What Is the Average Workers' Compensation Settlement for Whiplash?

What Is the Average Workers' Compensation Settlement for Whiplash?

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What Is the Average Workers' Compensation Settlement for Whiplash?

Whiplash is most commonly associated with car accidents. Still, it can also occur from a fall, a blow to the head, or anything that causes your head to forcibly bend forward and then backward from sudden acceleration or deceleration. Suppose you were working when you sustained a whiplash injury. In that case, you might be wondering what is the average workers' compensation settlement for whiplash. 

Since workers' compensation settlements depend on a wide variety of factors, it's not an easy question to answer. Like all workers' compensation claims, it depends on how severe the injury is, how long it takes to recover from the injury, a doctor's prognosis, your current salary, and the state where you live.

Most likely, if you're suffering from whiplash, your job duties include driving for a business. Whiplash can be incredibly painful, so while you're recovering, you're not going to be able to work. That's why filing for a workers' compensation claim against your employer is a wise option to keep some income coming in. It's also your right. Our workers' compensation lawyers can help you through this process. 

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  • How can workers' compensation help me?

    Workers' compensation is a safety net to protect employees should they get injured on the job. In almost every state, businesses are required to carry workers' compensation insurance for this very purpose. Suppose you were driving for your company to perform duties within your regular scope of work when the accident occurred. In that case, workers' compensation should provide you with some financial help even if you caused the accident.

    Your employer should be paying for the cost of your medical care, examinations, therapy, lab work, and follow-up care. Most likely, you should also be able to recover some of your lost wages on top of that. The two most critical things to do directly after a work accident are seeking medical care and notifying your direct supervisor about the accident. 

    Seeking medical care after an auto accident is crucial for your well-being and establishing an injury occurred. Many people feel fine after an auto accident, but they may not realize that it can take hours or even days to start feeling the symptoms of whiplash. 

  • What to expect from a whiplash injury

    Whiplash injuries most commonly have the following symptoms:

    • Neck pain
    • Stiff neck
    • Shoulder pain
    • Lower back pain
    • Numbness in your arm or hand
    • Ringing in your ears
    • Dizziness
    • Tiredness
    • Inability to sleep
    • Irritability
    • Inability to concentrate or memory problems
    • Blurred vision
  • How do medical professionals diagnose whiplash?

    Seeking out the help of a medical professional is essential since they are the only proper means of getting the correct diagnosis. Whiplash symptoms can also look like other medical problems. Along with a physical exam, your doctor may order additional tests since soft tissue damage can't be seen on x-rays. These tests could include:

    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    • Computed tomography scan (CT)
  • How do medical professionals treat whiplash?

    Treatments for whiplash are based upon a variety of factors which may include:

    • Your age
    • Your medical history
    • Your overall health
    • The severity of the injury
    • Your tolerance for specific therapies, procedures, and medicines
    • Expectations for the course of your injury
    • Your individual preferences or opinion

    The kind of available treatments could include the following:

    • The application of ice packs during the first 24 hours
    • A neck collar
    • Gentle movements after 24 hours
    • Anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen
    • Muscle relaxing drugs
    • Physical therapy
    • Osteopathic manipulation (OMT)
  • How long do whiplash injuries take to heal?

    Generally speaking, whiplash injuries tend to heal within a few weeks to a few months. However, some individuals have been known to experience pain for much longer. People typically think that whiplash is a minor injury, but it can cause chronic long-term pain and headaches. Since there is little medical understanding of whiplash, doctors can only trace chronic pain to injured neck joints, discs, and ligaments. 

    In rare cases, surgery may be the only option if you're still having persistent neck and shoulder pain
    even after having extensive non-surgical treatment.

  • How do I file a workers' compensation claim for whiplash?

    If you've suffered a whiplash injury from a work-related accident, you need to file a workers' compensation claim in accordance with your employers and state policies. There are strict guidelines that must be followed. Whenever you're involved in a workplace accident, the preservation and documentation of evidence are paramount to your ability to have a successful claim. That's why it's so important to contact your supervisor right away and go to a doctor.

    When whiplash occurs because of a vehicle accident, you should also have an added layer of evidence in the form of police reports, eyewitness statements, and accident scene photos. You should make copies of everything listed above and submit them to your employer to support your claim and share exact details of the accident to be included with the documentation. Even so, your employer will still need to file an accident report with the state workers' compensation board and their insurance company. 

    When dealing with your employer, be sure to keep copies and take notes about everything that is discussed, including names, times, and dates. 

    Every state has different laws governing workers' compensation claims, but all have deadlines for filing claims. If you miss a deadline, you could lose your right to file a claim for your injuries and lost wages. You may be the one responsible for sending the claim to the correct government agency, or it may be the employer's responsibility. If you're not sure what to do or think your employer didn't file a claim they should have, reach out to one of our workers' compensation attorneys today. 

  • An example scenario for a workers' compensation claim for whiplash injuries 

    Workers' compensation settlements always depend on your medical expenses, the severity of your injury, and the extent of time you will miss out on work. In some instances, you may have a permanent disability. Since no two workers' compensation claims will be identical, here is an example scenario to answer the question, "What is the average workers' compensation claim for whiplash?"

    Suppose your work-related whiplash injury has already racked up $19,500 in medical costs. Your doctor's prognosis is that you will need further care because your injury is severe and perhaps permanent. Because of the injury, you haven't been able to return to work for over three months. Your regular salary is $4000 per month, so you've missed out on $12,000 of pay. Workers' compensation pays two-thirds of your normal salary, so you should be due $8,000.

    Your doctor and employer expect you will need another two months to recover, so that's another $5333.33 (two-thirds of $8000.) Your doctor and employer's insurance company project your future medical expenses will be another $7000, bringing the potential settlement up to $39,833.33.

    However, even in this scenario, there are other factors, such as if you used your own medical insurance or the business. Often this will be tied to your employer's policies and state guidelines. 

  • Is it hard to get workers' compensation for whiplash injuries?

    Unlike many injuries from a vehicle accident, whiplash symptoms may not show up immediately. In fact, the true nature of a whiplash injury may not show up for months after the accident, which makes it hard to receive benefits. In the majority of states, work-related injuries need to be reported within days of the incident. When an injury isn't reported promptly to an employer, this gives them (their insurance company) fuel to deny the claim. However, how are you supposed to report an injury you don't know you have?

    Since whiplash is difficult for physicians to diagnose, getting doctor documentation to support your claim can be another challenge. Unfortunately, whiplash claims are often written off. This is true mainly because most whiplash symptoms go away after a week, and many states won't pay you for the first seven days of lost pay.

    What that means is that you will only get medical expenses, not lost wages, if you're able to return to work within seven days of being injured. 

    Another drawback to workers' compensation claims is that it doesn't cover things like pain and suffering or any psychological damages you may experience, such as depression or anxiety.

  • What are all the potential benefits of a workers' compensation claim?

    As previously stated, workers' comp is in place to help individuals who have been injured on the job. However, not all benefits are available for every claim. Our expert workers' compensation attorneys can help you with any questions. You may have a right to the following benefits:

    Medical expenses - Even if you go through your own health insurance, deductibles, copays, and other costs may not be fully covered. Workers' comp should be able to reimburse you for your out-of-pocket expenses even if you were at fault for the accident. 

    Compensation for lost wages - Most employees should be eligible to receive a portion of their salary if they are unable to work while they recover. You may qualify if you have a temporary or permanent disability.

    Occupational training - Suppose your injury has made it so you cannot return to your previous position. In that case, you may be able to receive tuition reimbursement or training for a new career that doesn't interfere with the permanent restrictions your doctor has set because of your injury.

  • Is it even worth filing for compensation for a whiplash injury?

    Most whiplash injuries are minor, and you can recover fairly quickly, so it may not make sense to pursue a time-consuming lawsuit. However, some injuries cause chronic symptoms which can impair your ability to work. If you don't pursue a whiplash claim now, you will have a more challenging time claiming should the symptoms develop into something chronic. 

    Our lawyers can help you decide if you should file a legal claim. We've helped thousands just like you and have lawyers all across the United States who will understand your state laws' intricacies. We don't charge a fee unless we win, so there are no risks for you. Once we win, we take a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation. Don't hesitate to reach out to us for a free case evaluation

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