Visitor Question

Expense for New Mattress After Whiplash Injury?

Submitted 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.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear James,

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 a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: May 30, 2012

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