The settlement for a whiplash claim is different in every case. The amount you receive will depend on the facts of your case – mostly the severity of your injuries and their effects on your financial, physical, and emotional well-being.
Some mild cases of whiplash heal within a few months with conservative treatment and leave few or no residual adverse effects. But severe whiplash can leave you with chronic pain and long-term impairment. After treatment and rehabilitation, many people can go back to work and perform the same functions they did before suffering the injury. Unfortunately, other people are unable to perform their previous work after a whiplash.
The settlement for the mild case that last only a few weeks or months and allows the patient to go back to work shortly after the accident will be lower than the severe whiplash case that forever alters the patient’s ability to work. That is why it is vital to work with a lawyer who can help you identify all damages and value your case.
What Is a Whiplash Injury?
The term “whiplash” refers to the snapping motion when your head moves forward and back rapidly, similar to the cracking of a whip. According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is most often the result of read-end car crashes.
What Symptoms Are Common With a Whiplash Injury?
Many victims of whiplash suffer headaches for weeks or months. The pain of these headaches can affect your cognitive function, which can directly impact your ability to work. If you have dizziness or lightheadedness, it may prevent you from being able to stand for extended periods of time. Depending on your job, this may keep you away from the job, thus preventing you from earning a living.
Stiffness in the neck is a typical symptom of whiplash too. Neck stiffness can make it hard to turn your head. The doctor may limit your driving until you can turn your neck sufficiently to safely operate your vehicle. A stiff neck can also prevent you from working and could require physical therapy.
Numbness and tingling in your fingers and arms may prevent you from typing on a keyboard and performing other job tasks, which can keep you from performing your job. If you have neck pain, muscle spasms, or back pain, you might be unable to lift heavy items, which can also prevent you from working.
Any claim related to whiplash from a car accident should account for these and other symptoms, as well as their effects on your finances and ability to work. If you fail to account for the full short- and long-term effects of whiplash, you might not get all the compensation you need or deserve.
Why Are Some Cases of Whiplash Worse Than Others?
Many factors work together to determine the severity of your whiplash injury. Some of these factors include:
- The severity of the jolt from the car accident
- Your age
- Your overall health
- Previous neck, back, or spinal injuries
- Your activity level
- Complications during treatment and rehabilitation
What Kind of Damages Can I Get for My Whiplash?
Your own PIP insurance will cover medical expenses up to your coverage limits. But if somebody else was at fault for your accident, you may be able to file a liability claim for your damages. A liability claim may let you get compensation for the economic and noneconomic losses related to your whiplash injury. Your economic losses can include:
- Your medical expenses, including treatments and therapies
- Your lost wages
- Property damage to your vehicle and its contents
Your noneconomic damages can include such things as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
How Will We Prove Your Whiplash Damages?
We will collect your medical bills from all healthcare providers to prove the amount of your medical expenses. We may work with medical experts to establish the long-term effects of your injuries too. We will also get records from your employer to show the amount of work you missed due to the injury and recuperation. To prove who was at fault in the crash, we will get the accident report from law enforcement, speak with eyewitnesses, and collect other evidence.
If you suffered a whiplash injury in a car accident that another driver caused, contact the Montero Law Center. Call us at 954-767-6500 for a free consultation.