What You Should Know About Whiplash Car Accident Settlements
What's In This Article
If you have suffered whiplash as the result of a motor vehicle accident, you should seek medical attention as well as the advice of a qualified and dedicated motor vehicle accident attorney. As a result of your whiplash and back injury claim, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your physical injuries, damage to you vehicle, lost wages and more. In this case, it’s good to know the facts about whiplash car accident settlements.
Don’t delay in filing your claim, as the more time that passes after your accident, the more difficult it can be for an attorney to fight for financial compensation.
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Whiplash most commonly occurs during rear end car accidents. It happens when a vehicle strikes your car, causing the body to jerk forward quickly. The head usually trails by a second, causing injuries to the muscles and soft tissue in the neck as it makes exaggerated movements due to the force of the crash. Thankfully, these accidents are typically easy to prove fault.
In other types of car accidents, whiplash occurs from the sheer force of a collision and the effects that force has on the head, neck, and other body parts. The sudden forward and backward or side to side movement that often occurs during a car accident can cause painful whiplash.
Note that whiplash symptoms can develop days or even weeks after the accident. If at any point after your accident, you experience stiff neck pain, difficulty moving your head, or frequent headaches at the base of the head, seek medical attention immediately.
How to Prevent Whiplash in a Car Accident
It’s easy to forget how much power is harnessed by the modern automobile. As we run errands or sit in traffic, we rarely consider the sheer weight and force required to get us from one place or another. It’s not until we’re involved in an accident that we truly appreciate the physics at work. During a crash, a person’s body weight is multiplied by the speed of a vehicle, causing G-forces to bear down on some of their most sensitive body parts.
Not surprisingly, that weight can have a serious impact on the human body. While safety features have come a long way to take the brunt of this weight, injuries like whiplash are still incredibly common. Sudden stops can cause serious damage even when a person does not sustain cuts, bruises or wounds in a crash. Thankfully, there are a few steps a person can take to minimize the impact of this force on the body and prevent whiplash from occurring.
The Physical Impact of Whiplash
Whiplash occurs when a person’s neck is jerked suddenly back and forth. The movement pulls the cervical spine beyond its usual range of motion, damaging the muscles and ligaments in the neck. Particularly common among victims of rear-end car accidents, whiplash can occur any time a person’s neck moves back and forward unexpectedly.
Whiplash can be deceptive, with symptoms often not presenting for hours or even days after an accident. Common symptoms include headache, blurred vision, dizziness and neck pain. Though thought of as a relatively mild injury, whiplash can have long-term effects on a person. Chronic pain and discomfort is possible in people suffering from whiplash. Most, however, recover in about three weeks.
Reducing the Risks
Understanding the physics at work in a car crash scenario can help accident victims minimize the effects of whiplash. Because whiplash occurs when the head is jerked back and forth, having the headrest properly adjusted can reduce the severity of such movements in a collision. A headrest should sit directly behind your head while driving. Adjust it as close to your head as is comfortable, with the height reaching to the top of the ears. Ideally, there would be no space between your head and headrest. Realistically, that would be both uncomfortable and impractical. Instead, limit the space between as much as possible. Distances greater than 10 centimeters have been associated with increased symptoms of neck injuries.
Wearing your seatbelt can also help reduce the chances of whiplash. Though seatbelts may not keep your head from jostling in a wreck, they can help keep your torso in place. This complements the work done by the headrest, keeping your entire body in place despite the amount of force it endures. The reduction of strain minimizes the effects of whiplash.
Of course, the best way to avoid whiplash is to prevent car accidents altogether. By driving defensively and staying alert to changing traffic conditions, you can lower the odds of ever being involved in a wreck. While not all collisions are avoidable, many of the most common kinds of accidents are indeed preventable.
Evolving Technology and Whiplash
Modern cars are designed to absorb as much energy as possible in crash situations. Rather than pass the energy on to the passengers, vehicles offset collisions by using crumple zones to bear the impact of the crash. Air bags, seat belts and side impact protection go a long way to prevent the force of the wreck from harming passengers inside.
Headrest effectiveness has become a particular point of focus for safety regulators in recent years. Newly introduced federal standards on the height of head restraints and the allowable distance between the head and the headrest have seen dramatic changes in the way car interiors are manufactured. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety began a rear-crash program in 2004. Their initial research revealed that nearly half of front head restraints were rated “poor.” By 2014, however, none were rated “poor” and 95 percent were classified as “good.”
The Importance of Aftercare
Even when you take precautions to prevent whiplash, accidents happen. Controlling for damage sometimes isn’t enough. If you have been involved in a car crash and feel the telltale signs of whiplash, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor will conduct a thorough examination and may require imaging like X-rays, CT scans or an MRI to better understand your injuries. In many cases, a doctor will prescribe physiotherapy to help the patient heal.
Before visiting the doctor, make a list of your symptoms. Be ready to explain exactly what led to your injuries and what treatments, if any, you used to combat pain. Have a list of questions about your whiplash ready, and be sure to address concerns about chronic pain. Do not leave your doctor’s office without getting copies of their findings. If you choose to file a claim, documentation will be required by your insurance company.
The 5 Levels of Car Accident Whiplash
When it comes to whiplash caused by a motor-vehicle accident, patients are classified on a 5 level scale that represents the pain and severity of their injury. These 5 levels can be used to help doctors determine what type of treatment you should receive for your whiplash. The levels are:
Grade 0 – No symptoms or physical signs of neck injury.
Grade 1 – Symptoms of pain or tenderness with stiffness, but no physical signs of injury.
Grade 2 – Symptoms of pain, stiffness, and physical signs of injury including difficulty moving the head.
Grade 3 – Symptoms of severe pain, headaches, tenderness and other symptoms. Physical signs are more pronounced and include a decreased range of motion, difficulty moving the head, and tenderness in key points of the neck and shoulders.
Grade 4 – Symptoms of extreme pain, headaches, and other symptoms. Neck fracture and dislocation are assigned to this grade.
The 5 level scale helps both you and your medical professional classify the severity of a whiplash injury. If you are experiencing neck pain after a car accident, you may be suffering from a case of whiplash. If you are diagnosed with whiplash, receive treatment, and otherwise have to alter your normal day to day life because of your car accident, you may be entitled to a whiplash settlement to help cover the financial costs.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
Whiplash is a type of neck strain or injury most commonly associated with car accidents, but can occur due to any impact that causes your neck to jerk suddenly in an unnatural direction. Our neck muscles are strong, but can not withstand abrupt force without suffering from strains and possibly even tears. Because our heads and necks are unrestrained while we drive, this puts us at a greater risk of whiplash when involved in car accidents such as being rear-ended.
The symptoms and pain associated with a whiplash injury will depend on the severity of your injury. Some of the most common symptoms of whiplash include:
Pain or stiffness in the neck
Difficulty turning the head or nodding
Blurred or obstructed vision
Headaches at the base of the skull
Periods of dizziness
While the above are obvious warning signs of whiplash, there are also less common but equally as serious symptoms. These include:
Trouble sleeping or insomnia
Sudden mood changes and irritability
Tenderness of the neck
Pain in the lower back
Ringing in the ears
If you are experiencing any sustained symptoms of whiplash after a car accident, seek medical attention immediately. Starting the diagnosis and physical therapy process to treat whiplash as soon as possible is crucial to your long term health. Additionally, having a medical track record of treatment that you and your lawyer can reference may help you win a whiplash settlement claim that helps offset the financial costs involved with an accident.
What does whiplash feel like?
While every accident is different, whiplash is named after one of the most common causes of the injury: a sudden and forceful back and forth of the head, which can be compared to the crack of a whip.
Many who have suffered from whiplash describe the pain as a stiffness or burning sensation in the neck. Some may feel numb in their lower neck or arms, or suffer spells of dizziness or feeling “out of sorts.”
If moving your head causes immediate or intense pain, seek medical attention. Symptoms that may initially present themselves as a minor case of whiplash may be a serious case of whiplash or another type of injury. Sometimes the initial impact that causes whiplash may also result in a concussion or other serious medical complications.
How long does whiplash last?
While the pain associated with your whiplash may be intense, thankfully the majority of whiplash cases have pain that can go away in as little as a few days. Even serious cases of whiplash can resolve themselves within three months. The symptoms of whiplash can vary in their severity or length, and the majority of whiplash car accident settlements account for a person’s individual situation rather than relying on the existence of extreme pain and suffering.
However, lasting pain from whiplash is unfortunately very possible. Studies have shown that severe, immediate pain following your accident can be an indicator of whether or not your whiplash will be persistent. If your whiplash is permanent, you may be entitled to far more legal compensation from your whiplash settlement than you may initially believe.
How long does it take for whiplash symptoms to appear?
Every car accident is different and so is every driver and passenger. Whiplash symptoms can appear immediately and be extremely painful from the moment of the accident. However, many cases of whiplash do not follow this pattern. In some cases, you may not begin to feel the symptoms of whiplash until several hours after your accident.
Occasionally, it can even take days after the accident for the true extent of your symptoms and pain to show themselves. As soon as you begin to experience symptoms of whiplash, start building a medical record by going in to see your doctor. They will be able to give you a diagnosis and guide you along the next steps toward treatment for your whiplash pain.
How is whiplash diagnosed?
Whiplash injuries can be extremely hard to pinpoint using modern medical technology. Due to the fact that whiplash injuries primarily consist of damage to the soft tissue of the neck, X-rays can not be used to determine if a person does or does not have whiplash. Your doctor may order MRI or CT scans in order to help rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
However, the primary method of diagnosing whiplash remains your symptoms – so be sure to answer any and all of your doctor’s questions about your pain and your accident truthfully. Exaggerating your pain or minimizing how bad it is in order to appear tough will only cause more confusion and make treating your whiplash injury more difficult.
Your doctor will refer to the 5 level classification system for whiplash car accidents to help further guide your treatment. Less severe cases of whiplash can be treated with at home remedies such as ice packs, heating pads, and over-the-counter-medication. However, extreme cases of whiplash can lead to permanent damage that requires extensive physical therapy, medication, and even surgery to correct.
Long Term Effects of Whiplash After a Car Accident
There are several long term effects of whiplash after a car accident. If you have suffered a car accident whiplash injury, be sure to talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to see if you can receive compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering and medical costs.
Long Term Effects
Beyond the short term effects of neck pain, stiffness and soreness, there could be longer lasting symptoms of the injury that may include:
Pain and stiffness in the neck area, such as shoulders
Severe pain in the upper and lower back locations
Ringing in the ears
It is possible for these symptoms to last for days, weeks, months or years. Full symptoms could only appear a few days after the crash, with the injury most often felt within 12 hours after the accident. This is why it is always important to have yourself checked by a doctor after the accident; a very serious whiplash injury may not feel like a significant injury until days after the accident.
Also, some areas of the body could have weakness or numbness, such as legs or arms. Some sufferers may have serious ear ringing. Others can have difficulty concentrating and problems with memory. If long term whiplash symptoms affect the eyes, you could have blurred vision.
Whiplash effects that are felt for over six months is referred to as chronic whiplash. It can be treated with prescription painkillers, muscle relaxants, physiotherapy and rest time from work. Other options for whiplash treatment can include acupuncture, chiropractic car, massage, and electronic nerve stimulation to reduce pain in the neck.
How Long Term Whiplash Effects Affect Your Claim
There are a number of ways that long term whiplash injuries could increase or decrease the dollar value of the claim. In some cases, the injured person cannot stay in the courtroom because of the physical pain of the injury. This can indicate to the judge and the jury that the physical damage of the whiplash was significant and requires you to receive more treatments and pain medication. An attorney working with a physician may be able to explain how the severe whiplash occurred and how serious injuries put additional strain on other parts of the body.
Proving Long Term Effects of Whiplash for the Claim
Usually, strong evidence is required to prove that long term whiplash injuries exist. If you are suffering long term effects that show obvious symptoms, it is not as hard to prove that you suffered long term effects. This will increase the strength of the claim and show why a higher whiplash settlement is necessary. You will need to show the court your medical records from various medical professionals that prove that your whiplash injuries are having long term effects on your life. The more documentation you can show, the more likely you are to convince the judge and jury.
Should I seek compensation for my whiplash injury?
If your neck pain after a car accident has been diagnosed by a medical professional as whiplash and has caused serious interference with your normal life, you should seek compensation for your injury from the party or parties responsible. This is where it becomes extremely important to reach out to an experienced local attorney who can assess your whiplash settlement claim’s viability. Their localized experience will be invaluable in fighting to get you the whiplash injury compensation you are entitled to from the insurance company.
In the case where your whiplash symptoms have become chronic (permanent) you should almost always seek compensation. Cases where the symptoms of whiplash are long lasting are generally much easier to prove financial impact, pain and suffering, and the need for an above average whiplash settlement.
Examples of Whiplash Car Accident Settlements
$1.75 Million – fought for a recovery of $1,750,000 for a client who sustained injuries after being T-Boned by a commercial vehicle on a neighborhood roadway. Because this whiplash car accident involved a commercial vehicle, the attorneys were able to negotiate for a higher settlement amount than they otherwise would. Commercial vehicles generally carry much better insurance than we do on our personal vehicles and drivers often go through training; which means that when they are involved in a crash, the cases are handled with much more scrutiny.
$1.1 Million – achieved a recovery of $1,100,000 on behalf of our client who was injured when her vehicle was struck while she was crossing through an intersection. Accidents where you are a pedestrian rather than another driver involved in a crash are taken much more seriously by insurance companies, especially if you experience neck pain after the car accident. An experienced attorney was able to fight for this client against the insurance company to make sure she received the whiplash settlement amount she was entitled to for her medical care, lost time off work, and pain and suffering.
$1 Million – obtained a $1,000,000 recovery for our client who was hit by a drunk driver that fled the scene of the accident immediately after the impact. Unfortunately, whiplash car accidents involving drunk drivers are more common than anyone would like. With these cases, insurance companies often fight hard to pay out settlements as cheaply and quickly as possible. The client was able to settle their whiplash claim to help pay for the expenses incurred due to the drunk driver’s absolute negligence.
Factors That Affect Whiplash Car Accident Settlements
There are many factors that will affect how much your whiplash compensation ends up totalling. In a jury trial, there are many stereotypes about whiplash accidents that work against you and in favor of the insurance company. Thankfully, a majority of whiplash cases are settled out of court. Despite this, it can provide peace of mind if you know that you are prepared should your case head all the way to the courthouse.
Property Damage Can Increase Your Whiplash Compensation
Because it is extremely difficult to show evidence of whiplash injury due to muscle tears and strains not showing on traditional X-rays or MRIs, many jurors turn to the damage to your vehicle to help them determine the severity of your accident.
If Neck Pain After Your Car Accident Is Permanent
If you experience chronic or permanent symptoms of whiplash due to your accident, this can greatly influence your chances of receiving an above average whiplash case settlement. Permanent damage or pain has a huge effect on your chances of receiving monetary compensation for pain and suffering.
The Type of Vehicles Involved In Your Car Accident
The type of vehicle involved with your whiplash car accident will have a serious effect on your whiplash claim. If you were riding a motorcycle at the time of your crash, for example, you may be entitled to more compensation than you would if you were driving a car. This is because many states do not require you to prove that your injury is permanent to receive compensation for pain and suffering if you were riding a motorcycle at the time of your accident.
Car accidents involving big rig vehicles are also extremely serious, especially if you experience neck pain after your car accident. Many larger trucking companies keep very good insurance on their drivers and big rigs for just this reason. Whiplash car accidents involving big rigs generally have a much higher settlement payout due to the risk and danger involved with such a large vehicle crash.
Who Was Negligent?
If you were responsible or partially to blame for the accident that caused your whiplash injury, your chances of receiving any sort of settlement payout plummet, and you may need to seek compensation from your own insurance. In order to receive a whiplash settlement for pain and suffering, you must be able to prove negligence on the part of another driver.
Additionally, if a drunk driver was responsible for your whiplash car accident, your settlement case will be affected. An experienced attorney will often be able to argue for punitive damage in a whiplash settlement involving a drunk driver, which increases your likelihood of a higher settlement.
What Can You Expect to Receive for a Car Accident Whiplash Claim?
Settlement amounts for whiplash will vary depending on your location, the severity of your injury, and the culpability of the other driver. In most mild to moderate cases, you can expect to receive between $2,500 and $10,000. More serious cases that require physical therapy for several months can result in a settlement of $30,000 or more.
Neck injuries that go beyond normal soft tissue damage to affect the nerves or vertebra can end up with a settlement beyond $100,000. This is one of the reasons that it is crucial you see a medical professional following your whiplash car accident and schedule follow-up visits if your pain persists. What you may initially think of as whiplash may actually end up being a much more serious injury with complications and a larger potential settlement.
The Insurance Coverage Type Matters Most
Many of the most well-known insurance companies hit the average for whiplash settlement claims. The most important factor when trying to determine how much your settlement claim may be worth are the types of injuries and accidents the other driver’s insurance plan covers. This is harder to find out on your own without an experienced attorney, but will tell you much more than merely finding out the name of their insurance company.
If you were involved in an accident with a big rig or other commercial vehicle, your chances of receiving an above average whiplash settlement increase. These vehicles and drivers are often insured at a much higher coverage level than most regular drivers due to the sheer amount of time they spend behind the wheel and the danger of bigger vehicles. If your car accident involved a commercial vehicle, talking to an attorney is highly recommended.
Average Settlement Payout for Car Accident Whiplash
Average car accident settlement amounts vary based on many factors. The nationwide average settlement is between $10,000 and $20,000 for neck injuries in car accidents. How much you will receive from your whiplash settlement will generally fall somewhere within this amount.
However, in some cases, severe neck injuries or neck injuries in conjunction with concussions or other brain injuries have settled for 6 and 7 figure sums. If you have received multiple serious injuries in a whiplash accident, reach out to a qualified attorney as soon as possible to get started with your settlement claim.
The exact amount of your settlement will vary based on your injuries, the circumstances surrounding the accident, and the type of insurance carried by the party responsible for your accident. Your settlement payout for your whiplash injury can be used to pay for medical bills, regular household expenses you can’t afford due to missing work, and legal fees.
Average Settlement Payout for Whiplash Injury
What is the average whiplash settlement payout? The answer to this question depends on a multitude of factors. One of the most important factors is how fast you and the other vehicles involved in the accident were traveling at the time. Speed plays a huge factor in auto accidents, especially in whiplash car accidents. In general, the harder you’re the hit, the more severe your injuries will be. On the other hand, even the slightest impact to the front, rear, or side of your vehicle can cause your body to sustain a whiplash injury. Other common factors that go into your whiplash injury settlement will include:
whether you have suffered an injury like this in the past
the severity of your whiplash injury
the damage to your vehicle
the length of your recovery
How To Calculate An Average Whiplash Car Accident Settlement Payout
Every injury settlement case is different and will settle for a different value. Generally, the more severe your whiplash injuries are, the more compensation you will receive. Assuming the other driver was at fault, you might expect compensation for the following:
Initial medical bills
Ongoing medical treatment (Chiropractic care is generally needed when recovering from a whiplash injury)
Loss of income
Pain & suffering
For example, let’s say you were rear-ended by another driver while stopped at a red light. The other driver was traveling at a speed of 10 miles-per-hour and didn’t hit the brakes before impact. You suffered a whiplash injury to your back and neck and experienced the immediate onset of pain. You began treating your injury with a chiropractor for three months after the accident. This incurred ongoing medical bills that totaled $5,000 dollars. In a case such as the above, the injured party will most likely receive between $8,000 to $15,000 for the medical portion of the whiplash settlement.
Now let’s say you couldn’t work for a month, and you make $10,000 per month, and your car repair bills were $2,000. You’re now looking at total damages in the range of $21,000 – $28,000.
The severity of your injury and its impact on your day to day life determines the multiplier used for your case. The amount of your medical bills indicates a number between 1 and 5 to account for pain & suffering. Also taken into account are any negative effects your whiplash injury has on your lifestyle. This includes not being able to do the things you enjoy, help your family around the house, play with your kids, or otherwise live your life how you would before the accident.
The settlement number you get depends on all the factors involved in your individual case. The multiplier goes a long way in getting you the biggest settlement for your whiplash lawsuit. This is the biggest reason to speak with an experienced attorney following your car accident whiplash injury. $25,000 multiplied by 2 is a big number, but $25,000 multiplied by 5 is a much bigger number.
How much is your car accident injury claim worth?
Find out the maximum compensation you could receive.
Now you need to determine the value of your pain and suffering. In some cases, the auto insurance company will use a multiplier from 1 to 5 to determine the settlement cost of your injuries. That number is multiplied by your economic damages.
However, the multiplier system is not always used. If your whiplash injury case goes to trial, the jury will not use a multiplier. There are many factors that can increase or lower your damages awarded in a court trial, so it does not really make sense to assume a multiplier will be used. Factors that will matter at trial include:
How believable you are as a witness
The strength of any other witness testimony
Whether the jury understands your injuries
The nature and length of your medical treatment
The argument and witnesses for the defense
The medical professional you choose for your treatments matter. If most of your bills are for chiropractic treatment instead of from a regular doctor, the jury and insurance company is more likely to think less of your injuries and lower your settlement cost. Therefore, seeing your primary care physician is best if you are looking to maximize your whiplash settlement.
How to Use a Whiplash Car Accident Settlement Calculator
Whiplash is practically synonymous with car accidents. It’s perhaps the injury most commonly associated with both minor and serious collisions. While not as obviously life-changing as a spinal cord or brain injury, whiplash can linger for far longer than you might expect. It can lead to significant lifestyle changes, limitations at work, and major financial headaches. It’s no wonder so many whiplash victims are left wondering how they can recoup the costs associated with their injuries.
Thankfully, there are a number of online tools and resources to help you better understand the value of your whiplash settlement. Lawsuit Info Center’s whiplash car accident settlement calculator is a great place to start. While no substitute for actual legal advice, the calculator can help give you a ballpark figure that you can work towards in negotiations with the insurance company.
To begin, you’ll want to gather all of your bills, receipts and invoices you’ve accumulated in connection with your accident. Anything directly tied to the crash can be included in your calculations. Did you have to be airlifted to the nearest hospital for treatment? The bill can be included in your damages. So too can the cost of the prescription painkillers you’ve been taking since the wreck, as well as the physical therapy sessions you’ve attended each week. Whatever financial damages you’ve sustained because of your accident, be sure to include them in your calculations.
Many accident victims do not realize that they can also recoup the costs of any wages they lost out on because of their wreck. For instance, if you were rear-ended on your way to work and missed your shift because you were hospitalized, the money you would’ve earned that day can be included in your financial damages. Time off for recuperation and medical appointments can also be factored into your calculations. Be sure to gather any documentation you have of the lost wages you missed out on because of the wreck – pay stubs, emails outlining your missed shifts, and letters from your company’s human resource department all suffice.
Multiplying the Costs
Totaling up the financial damages you sustained because of the crash is fairly black and white. After all, accident settlements are all about righting the wrongs of negligent drivers. What’s less obvious, however, are the non-monetary ways in which your whiplash injuries have impacted your life. It’s hard to assign a dollar figure to the pain you endure every time you reach for a glass from the highest shelf in your kitchen, for instance. This is where injury multipliers come into the equation.
When you’re seeking financial compensation from a reckless driver, you may be entitled to additional recompense depending on the severity of your injuries. Rather than trying to work out the exact financial impact of your pain and suffering, you can apply a multiplier of between one and five to your damages. A multiplier of two, for instance, allows victims to double the settlement amount they recoup from the at-fault driver. The more serious the injury, the higher the multiplier number.
It can be difficult to know what multiplier number is appropriate for your specific case, but Lawsuit Info Center’s whiplash car accident settlement calculator can help you understand the possibilities. Generally speaking, soft tissue damage will warrant a lower multiplier than injuries like spinal cord damage, but every case is different. To make sure you are fully informed about the value of your claim, schedule an injury consultation appointment with a local personal injury attorney.
Find a Car Accident Whiplash Lawyer Now
All the calculators in the world can’t replace the legal acumen of an experienced attorney. A consultation can provide you with specific insight into the value of your claim, as well as advice about what steps to take next. In most cases, these appointments are free and non-binding, allowing you to meet with several lawyers to determine the best professional for the job. What’s more, many car accident lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t pay anything unless the firm recovers a settlement on your behalf.
It’s tough to be your own advocate. The insurance company will look for any reason possible to deny your claim. While we’d like to believe these corporations have our best interests in mind, the reality is that they’re out to turn a profit and satisfy shareholders. Without proper legal representation, fighting for a whiplash settlement can feel like an uphill battle. It’s always a good idea to explore your legal options before pursuing compensation from a negligent driver and their insurance company.
Need help finding the right attorney for your case? Lawsuit Info Center can connect you with experienced lawyers in your area who have had success recovering hefty whiplash settlements from reckless drivers. Reach out today to request your free injury consultation.
Final Thoughts on Whiplash Claims and Whiplash Car Accident Settlements
If you have suffered whiplash as the result of a motor vehicle accident, you should seek medical attention immediately.
You should also get in contact with a qualified motor vehicle accident attorney. If you suffer from whiplash after an accident, you should discuss financial compensation. This payout will cover your physical injuries, damage to your vehicle, lost wages and more. In this case, it’s good to know the average settlement payout for whiplash so you can plan to pay for the complications of your accident.
Don’t delay in filing your claim. The more time that passes after your accident, the more difficult it can be for an attorney to fight for financial compensation. Witnesses to your accident can go missing or forget what they saw. Many insurance companies also have deadlines to file a claim. You may also encounter the statute of limitations if you wait too long to assert your legal rights.
If you have been in a car accident and suffer from whiplash, let us help you find a lawyer who will help you get the compensation you deserve.
Most whiplash injuries are minor to moderate, and involve days, weeks or months of discomfort. But rehabilitation and recovery are generally possible. But in the most severe car accidents, it is possible for a whiplash injury to be fatal.
If a car is struck at high enough speed, extreme whiplash can result. This might lead to the cervical bone to fracture. This bone protects your spinal cord and is connected to the part of the brain that runs your heart beat and breathing. So, if the crash is severe enough, it is possible for whiplash to be fatal.
Whiplash is a common neck injury after a car accident but filing a claim for compensation for this injury can be problematic, as insurance companies tend to think that whiplash injuries, which cannot be viewed on x-ray, tend to be exaggerated.
The best way to ensure you will get compensated for your whiplash injury is to get to a doctor immediately after the crash if you feel even a twinge of pain or discomfort in your neck or back. Many serious neck and back injuries do not produce symptoms for several hours or days after the crash.
Your doctor, being aware of your accident, will be looking for signs of a whiplash injury, and will be noting these signs in your medical records. If you wait a week after the accident to see your doctor, the insurance company will contend the whiplash was caused by another injury.
Side impact car wrecks are commonly referred to as T-bone accidents. They often have a more severe effect on the body than a frontal or rear end collision. Side impact car accidents kill at least 8000 people per year, more than rear end and frontal collisions combined. The problem with T-bone crashes is drivers and passengers are much less protected by the sheer mass of the front and rear of the vehicle. While there are side protection air bags on cars, violent T-bone collisions can result in very serious injuries. And yes, you can suffer severe whiplash from one of these accidents.
A whiplash injury is a serious injury. The pain and limited motion of this serious neck injury can last weeks, months or years in the worst cases. It is common for car accident victims to have chronic, long term neck pain and headaches for years after a whiplash injury. The nagging, long term pain is usually caused by severe damage to discs, ligaments and neck joints.
If you have a whiplash injury after a car crash, you should get medical attention right away. Getting treatment to reduce pain and swelling immediately will probably reduce the odds of the injury bothering you for months or longer.
If your whiplash goes completely untreated, you could face serious chronic whiplash symptoms:
Pain and stiffness in the shoulders and neck
Lower and upper back pain
Numbness and weakness in legs and arms
Problems with memory and concentration
If you do not get prompt medical treatment, your whiplash symptoms could linger for months or longer. See a doctor right away if you have any neck pain from a car accident.
There are some soft tissue injury accident cases where you may be able to represent yourself. If you have a minor soft tissue injury such as whiplash that consists of a sore neck for a few days and little more, this is the type of case that you may be able to handle on your own with the insurance adjuster.
That said, there are many other times where a more serious whiplash injury should involve an attorney on your side, and his expertise will probably net you more money even after he takes his contingency fee. Insurance companies notoriously dislike serious whiplash claims; they involve a lot of doctor visits, chiropractor visits and physical therapy, and the injury does not show on x-rays. So, if your whiplash is causing you weeks or months of pain, you really should hire an attorney.
Some people can effectively handle their own minor car accident claim without a lawyer. In a case where injuries are minor, it is possible to handle your own settlement in a more economical fashion than with the use of an attorney.
To understand if you can represent yourself in a whiplash settlement, you need to get a firm idea of how injured you are. One of the challenges with whiplash injuries is they are not seen on conventional x-rays and similar diagnostic screenings. So, proving that you have suffered whiplash on your own can be challenging. If you insist upon making a personal injury claim without an attorney, your best bet is to see a physician as soon as possible after the crash. The doctor will note your level of pain and injury in your back and neck. With this information, you may be able to show the insurance company making payment that you have suffered whiplash.
But remember, insurance companies are notorious for denying or reducing whiplash claims. So, in a more serious case, you still may consider hiring an attorney to represent you.
Whiplash is a serious soft tissue neck injury that happens in a car accident the head of the victim is suddenly thrown forwards and backwards. Many people who are in car accidents will suffer whiplash, and some of these accidents can be relatively minor.
Typically, a whiplash injury has a slow onset period. Many accident victims are unaware that they suffered any injury at all until possibly hours or days after the crash. Because of this fact, many accident victims do not seek treatment. They hope the pain will not last long and they will start to feel better in a few days or weeks.
This is not a good decision. A whiplash injury can linger for weeks, months or years, depending upon the speed of the crash and severity of the injury. Even with serious whiplash injuries, it is possible for the accident victim to feel no pain for 12 hours or more. So, it is important to be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible after the accident.
Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs by the sudden forward and backward motion of the head, most commonly in a car accident. Whiplash is a common injury that result even after a minor car accident.
A minor crash can cause whiplash if the vehicle comes to sudden and full stop. Rear end crashes are the most likely reason a whiplash injury can occur in a minor car accident. The amount of force pushes into the car seats and this jolts the occupants’ heads forward and backward suddenly. The head rest can help to reduce this jolting motion when the head is traveling backwards, but usually most of the damage has been done.
If you have suffered a whiplash injury in a minor accident, it is critical to be examined by a doctor as soon as possible after the incident. Getting your injury detailed by a doctor will be very important for making a claim later.
Generally, each State will have the same guidelines regarding whiplash however, each State has their own laws. Specifically the statute of limitations when filing a claim against personal injuries will vary from State to State. That is why it’s important to seek medical attention immediately, report your injuries and file a claim within 2 years of the accident. Be sure to know your States laws regarding filing a personal injury claim so you don’t let the statute of limitations run it’s course.
Although whiplash is technically considered a soft tissue injury, it is not an injury to be taken lightly. This type of injury affects your neck and the surrounding muscles of your spine. Whiplash causes severe stiffness and pain in your neck, shoulders and head. You may also experience migraines, blurred vision as well as temporary loss of mobility in your neck. Benefits of receiving physical therapy treatment can relieve the tension and allow you to recovery from the injury. This will also help strengthen your neck and shoulder muscles and prevent any future whiplash injuries.
After being involved in a collision and seeking medical attention, you discover you have whiplash. Depending on how severe your whiplash may be will help determine how you can estimate a settlement value for your whiplash. Oftentimes an attorney will total up your medical expenses as well as your wages lost and property damages. Then depending on the severity and pain level you can multiple the sum of all the other damages, you can multiply the pain and suffering factor in and get an estimate for your individual case.
Insurance companies as well as personal injury attorneys have a general recipe they rely on in order to come up with a starting number to get the negotiating started. The formula they follow in order to calculate your whiplash settlement is the same we have in our whiplash calculator. The easiest way to calculate your whiplash settlement is to add up the following items together:
Wages lost during recovery time
Estimated future medical expenses
Once all of the above has been added, a multiplier is applied to the sum of all the expenses added above. That multiplier is usually a 1-5 and represents the pain and suffering from the injuries sustained from the collision. If the injury is less severe with a speedy recovery the number representing the multiplier will be less. If the injury has caused extreme pain and affected your daily activities with a lengthy recovery the multiplier will be on the higher scale.
When determining how much compensation you might receive, you must factor in multiple variables. A car accident settlement includes not only personal injury expenses but also property damage values. You must be able to prove the negligence of the opposing driver in order to receive compensation for your personal injuries and property damage. Every collision is different so many different variables must be taken into consideration when determining a settlement. These variables include:
When it comes to determining what a fair settlement value for whiplash is you must understand that whiplash is a soft tissue injury with generally a quick recovery time. Although, whiplash can be extremely discomforting and painful, compensation for whiplash injuries can range anywhere from $2,000- $10,000. In more severe whiplash cases that require rehabilitation and physical therapy, the settlement value can be as high as $30,000.
One example of a whiplash case settlement involved a rear end collision that is commonly how whiplash is sustained due to the sudden back and forth jolt. The driver who was rear-ended was diagnosed with whiplash and spent a month receiving physical therapy treatments costing $4,300 in medical expenses. She also missed four workdays costing her $800 in lost income and factoring in pain and suffering brought her settlement to $13,700.
Whiplash is considered a soft tissue injury that affects the neck and shoulder muscles resulting in sharp pain and swelling surrounding those areas. Delayed whiplash is quite common after being involved in a motor vehicle accident however, even if you are not experiencing the pain immediately, it is important to seek medical attention following the accident. It is important that you do not sign an settlement statement right away and be sure to wait a little to see if any injuries surface a few days later. Once you have signed any type of settlement agreement, there is no chance to file a claim. It is also important to remember that every State has a statute of limitations, which allows you to sue within a certain timeframe that is generally 2 years. However, every State has different laws so be sure to be knowledgeable in regards to your State’s laws.
Whiplash falls under the category of a soft tissue injury however; the pain can affect your everyday activities and make it extremely difficult to even get a good night of sleep. Since whiplash is a soft tissue injury, settlements are generally estimated between $2,000 and $10,000 however, depending on circumstances have the possibility to reach higher amounts. There are many different answers for this question and that’s because there are many different unique factors that go into each individual case. Unfortunately, when a settlement is provided by the insurance company, the average settlement for sustaining whiplash from a car accident might only be enough to cover your income lost during recovery time and medical expenses. Some factors involved while estimating a whiplash settlement include:
Whiplash can lead to arthritis in some patients. Car accidents that affect the neck can irritate and even tear loose connective tissue in the neck and upper back. This can create weakness that allows the spine to break down faster due to misalignment. The longer your spine is misaligned, the more the neck and spine will wear down joints, discs and muscles.
Some doctors who see car accident victims have found that X-rays show that many have disc disease and arthritis in the neck. This research suggests it is certainly possible that the whiplash injury and resulting disability such as arthritis could be related to each other. It is important to have your neck pain diagnosed as soon as you can after the accident, so treatment can begin.
Yes. There can be serious injuries from whiplash that can cause neurological problems. A car accident at higher speeds can cause disc and nerve damage, which can cause problems in other parts of the body, as well as neck and back pain that may be severe.
Some patients report they have tingling sensations in their hands and/or feet after a car accident. This can be caused by nerve damage in the neck from whiplash. This is referred to as radiculopathy, which is the medical term for irritation or compression of nerves in the spinal column. It is most common in the lower back and neck.
Car accidents also can cause a pinched nerve in the neck or spine; this is often a side effect of whiplash and can cause serious pain.
Injuries from whiplash can last days, weeks, months or even years. It depends upon how severe the neck injury was that damaged tissues in your neck and upper back. Some car accident victims report experiencing long term neck pain and/or headaches that can last for years. The nagging pain can be caused by damage to your ligaments, discs and neck joints.
Long term symptoms from whiplash can occur even in relatively minor car accidents where the speed was only 10 MPH. Also, keep in mind that even in a low speed crash at 8 MPH, your head will move approximately 18 inches, and the force can be up to 7 G’s in less than ¼ of a second. Common symptoms of long term whiplash are jaw pain, severe headaches, difficulty sleeping, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, memory problems and irritability.
One of the most common causes of whiplash in a car accident is a rear end collision. If you are stopped at a traffic light and are hit from behind, you probably are not expecting it. There might be only minor damage or none at all. But you still may feel pain in the upper back and neck. Or, you may have a headache or feel dizzy. But the next day, you could feel a lot of stiffness and pain in your neck. Why did this happen?
When you are sitting in the car, usually your head is right over your shoulders. But when you are hit from behind, the impact is unexpected, and your torso will move in one direction, but your head will not follow right away; it will go in the other direction. The torso will snap against the seat back and your head when be yanked back. So, there are two times in a rear end crash where the neck may be hyperextended. This may cause you serious pain immediately or it may take a few hours or days to appear. Regardless, you should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible to confirm if you have whiplash.
The major pain symptoms of whiplash are neck and upper back pain. The pain may start immediately after the accident or take days or even weeks later. Symptoms of whiplash can vary dramatically from one person to another, but usually include one or more of the following:
Neck and upper back tightness or spasms.
Pain when you move your head and neck; can be accompanied by headache and dizziness, which are common signs of a concussion.
Difficulty swallowing and chewing. You also may be hoarse, which points to an esophagus or larynx injury.
Abnormal sensations in the extremities such as burning or tingling; these symptoms suggest a neck injury affecting nerves that radiate throughout the body.
Shoulder and/or upper back pain
If you have suffered severe whiplash in a high-speed accident, you may also have injury to your intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles and nerves of the upper back and neck.
One of the challenges with whiplash and related neck injuries is symptoms may not appear immediately. Car accidents are ‘exciting’ in the physiological sense. Your body produces adrenaline and endorphins right after the accident and may block pain temporarily. Many car accidents can produce a feeling of higher energy and lack of pain. But just because you do not feel whiplash symptoms after the accident does not mean you won’t ever.
Once the release of adrenaline and endorphins fades, you may start to experience neck pain. Most people will begin to feel symptoms within 24 to 72 hours. Therefore, it is vital to visit the ER or doctor immediately after the car accident. You should be checked out by a medical professional to check for accident injuries, including whiplash. If you wait several days to see a doctor when the neck pain begins, this can complicate a future personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim. The other party may argue that your neck pain is unrelated to the accident.
The medical professional should be able to determine if you have a whiplash injury or not from the car accident, even if you do not have major symptoms at present. The doctor will generate a medical report where your injury will be documented. This document will be critical to a future claim.
The recovery time from a car accident induced whiplash injury can vary depending on the severity of the accident/injury, but in general, most whiplash injuries last a few days in minor cases, to 2-3 months for more severe injuries.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, chronic whiplash is defined as a severe type of whiplash lasting longer than 6-12 months.
The treatment for most whiplash injuries is time, ice, physical therapy, massage, and chiropractic care, which can help speed the recovery process for many people.
Lots of accidents can cause whiplash, from a slip and fall to a sports injury, but the most common cause of whiplash injuries is auto accidents. As it pertains to a car accident, the most common cause of whiplash is a rear ended accident, where one car hits another from behind. When this happens, the impact of one car striking another from behind causes the body, followed by the head, to jerk violently forward and then back in a whipping motion, putting severe stress on the neck muscles. Whiplash can sometimes be caused by a side impact (t-bone accident) or a head on collision, but the sudden forward to backward motion caused by a rear end car accident is much more common. In most cases, whiplash will go away on its own within a couple of months, but severe cases of whiplash can last months or even years, and may require surgery.