How can I prove a whiplash case?
I was involved in an auto accident on 22 Jan 2015. I was following a police car in a 25mph zone. He turned right, then suddenly executed a very fast U turn directly in my path. It should be noted that he turned on his emergency lights almost at the completion of his u turn, however even if he didn't, there was no way that I could have avoided the collision.
The officer admitted full guilt and stated that HE did not see me, and that I was in his blind spot. I banged my head pretty hard on the steering wheel during the collision causing a small lump, but other than that, and being very cold and shaken, I thought that I was okay.
That night, I had very severe headaches (very unusual for me) but just figured it wasn't serious (after all I am 58 years old).
The next morning I could barely get out of bed! I could not turn my head from side to side, and the top 3 bones at the bottom of my neck were very stiff and hurt with any side to side movement. I used heating pad and that seemed to ease the pain.
When the headaches and neck pain continued I finally went to my general practitioner 5 days later, and she said that I had suffered a severe concussion and whiplash damage. She prescribed muscle relaxers and pain medication, and also suggested I go to a neurologist and get a "Nerve block" for my neck.
The neurologist concurred that I had very bad whiplash and performed the first treatment of the nerve block. It lessened the pain for about 5-6 hours, but that night I still had headaches, and my neck stiffened back up that morning when I woke up.
My question is, what other tests should I have done to prove to the courts that I am not just seeking a big payout, and that I actually have severe whiplash and a concussion? I just want to be as close as possible to the condition I was in before the accident occurred.
The police department completely agrees in all of their statements that the accident was completely the fault of the officer, and he has been reprimanded. How can I make sure they take my claim of whiplash seriously? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "How can I prove a whiplash case?":
Robert (Vienna, VA):
Your facts are a bit confusing. You say you sustained a "severe brain concussion" and as part of your symptoms your headaches worsened each day. After hearing those symptoms, a competent doctor would have had you immediately admitted to the hospital for observation and treatment.
Thereafter you state the neurologist concurred you suffered "very bad whiplash." However the doctor didn't mention your severe brain concussion. Moreover, "very bad whiplash" is not a medical term.
Even more interesting is your asking "...what other tests should I have done to prove to the courts that I am not just seeking a big payout, and that I actually have severe whiplash and a concussion?" You were treated by two (2) doctors. It would seem appropriate one or both of the doctors would have suggested appropriate treatment for your injuries...whatever they actually are.
It would also be interesting to know how you learned the officer had been reprimanded. That information is rarely shared with a civilian and is placed solely in an officer's personnel file.
If you persist in wanting to pursue your injury claim, it would be best to meet with a personal injury attorney to discuss the actual facts of your claim in more detail.
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,
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