Expense for New Mattress After Whiplash Injury?

by James
(North Canton, OH)

I was sitting in my car at a red light in Stark county Ohio when another car hit my car in the rear, causing me a whiplash injury. The injury causes me back, neck and headache pain on a scale of 7-9 out of 10. After 9 weeks of physical therapy (PT) and neuromuscular massage (NM) treatments the headaches, back and neck pain have decreased about 40 to 50% to 3-7 out of 10 on the pain scale.

I recently tried to get back to doing yard work and activities (less then half of what I was able to do before the injury, so far) but these increase my pain. With the PT and NM help, the therapy experts say I should have good support for my spine while sleeping. This should help relieve the sleep interruptions caused by my pain and help improve the healing cycle.

I never used to have headaches and neck/back pain like this, so it's causing me to be rather irritated (bordering on angry) about healing as quickly as possible. Being 66 years old, I do not seem to heal as fast as when I was younger. I do all the stretching, tai chi movements, resting, hot showers, icing and other recommendations to increase my healing rate and look forward to a full recovery.

Based on the advice of the PT/NM experts, I think I need to replace my old mattress, which is sagging in places, with a better support mattress for my spine to reduce the sleep interruptions. I really do not have the extra money at this time to purchase a good mattress, yet I desire to enhance my healing time and to sleep soundly, which I currently believe a new mattress will do.

What are the chances that the at fault driver's insurance company will cover this expense for a new mattress? And if they cover this expense, how can I justify it? Thanks for the information.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Expense for New Mattress After Whiplash Injury?":

James (North Canton, OH):

Although the insurance company may not agree to pay separately for a bed, its cost should be included in your "damages". Your need for a new supporting mattress is real and legitimate. "But for" the other driver's negligence you wouldn't need a special mattress. Your request to have the cost of a mattress added to your other injuries is a valid one.

When a person is injured in a car accident and they suffer whiplash, a doctor will often prescribe a cervical collar to ease the pain and discomfort. If a person's arm is fractured in an accident the requirement of a sling is legitimate as well.

The same should hold true for your mattress. It is a legitimate device necessary for the treatment of your pain and discomfort.

To support your request for the inclusion of a mattress it would be a good idea to have your treating doctor make a strong reference to it in her medical narrative. Otherwise asking the doctor to write a letter stating your pain and discomfort could be eased by a special type of mattress should suffice. Doing so will lend credibility to your request.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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