Whiplash Settlement Process in Arizona
Many car accidents result in whiplash for those involved. This word refers to a variety of injuries to the soft tissue of the neck and back caused by rapid back-and-forth snapping of the head during a crash. Whiplash is a colloquialism, not a term used in law or medicine, both of which employ more specific language to describe injuries resulting from a collision. For example, professionals talk of soft tissue injury, cervical acceleration/deceleration (CAD) injury, and whiplash-associated disorders (WAD).
Unlike a broken bone or a contusion, whiplash is invisible to the naked eye. Because of this, insurance adjusters treat whiplash claims with skepticism. However, this injury is extremely debilitating. This is why it’s important to carefully document your whiplash claim to ensure settlements sufficiently compensate you for medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Establishing a Whiplash Claim in Phoenix, AZ
Adequate documentation of whiplash injury is essential to the success of an injury claim. Immediately after the accident, carefully note the following information:
- Date, time, and location of the accident.
- Insurance information of the driver, along with his or her identity details, and details of others in the car.
- Identifying details of the police officer attending the scene, including name and badge number and the accident report number.
At the earliest possible time after the accident, you should also collect the following:
- The police report of the accident.
- All medical reports from doctors and other healthcare providers relating to the accident. These should include details of diagnosis, treatment, medication, and any other relevant information about injuries sustained in the crash.
Medical documentation may include those for:
- Emergency medical services
- Emergency room treatment
- Hospital services
- Chiropractic services
- Physical therapist services
- Various other medical services
Money lost due to an inability to work is also important to your settlement, so gather evidence regarding the employment and income you have lost over your injuries.
Issues with Timing
The timing of your car accident whiplash settlement process is important. Statutes of limitations mean injury claims have to be filed within a certain time frame, which varies from state to state. Currently, in Arizona, the time limit for filing a claim is within two years of the accident.
Time is also a factor when determining the gravity of your car crash injury. Some injuries take a considerable time to fully manifest and it is important not to start the car accident whiplash settlement process before you know how badly hurt you are. Doing so could mean you receive far less compensation than you deserve.
How the Settlement Process Works in Arizona
The whiplash settlement process for a car accident is as follows:
- The Notification Letter – Sending a letter telling the insurance company you will be seeking compensation for injuries suffered begins the process.
- Reservation of Rights Letter – After receiving your notification, the insurance company may confirm that they are reviewing your claim while reserving their right to disagree with it.
- The Letter of Demand – This letter from you or your attorney describes the crash, your injuries, and documents your damages.
After these steps, the adjuster for the insurance company will pay your demand, challenge part or all of the claim, or counter your demand. Both sides continue exchanging settlement offers and demands until an amount of compensation is agreed upon or a stalemate is reached. In the event of a stalemate, the case will have to be continued in court.
Obtaining Legal Assistance for the Whiplash Settlement Process in Phoenix, AZ
As you can see, the car accident whiplash settlement process is complex and can result in financial losses to the injured party. A personal injury lawyer can help you avoid problems and make sure you are compensated adequately for your car crash injuries. Contact a motor vehicle accident attorney in Phoenix, AZ, today to review the details of your accident and get the best possible financial settlement.