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What is the Average Settlement Amount for Whiplash Injury?

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Every year about 3 million people get whiplash injuries from a car accident in the US.

About 1.5 million people end up with chronic pain.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident recently and sustained an injury, you’re probably wondering what settlement you can get.

At Schmidt & Clark, we’ve helped countless whiplash injury victims, and today we’ll talk about everything you should know regarding getting a settlement for your injury.

Summary of the Key Findings

  • Whiplash injuries can range from minor, which pass in a couple of days or weeks, to severe, which can impact mobility and cause chronic pain.
  • Whiplash injury settlements depend on several factors, such as who’s at fault, are there any previous conditions, lost income, and more.
  • Settlement for whiplash injuries can go from several thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

What is Whiplash?

man holding his neck in painWhiplash is a neck injury caused by a sudden movement of the head and neck back and forth.

This rapid movement resembles the cracking of a whip, thus the name whiplash.

The neck is forced over the normal range of motion, and soft neck tissues, tendons, ligaments, and muscles are injured.

Whiplash most commonly happens in a car accident, especially during a rear-end or a T-bone accident.

About 30% of all car accidents in the US are rear-ended accidents [1]. However, whiplash can also happen from sports accidents, physical abuse, and other traumas.

Whiplash Symptoms

Whiplash victims often don’t know straight away how serious the sustained injuries are.

The full extent of this neck injury can take up to several days to be evident.

What’s usually obvious straight away are minor whiplash injuries, and in most cases, these pass on their own over several days.

However, severe whiplash injuries can have serious consequences such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries.

Because the neck snaps forward and backward, the brain moves rapidly, and it can collide with the skull.

“In a personal injury lawsuit, there’s a potential for the soft tissue claim and a hard injury claim, and they are different.

The majority of personal injury claims when in a motor vehicle accident in the US don’t require filing a lawsuit.

This is because the whiplash personal injury case mostly involves soft tissue.” Injury Claim Coach Youtube Channel

Even though neck injuries are considered nuisance claims, people with mild traumatic brain injuries from whiplash can have long-term cognitive deficits, such as issues with attention span, memory, problem-solving, and reasoning [2].

Most common whiplash symptoms include:

  • woman experiencing headacheHeadache
  • Stiff neck
  • Problems concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue 
  • Blurred vision
  • Neck pain
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability 
  • Ringing in ears
  • Pain in upper arms, back, and shoulders

While whiplash pain can go away after some time, some people experience chronic neck pain symptoms.

Also, car accident victims can even have lifelong problems, such as difficulty moving. 

Because whiplash injury doesn’t show on x-rays, it’s difficult to document it.

This makes filing a whiplash injury claim more difficult.

What Factors Influence Whiplash Settlement

person signing documents

Whiplash injury claims are filed when accident victims don’t receive enough damages from insurance companies to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages.

The victim sues the responsible party or their insurance company for more damages by filing a personal injury case claim.

Whether an auto accident victim will get whiplash settlement depends on many factors:

  • Who’s at fault — To seek settlement from a car insurance company, you have to prove who is at fault. If you’re the one who caused the accident, you can still get damages, but they’ll be somewhat lower.
  • How serious is the suffered injury — If you sustained a severe injury, such as a spinal cord injury or need physical therapy, you’ll be entitled to a higher whiplash settlement.
  • If you suffer from a pre-existing condition — If you have a pre-existing condition, you may receive a lower settlement.
  • Medical bills — An average settlement covers costs for your medical treatment, as well as other treatments you’ll likely need in the future.
  • Lost wages — If you’re unable to return to work because of a car accident injury, you’re entitled to compensation for lost income. 
  • Other factors — Apart from injuries, medical expenses, and property damages, you can also get whiplash settlements for pain and suffering and other personal impacts. These impacts can even be the majority of an average settlement for whiplash.
  • Negligence — If the whiplash injuries occur because of the other driver’s negligence, you’re also entitled to a fair whiplash settlement. You need a good personal injury attorney who’ll be able to prove the at-fault driver was negligent and argue for a higher settlement.

Also Read: Is it Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Car Accident?

What Settlement Can You Get for a Whiplash?

hand shake viewYour whiplash injury case settlement will depend on many factors.

Do you have serious or minor soft tissue injuries? What’s the extent of your property damages? Do you have a permanent disability? How much lost income will you have?

Your attorney will consider all the relevant factors when building your case.

Even though whiplash isn’t seen as a serious injury, there’s some value to it.

Minor whiplash injury settlement ranges from $6,000 to $100,000.

More serious whiplash cases can go from $1 million to $5 million. This is usually when a disability or death is the result of a car crash [3].

Also Read: How Long Does it Take to Get a Personal Injury Settlement Check?

FAQ

Do All Whiplash Injury Cases Settle?

No, not all whiplash injury cases settle. You or your lawyer have to convince the insurance company that the suffered whiplash injuries are severe.

If you aren’t satisfied with the offered settlement, you should consult an experienced lawyer to advise you on the next steps to take.

How Much in Damages Can I Expect to Get in a Whiplash Injury Lawsuit?

Depending on medical treatment bills and severe injuries, you can get anything from $2,500 to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Hire Experienced Lawyers for Your Whiplash Claims

The extent of your whiplash settlement offer will depend on many factors, most importantly, the severity of your neck sprain and current and likely future medical expenses. 

Lawyers at Schmidt & Clark law firm can help you receive compensation for the suffered physical and psychological trauma caused by whiplash.

Contact us as soon as today for a free case evaluation, and we can help you win your whiplash claim.


References:

1. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/809540

2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13760-017-0745-3

3. https://lawsuitinfocenter.com/car-accident-lawsuits/car-accident-whiplash-settlement/

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