Whiplash is a prevalent injury. The Spine Research Institute of San Diego estimates that nearly three million Americans suffer from whiplash yearly. While some will bounce back from their injury within a couple of weeks, roughly half of victims will experience chronic pain from their whiplash injury. This pain can be severe enough to cause disability, and many victims have to quit their jobs. Others face many months of expensive therapy and medications before they are able to regain their normal levels of activity.
With these serious consequences, it’s no surprise that many people will file claims for their losses caused by whiplash. It can be challenging to establish what your claim may be worth, however, because the amounts awarded can vary widely from a few thousand to several million, based on the circumstances of the injury. Consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney is often the best way to determine how much you could receive from a whiplash settlement.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by the head moving in a forceful back and forth motion similar to the cracking of a whip. It is also known as a neck sprain. It can be caused by sports injuries, slip and fall accidents, and domestic violence, but it is most commonly seen as a result of car accidents, especially rear-end collisions. Whiplash can cause many symptoms, including:
- Pain in the neck, back, shoulders, or arms
- Limited range of motion
- Severe headaches
- Tingling and numbness in arms
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty sleeping
- Ringing in ears
These symptoms can cause significant disruptions to your life, including a lack of concentration, memory issues, irritability, and depression. If the motion of the head and neck was violent enough, there could be fractured vertebrae in your neck, which could lead to spinal cord damage or paralysis if left untreated. It is always essential to seek immediate medical attention after an accident to identify potentially dangerous injuries.
How Much Can You Expect for Your Whiplash Settlement?
Like any car accident injury, there can be wide variations in how much is paid for damages. The amount is usually based on the severity of the injury and how long it is anticipated to affect you. Many whiplash injuries are painful but heal within a few weeks with rest and anti-inflammatory medication. However, other cases can be much longer lasting and affect a victim’s ability to return to their job or complete daily tasks.
The average amount for a whiplash settlement is around $10,000 to $20,000 for a minor injury. However, severe and life-changing whiplash injuries may be settled for $1 million or more. Having an experienced lawyer on your side who can evaluate the extent of your injuries and determine precisely how much you may be entitled to in damages is key to getting fair compensation for your whiplash claim.
How Can You Improve Your Chances for a Higher Settlement?
Because whiplash is one of the most common types of insurance claims, there have been documented instances of fraud. Due to this, insurance companies tend to scrutinize whiplash claims very closely, and they will likely offer a relatively low initial settlement. While much of the settlement amount you are eligible for is based on the severity of your injuries, you can give yourself the best chance of getting the maximum compensation by following these guidelines:
- Get immediate medical attention: Having a diagnosis of whiplash that can be definitively tied to your accident is critical. Don’t delay getting treatment, and be sure your doctor has done all the necessary tests, including x-rays and MRIs, to determine the full extent of your injuries.
- Keep detailed documentation of your injury: Collect all bills for tests, treatments, therapy, and medication.
- Contact an experienced car accident attorney: They can tell you how much your injury is worth and prevent you from accepting a settlement that is too low.
If you’ve experienced a whiplash injury, contact our office today to learn more about your rights and options: 305-692-0125