Average Settlement For Whiplash Grades 0-4
What's In This Article
Whiplash is a common injury caused by car accidents. But each auto accident is different, and there are a wide range of whiplash injuries that can happen in car accidents, ranging from minor to severe. The name given to the range of whiplash injuries is Whiplash Associated Disorders, or WAD. These disorders are graded on a numerical system from 0-4, with 0 being the least devastating and 4 being the most severe. In this article we’ll explore some of the factors used to determine the grade of whiplash injury, then look at some actual whiplash settlements by grade.
In a whiplash settlement negotiation, you will need to take several legal steps to ensure you get as much compensation as possible for your injuries. Most whiplash injury cases result in a car accident settlement reached out of court, before a trial is held.
The nature and severity of whiplash injuries is always a factor in determining the settlement amount. In most whiplash injuries, the extent of the injuries, especially in the soft tissues of the neck, are not clear right after the accident. The full extent of the car accident victim’s injuries may not become clear for several days. This usually applies to minor (Grade 0-1) whiplash cases; symptoms in these situations usually resolve on their own in a few days.
In more serious (Grade 2, 3 and 4) whiplash cases, the injuries can have serious, long term medical complications. While some insurance companies will write off whiplash claims as a nuisance, in reality, they are actually serious injuries that can cause chronic pain.
Whiplash Settlement Amount Factors
When talking about the amount of a whiplash settlement by grade, how long you experience pain is a key factor in the value of your claim. Most whiplash injuries go away in a week, and even more serious cases will generally resolve within three months.
If you were in a crash and have experienced the lingering symptoms of whiplash, such as stiffness, pain, reduced mobility, numbness, tingling and other signs of neck injury, you could be dealing with something closer to a grade 2 or 3 whiplash injury.
Longer lasting symptoms could also be signs of damage to the cervical spine, including the intervertebral joints and discs. It also may mean you have damage to your cervical muscles and ligaments, or even damaged the nerve roots in your neck. These would all be indicative of a higher grade whiplash injury, which usually translates to a larger auto accident settlement.
What Grade is Your Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash injuries are graded on a scale according to how serious the injuries are. Below are the grades of whiplash injury:
- Grade 0 – No visible signs of injury, no medical treatment needed.
- Grade 1 – Symptoms of pain or soreness are present, but no visible injuries. Medical treatment is recommended here, but grade 1 whiplash symptoms usually go away on their own in a few days.
- Grade 2 – Pain is obvious, as are physical signs of injury. Range of motion is decreased, and medical treatment is usually required.
- Grade 3 – Grade 3 whiplash injuries are serious, often requiring immediate and ongoing medical treatment. Range of motion is severely limited and pain in the neck, shoulders, and head is usually constant. Grade 3 whiplash often requires the victim to miss work, and can effect sleep[ and day to day life in a substantial way.
- Grade 4 – The most severe of whiplash injury grades, grade 4 whiplash usually requires surgery and months of chiropractic treatment and physical therapy to fix. These injuries often result in the largest whiplash settlements.
Whiplash Settlements By Grade
In most whiplash cases, you need to recognize and document your injuries and damages related to the accident before telling anyone you intend to file a whiplash injury claim. Also, you should be able to evaluate your whiplash settlement with your attorney from a legal standpoint to determine if there is a chance for a decent settlement offer.
Settlement amounts for whiplash will vary a lot. But in most mild to moderate cases, you can expect to receive between $2500 and $10,000 depending on the amount of medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. More serious cases that require lots of medical treatment and physical therapy over months can result in a settlement of $30,000 or more.
But neck injuries that go beyond normal soft tissue damage that affect the nerves or vertebra can end up with a settlement beyond $100,000, and severe whiplash cases that result in surgery or disability can eclipse $1,000,000.
Grade 0 Whiplash Settlement Average: These injuries are the least severe, usually not requiring much medical treatment or keeping the victim out of work long. As a result, Grade 0 Whiplash Settlements usually range from $1000-$5000, depending on the amount of property damage and how much income was lost.
Grade 1 Whiplash Settlement Average: The most common of the whiplash injuries, Grade 1 whiplash settlements can range from $5000 to $10,000, depending largely on the amount of immediate and ongoing medical treatment that’s needed, how much work was missed, and other factors.
Grade 2 Whiplash Settlement Average: The average settlement for grade 2 whiplash is in the $20,000-$30,000 range depending on medical treatment and lost wages. Often whiplash injuries that are grade 2 and above come with headaches and neck pain that make it hard for high earning, white collar workers to look at a computer screen for long periods of time. Because of this, grade 2 whiplash settlements can vary widely.
Grade 3 Whiplash Settlement Average: The average settlement for grade 3 whiplash is between $25,000-$100,000. There are a few reasons for the wide variance… first, some people heal a lot quicker than others as a result of age and fitness level. Others require surgery. There’s also a wide range of incomes and lost wages as some people will be out of work much longer than others, some earn a lot more than others, etc.
Grade 4 Whiplash Settlement Average: The average settlement for severe (Grade 4) whiplash is in 6 and 7 figure territory. There are many reasons for this:
- Surgery is almost always required in grade 4 whiplash injuries.
- There will be drastic changes in the victims lifestyle, causing the pain & suffering multiplier to be on the high side.
- There will undoubtedly be missed work and lost income, the only question is how much.
- The road to recovery is long and expensive, with frequent trips to chiropractors, physical therapists, and other medical specialists.
When To Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer
Whiplash injuries can be hard to value from a settlement perspective, but a good starting point is to look at the average whiplash settlements by grade. From there, you can find a similarly severe injury and calculate your whiplash settlement based on that. This is a helpful first step in knowing what to ask for in a whiplash settlement demand letter If you’re still having trouble calculating your car accident settlement, it’s never a bad idea to talk to a car accident attorney and get a free case evaluation to get a better idea what your case is worth.