Average Settlement For A Whiplash Injury
Whiplash occurs when the neck is suddenly whipped forward and backward, often as a result of car accidents. This can lead to injuries in the cervical spine, which is the part of the spine located in the neck, as well as the surrounding tissues. Whiplash, neck sprain, or strain all refer to the same condition, where the ligaments and muscles in the neck are forced beyond their normal range of motion.
Unfortunately, whiplash from rear-end car accidents is quite common, accounting for over 30% of injuries resulting from car accidents in the United States. It is worth noting that there have been numerous whiplash lawsuits over the years. While most cases are mild and only last a few weeks, it is important to seek medical attention even if you believe your case is minor and won’t cause long-term damage or require extensive treatment. This is because many whiplash injuries can manifest days or even weeks after the accident.
Our personal injury attorneys in New York represent all accident victims, and we understand the importance of thorough evaluation and legal support. If you have been involved in a car accident, it is crucial to consult a medical professional and seek legal advice to ensure your rights are protected.
Understanding The Severity of Whiplash Injuries
Whiplash usually resolves within a few weeks, often with the help of pain medication and physical activity. However, some individuals may experience persistent symptoms that linger. Moreover, there may be accompanying injuries that contribute to prolonged symptoms. For example, certain spinal injuries may initially go unnoticed. It is not uncommon for the cervical spine and the connecting tissues to sustain damage as a result of whiplash. These lingering effects are commonly known as Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD). Symptoms associated with WAD or Cervical Spine Syndrome typically include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Pain when moving the neck, loss of range of motion
- Shoulder, arm, and upper back pain
- Numbness, or tingling of the face, arms
- Blurred vision
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Trouble sleeping
- Cognitive and emotional symptoms (irritability, trouble concentrating)
If you have been involved in a high-speed accident, are experiencing intense pain, or have difficulty moving your neck, it is possible that you have sustained a significant whiplash injury. Determining the average settlement for a whiplash injury can vary greatly and requires the expertise of a personal injury attorney. However, certain individuals are more susceptible to more severe injuries, such as those with a history of whiplash or other back/neck issues, as well as the elderly. In such cases, settlement amounts could be significantly higher due to the pain and suffering endured by these high-risk individuals.
Grades Of Whiplash Injuries (Grades 1-4)
Whiplash injuries vary in severity, with each level presenting distinct symptoms. A whiplash injury is classified into different grades:
- Grade 0 Whiplash – No visible signs of injury, no medical treatment needed.
- Grade 1 Whiplash – Although there are no visible injuries, you may feel pain or soreness. It’s recommended that you seek medical treatment, but symptoms usually disappear in a few days without intervention.
- Grade 2 Whiplash – When you’re in pain, it’s hard to ignore. You might not be able to move as well, and you might need medication to help.
- Grade 3 Whiplash – Grade 3 whiplash injuries are severe, often requiring immediate medical treatment and follow-up appointments. The victim’s range of motion is usually limited and they experience constant pain in their neck, shoulders, and head. It isn’t uncommon for the victim to miss work or have difficulty sleeping because of Grade 3 Whiplash.
- Grade 4 Whiplash – Grade 4 whiplash is the most serious and usually requires surgery, months of chiropractic treatment, and physical therapy. These injuries often result in large settlements.
What Is The Average Settlement Amount For A Whiplash Injury?
Several factors contribute to the settlement amount for a whiplash injury. The extent of the injury and its impact on your life are key considerations. Specific details of the injury also play a role. For instance, if you have suffered a severe back or neck injury that hinders your ability to work or brings lasting changes to your life, a higher settlement may be offered.
In addition to establishing fault for the car accident, the settlement amount can also be influenced by other factors. When a driver is deemed fully negligent by a court, meaning they failed to exercise proper care while driving and caused harm to others, this serves as strong evidence for a personal injury claim. Whiplash cases must demonstrate not only the pain and suffering but also the long-term impact on daily life. The average settlement amounts for whiplash injuries take these factors into account.
- $10,000 to $100,000 for minor neck and back injuries
- $1 million to $5 million or more for life-altering whiplash injuries or permanent disability
If you have recently experienced a whiplash accident, you may be curious about the potential value of your case. Determining an exact amount is challenging without understanding the specific details of your situation. However, consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can provide you with a more accurate understanding of what to anticipate.
Whiplash Claims & Red Flags From Insurance Companies
It is crucial to promptly seek medical attention following a car accident for several reasons. One such reason is that the success of your claim relies on a qualified physician’s confirmed diagnosis of whiplash. However, even with this confirmation, the insurance company or opposing attorney may still contest the doctor’s diagnosis if the case proceeds to court.
Whiplash, due to its multitude of non-evident symptoms, receives closer scrutiny compared to other injuries. Unfortunately, insurance companies often assume fraudulent intent in these cases, as fraud remains an ongoing concern in the U.S.
While physicians’ standard tests for whiplash are widely accepted in the medical community, insurance companies do not always accept them at face value. These tests are only reliable if the patient is honest about their areas of discomfort and their current range of motion. Although this may be unjust, plaintiffs can anticipate facing challenging questions right from the start of the claims process. If the case goes to court, attacks on their integrity will only intensify.
Contact Our New York Whiplash Injury Attorney Today
While assessing whiplash injuries for settlement purposes may appear challenging, referencing average whiplash injury settlements based on the severity of your injury can serve as a useful starting point. To do so, identify a similar-grade injury and utilize that amount as a foundation for negotiation in your demand letter. If you encounter difficulties in determining the appropriate settlement for your car accident, seeking advice from a knowledgeable car accident attorney can provide valuable insights into the value of your case. For more information regarding whiplash injury settlement amounts, feel free to contact Rosenberg & Rodriguez today to schedule a complimentary consultation.