiplash Injury Claim Is Denied?

If your whiplash injury claim is denied by the car insurance company, it can be disheartening, but you still have options. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Carefully review the insurance company’s denial letter. Pay close attention to any specific details or documentation they may have requested and ensure you understand their rationale.
  2. Consult with your personal injury attorney in Albuquerque. They can review the denial letter, assess the viability of appealing the decision, provide valuable insight into your options, and help you navigate the appeals process effectively.
  3. Gather any additional documentation or evidence that may strengthen your claim. This can include additional medical records, witness statements, or expert opinions to support your case.
  4. Work with your personal injury attorney to file an appeal with the insurance company. Be thorough in your appeal, addressing each reason cited for the denial and providing compelling evidence to support your claim.
  5. Consider alternative dispute resolution. If all attempts to resolve the claim through appeals are unsuccessful, look into mediation or arbitration. A car accident attorney from Ron Bell Injury Lawyers can advise you on whether this approach is suitable for your situation and represent you during the process.
  6. File a personal injury lawsuit. If all attempts to resolve the claim through the methods listed above are unsuccessful, you may consider filing a personal injury case against the at-fault party. Your attorney can guide you through the legal process and represent your interests in court.
  7. Continue to prioritize your health and well-being. Attend any necessary medical appointments and follow your treatment plan to ensure you recover fully from your whiplash injury.

Navigating a denied whiplash injury claim can be challenging. However, with the guidance of an experienced Albuquerque personal injury attorney and persistence, you can still pursue the compensation you deserve. If you trust in your legal representation and remain proactive, you stand a better chance of a successful outcome.

Statute of Limitations for Whiplash Claims in New Mexico

There is a statute of limitations in New Mexico that sets a deadline for filing a whiplash claim. Be aware of this time limit. Failing to file within the specified timeframe can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation. Generally, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including whiplash injuries, in New Mexico is three years from the date of the accident. However, it’s essential to consult with a personal injury attorney. They can help you understand the specific deadlines that apply to your whiplash claim, as certain circumstances may affect the timeline.

How an Albuquerque Whiplash Attorney Can Help

The experienced personal injury attorneys from Ron Bell Injury Lawyers can be invaluable assets in whiplash settlements. Our team has over 35 years of experience representing individuals who have suffered whiplash and other injuries due to accidents, whether they occur on the road, at work, or in other circumstances. We can help you navigate the complexities of the claims process for personal injury cases and maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation.

  • You don’t have to accept the insurance company’s settlement offer. We will advocate for your rights and interests when dealing with the other driver’s insurance adjusters.
  • We can help you gather evidence, such as medical records, eyewitness testimony, and expert opinions, to support your claim.
  • We will assess the full extent of your damages, including not only medical expenses but also lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering damages.

Whiplash injuries can seriously impact physical health, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life. These intangible losses need to be acknowledged and compensated appropriately. With a skilled attorney by your side, you can rest assured that your rights will be protected and that you will have a strong advocate fighting for what you deserve for your whiplash injury.

Contact Ron Bell Injury Lawyers in Albuquerque Today for a Free Whiplash Claim Case Review

If you’re suffering from whiplash symptoms after a car accident, please reach out. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our team understands the challenges you may be facing and is dedicated to fighting for a fair whiplash settlement for your pain, suffering, and financial losses. With our proven track record of success in handling whiplash injury cases, you can trust us to advocate tirelessly on your behalf. Don’t wait—call Ron Bell Injury Lawyers now for a free consultation and take the first step in getting the justice and compensation you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much is the average whiplash settlement?

The average settlement for a whiplash injury can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the severity of the injury, the extent of medical treatment required, and the impact on daily life and work. More severe cases with long-term or permanent effects may result in higher settlements, while milder cases with minimal impact may yield lower compensation. Consulting with a personal injury attorney who can assess the specific details of your case is crucial in determining a fair and appropriate settlement amount.

What evidence is needed for a whiplash claim?

  • Medical records documenting diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of the whiplash injury.
  • Doctor’s notes and reports detailing the extent of the injury and recommended course of treatment.
  • Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI scans, or CT scans showing any structural damage or abnormalities.
  • Receipts and invoices for medical bills incurred, including hospital visits, consultations, medication, therapy, and rehabilitation.
  • Records of missed work and lost wages due to the injury, including documentation from your employer.
  • Photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and visible injuries.
  • Witness statements or testimonies corroborating the events leading to the whiplash injury.
  • Police reports or accident reports if law enforcement was involved. You can file a police report online in Albuquerque if police did not come to the scene.
  • Any additional evidence supporting the circumstances of the accident and the resulting whiplash injury.

Can whiplash cause a TBI?

While whiplash itself is a neck injury caused by a sudden, rapid movement of the head backward and then forward, it’s not typically associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI) directly. However, in some cases, particularly in a severe car accident or when the whiplash injury is accompanied by a significant impact to the head, it’s possible for a TBI to occur concurrently with whiplash. The sudden jerking motion of the head in a whiplash injury can sometimes lead to the brain hitting the inside of the skull, potentially resulting in a mild concussion or other forms of brain injury. It’s essential for individuals who have experienced whiplash to seek medical attention promptly, especially if they are experiencing symptoms such as headache, dizziness, confusion, memory problems, or other cognitive difficulties, as these could indicate a possible TBI.

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