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What Is a Typical Whiplash Settlement Amount?

What Is a Typical Whiplash Settlement Amount?

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What Is a Typical Whiplash Settlement Amount?

Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs mostly when the head moves backward and forward suddenly due to impact. Depending on the level of impact, the injuries caused by whiplash can be mild or severe. Whiplash mostly occurs during a car accident. However, some people may suffer this kind of injury when participating in high-impact sports, such as football, boxing, gymnastics, snowboarding, etc. 

Whiplash Facts & Statistics You Should Know 

Here are some important statistics you need to know about whiplash. 

  • More than three million Americans sustain whiplash injuries every year. 
  • Approximately 300,000 Americans have become disabled due to whiplash injuries.
  • It takes around 17 weeks to stabilize the neck after a whiplash injury.
  • At least 45 percent of whiplash victims remain symptomatic 12 weeks after the injury. 
  • Most symptoms of whiplash take weeks to months to appear.
  • Approximately 7 percent of employed patients with whiplash injuries don't return to work.
  • Most whiplash victims need at least eight weeks of recovery time before going back to work.
  • Whiplash is usually graded on a scale of 0 to 3. 

Whiplash Grading System Explained

Doctors use a unique grading system to evaluate the extent of injury a victim has suffered due to whiplash. This grading system ranges from 0 to 3. Here's an overview of the whiplash grading system. 

Grade 0 Whiplash

Victims under this category don't show any symptoms or injury. As a result, they typically don't file complaints, but this doesn't necessarily mean they're not injured. 

Grade 1 Whiplash

Grade 1 whiplash doesn't come with any physical signs. However, most people under this category experience neck pain weeks or months after the accident. 

Grade 2 Whiplash

When you have grade 2 whiplash, you'll most likely experience neck pains. You'll also begin to show signs of musculoskeletal injury. 

Grade 3 Whiplash

Individuals with grade 3 whiplash usually experience neck pains. However, unlike those with grade 2 whiplash, most individuals with grade 3 whiplash show signs of physical impairment. 

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FAQ

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  • What Are Some Symptoms of Whiplash?

    Most whiplash victims experience pain in the neck, back, arm, muscles, shoulders, or both. In addition, some may experience dizziness or vertigo. 

    In addition to the above symptoms, some whiplash victims also have a rough time focusing. As a result, they may develop headaches, muscle spasms, stiff neck, and also experience difficulty falling asleep. 

  • How Much Is Whiplash Settlement Worth?

    From the above examples, it's clear that whiplash cases are never the same. Many factors determine the kind of compensation to expect following a whiplash injury. For example, the whiplash grade may influence the amount you are entitled to as compensation. 

    That said, most whiplash settlements in the United States range between $10,000 to $100,000 for minor neck and back injuries. However, the average whiplash settlement amount is $1 million to $5 million for significant, life-changing injuries. 

    It's not possible to tell how much you or your loved one may be entitled to as compensation for whiplash just by looking at the injuries. This explains why it's always advisable to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.

    For instance, if you suffered a whiplash injury due to a car accident caused by a negligent driver, an experienced car accident attorney can help you calculate the amount you're entitled to as compensation based on the extent of the injury. The same also applies if you cannot return to work, either temporarily or permanently, due to the whiplash injury. 

  • How to Maximize Compensation for Whiplash Injury 

    The amount you are entitled to as compensation depends on the grade of whiplash injury you've suffered. However, that's not the only factor that determines how much you may be entitled to. 

    When calculating the settlement amount, it's always advisable to maximize your compensation. Failure to maximize your compensation can result in serious financial consequences and even debt. 

    Here's an example. 

    John gets involved in a car accident and suffers whiplash. He then files a claim against the other driver's insurance company. After receiving compensation, the case is closed, and John goes on with his life. 

    Weeks and months later, John develops serious back pain. He goes to the doctor, who informs him that the pain is due to whiplash and needs surgery. Unfortunately, he also discovers that the whiplash also caused a brain injury, and he'll need specialized treatment. 

    As a result, John can't go to work. His health insurance company can only pay up to a certain limit, meaning he'll have to settle the remaining balance out of pocket. He also needs to keep up with his bills, and he's torn between going to work or signing up for the all-important surgery. 

    But things don't have to be that complicated after suffering whiplash, especially if you seek the help of an experienced whiplash injury attorney. This is because an attorney can help you maximize your compensation, preparing you for any situation that would otherwise drain your finances.

    Here are different ways to maximize your whiplash settlement amount. 

    Seek Immediate Medical Attention

    If you've been involved in a car accident, you must seek immediate medical attention. This is not only good for your health but also lays the grounds for the settlement process. 

    The truth about whiplash is that it's considered a minor injury compared to other injuries that occur due to a car accident. Of course, you can't compare whiplash with physical amputation. However, did you know that some people suffer permanent brain damage due to whiplash? 

    This explains why it's always important to seek immediate medical attention after a car accident if you feel any pain or discomfort. Some experts even recommend a checkup even if you don't feel any pain because some injuries occur inside the body and may not show any signs until weeks or months later. Whiplash is an example of such an injury — the only difference is that the pain is felt from outside the body. 

    Another thing you need to know is that experienced doctors can always find ways to spot possible signs of whiplash. So even if you don't feel any pain or discomfort, visiting your doctor for a routine checkup could help identify such warning signs early enough.

    Additionally, you need to remember that defense attorneys will try to find a way to dismiss your pain. This is because they always have a defensive approach to every situation. So no matter the amount of pain you have to deal with, defense attorneys will attempt to dismiss your claim. Their job is to save insurance companies thousands of dollars, and they will do anything to achieve that, even if it means taking advantage of legal loopholes to dismiss or reduce your claim. 

    So if you don't seek immediate medical attention and obtain records of the same, it may be difficult to convince the defense that you actually suffered whiplash or any other injury from the accident caused by their negligent part. 

    Begin the Claim Process

    Initiating the claim process should be the next step after seeking medical attention. It's important to note that you don't have to fully recover from the injury to pursue a claim. In fact, most people file a claim while undergoing treatment.

    By filing a claim, it notifies the other party of your injury. Secondly, whiplash injuries, and other personal injury claims, are restricted to a particular window period known as the statute of limitations. Each state has its own statute of limitations for various types of injuries. So if you file a claim outside the statute of limitations, it won't be easy to win. 

    Filing a claim doesn't necessarily mean accepting a settlement offer. In fact, it's never advisable to accept a settlement offer right away, especially without legal advice. This is because when the case is closed, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to sue the defendant over the same case.

    So why would you need additional compensation even after accepting the initial claim? Here's why. 

    Suppose you suffer whiplash due to a car accident and then accept the initial settlement offer right away. In that case, the other party will close the case, meaning you can't sue them over the same injury again unless they committed fraud somewhere along the way. 

    Assuming that the whiplash develops into something more serious, such as brain injury. If that happens, you may not be able to sue the defendant again because the case is closed. And if the doctor asks you to stay home for a few months to recover from the injury, you may have to deal with a pile of bills you have no means to pay. 

    Document Everything

    By now, you already know that defense attorneys will always fight for their client's interests. They may even ask you to provide evidence to prove every damage you've mentioned in your claim.

    That's where the importance of documentation comes in. This doesn't apply only to medical records - it's important to document your losses and expenses deriving from the whiplash injury. Such expenses include but are not limited to lost wages, medical bills, miles driven, insurance copays, prescription costs, etc. These expenses are usually reimbursable.

    Talk to an Attorney

    Working with an experienced personal injury attorney significantly increases your chances of receiving the kind of compensation you deserve. This is because an attorney understands the legal requirements of filing such a claim. They also understand different tactics the defense uses to avoid taking financial responsibility for your injuries. 

    An experienced attorney can help you develop the best legal strategy to pursue compensation. For example, just because the other party accepts financial responsibility for your injury and is willing to settle the case out of court doesn't necessarily mean that you should accept the initial settlement offer. In some cases, filing a lawsuit is a strategic way to maximize your settlement. 

    Your attorney may propose filing a lawsuit if the other party refuses to settle out of court or disputes your claim. Provided you have a strong case against the defendant, your attorney will always pursue every legal avenue possible to maximize your compensation. 

  • Where to Find the Best Whiplash Attorneys

    There are countless personal injury law firms all over the United States, each claiming to provide the best legal representation for their clients. However, when looking for the best whiplash attorney, you need one that has more than enough legal resources to fight for your rights.

    That's where Morgan & Morgan comes in. We are the largest personal injury law firm in the United States and have dealt with countless whiplash cases deriving from car accidents and many other situations. 

    Our law firm has recovered over $10 billion for our clients over the last three decades. Car accident cases account for at least $120 million of the total settlement amount our company has recovered for our clients. 

    By working with our attorneys, you can rest assured that your case is in the safe hands of legal experts who value your interests more than anything else. Pursuing a whiplash claim can be hectic and frustrating, especially when still recovering from the injury. The last thing you want to do is deal with arrogant insurance companies who won't take your pain seriously. Instead, you need an aggressive team of lawyers to fight for your rights as you recover from the injury. 

    At Morgan & Morgan, we provide excellent legal representation on a contingency basis, meaning you don't pay us anything unless we win. We do not charge any upfront fees; all you need to do is fill out our free case evaluation form or call us at 888 613 0357 to speak with one of our legal representatives.

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