What should I do if I have whiplash after hitting another driver who improperly changed lanes?

The other drivers was determined to be at fault. The accident occurred 8 days ago. Since then, I have seen my chiropractor 3 times and have X-rays schedules tomorrow. I’m expecting to have many chiropractic bills and have filed a medical claim with my insurance company. I know that I cannot submit a claim until after my whiplash has healed. I am currently a student and have no income. Due to my injuries, I cannot sit in class and will medically withdraw from this term. Can I expect to see some compensation because of this? Can it be considered loss of income?

Asked on December 3, 2013 under Personal Injury, Oregon

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Since the other driver was at fault, you should notify his/her insurance company that you were injured and will be filing a personal injury claim.

Your medical bills can be paid from the settlement of the case.

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills and medical reports.  Your claim filed with the other driver's insurance company should include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Unfortunately, your withdrawal from class does not constitute wage loss because documentation of wage loss requires documentation from an employer.  However, you should claim compensation for lost tuition due to your withdrawal from class caused by the auto accident.  That compensation would be reimbursement.

If your case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.

If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.  Your lawsuit should name both the registered owner of the vehicle and the at-fault driver of the vehicle as defendants if the at-fault driver was someone other than the registered owner.

If the case is NOT settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

 


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