How Much Is Whiplash Worth in a Lawsuit?

How Much Is Whiplash Worth in a Lawsuit?

Whiplash is a common injury that you can suffer in either a car accident or a fall. It generally occurs when your body is subject to a sharp and sudden movement. Your head and neck may be the only things that snap forward, even when the rest of your body remains still, causing you physical harm.

Serious cases of whiplash occur in low-speed crashes when you are stopped or standing still, and another vehicle hits you from behind.

Even though these vehicles are often traveling at 12 miles per hour or less, you can suffer whiplash-type injuries anytime your body suffers a sudden jolt due to the force of any accident, prompting the need for a car accident lawyer.

Injuries That You Can Suffer from Whiplash

Paramedic providing medical care to an injured man involved in a car accident, securing a cervical collar.

Whiplash is the overall name for the broad category of injuries that result from your head violently snapping forward.

Whiplash can affect the following in your neck:

  • Muscles
  • Tendons
  • Nerves
  • Discs

When your neck has suffered an injury, it will not only cause you pain in the affected area but can also impact the lower parts of your body. Accordingly, whiplash can result in severe pain in your back and other areas. You may also experience shooting pains and sensations in your arms and legs.

Brain Injuries from Whiplash

Even more ominously, whiplash can lead to a permanent brain injury. Your brain can slam against the base of your skull when your head jerks forward, and this impact can cause a concussion or some other permanent type of brain injury.

If this happens, your whiplash injury damages will be far greater than for different kinds of injuries.

Spinal Cord Injuries From Whiplash

Similarly, you can also suffer spinal cord damage from a whiplash injury, which can damage the cervical vertebrae that are at the top of your spinal cord. High spinal cord injuries are the most serious because they can cut off messages to any area below the affected area.

Nearly three million Americans will suffer from whiplash each year. Roughly half of these cases can lead to severe pain that can be both debilitating and prolonged, and approximately 10 percent of whiplash injuries result in hospitalization.

The fact that so many people suffer whiplash injuries each year does not diminish at all from their severity. There is a high chance that your whiplash injury will not be a fleeting one, and it can disrupt your life.

There Are Many Types of Whiplash Injuries

Thus, the initial answer to the question of how much your whiplash injury is worth depends on what type of injury you have suffered.

Some whiplash injuries can heal over time with some rest, rehabilitation, or a surgical procedure, whereas others may be permanent and cause a lasting impact over an extended period.

There is a wide disparity in settlement amounts for whiplash injuries, and you only know how much your case is worth if you hire a lawyer.

Get Medical Help as Soon as You Start to Feel Symptoms

You need to know your injuries' full scope and extent before you file a claim. Everything begins with getting prompt medical treatment for your whiplash injuries.

You may not initially feel the injury symptoms, which is part and parcel of whiplash, and may only learn something is wrong in the days or weeks after the accident.

When you do feel symptoms of the injury, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. Your physician will run a complete battery of tests on you to determine how badly hurt you are and your course of action.

Once you have medical records documenting your injury and reach the point of maximum medical improvement, you can begin the legal process. The first step that you should take is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who will take your medical prognosis and use it to determine how much you may be due in financial compensation.

Your lawyer will then prepare to file a lawsuit or deal with the insurance company to get you the money you deserve. Without an attorney, you are flying blind and risking your legal case.

You Must First Prove Fault to Get Compensation

Young man experiencing pain and discomfort at home after a car accident.

Before negotiating a settlement, you must prove that someone else was at fault for your injuries. If your whiplash comes from a rear-end car crash, it will not be hard to show that the other driver was to blame.

If you have suffered an injury in a slip-and-fall accident, you will face a much more difficult road ahead. Then, you will need to overcome resistance from an insurance company, which is determined to either deny responsibility for the accident or shift blame onto you.

You can be sure that the insurance company will not respect your injuries or give them much weight. Some of your whiplash injuries may appear on paper in an “objective medical test," and some of your "condition" may be pain and discomfort that you are feeling due to your injury.

How to Determine Your Whiplash Injury Financial Compensation 

In any personal injury case, the legal principle is that your damages are individualized and depend on how you have suffered an injury because you are not the same as everyone else. In addition, you have the legal right to get paid for all the harm you have suffered.

Your whiplash injury damages fall into two significant overall categories:

  • Economic damages cover the actual financial costs that are associated with your whiplash injuries. This category includes the medical expenses necessary to treat your injuries and your lost income from any impact on your earnings. You may even be entitled to compensation when you can still work but cannot perform the same type of physical work that you did before the injury.
  • Non-economic damages pay for the experience and ordeal that result from a whiplash injury. Your life is not the same as it was before your accident injuries, and you can get compensation for the impact on your life. Whether it is pain or something else that you cannot do that you did before, you are suffering damages even when it does not cost you actual money.

Your Pain and Suffering Damages Can Be Considerable

Although whiplash is a common injury, it is a condition that can leave you with constant aches. You can be in dull or sharp pain for much of your day.

Much of your whiplash damages come in the form of pain and suffering. These damages measure the experience that you are going through after your whiplash injury.

The responsible driver must pay you for all the harm you have suffered, not just the money from your pocket. Pain and suffering represent what you have lost from your life because of what you are dealing with after the accident.

What Is Part of Whiplash Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is a misunderstood form of personal injury damages, and insurance companies hope you do not learn what pain and suffering means before you agree to a settlement with them. When you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer, you will know exactly how much you deserve for the effects of your injuries.

Of course, pain and suffering account for the physical discomfort that you are feeling after your whiplash injuries. The physical pain will introduce many other effects into your life.

Along with the aches, you will also experience:

  • Anxiety and depression, both from the physical pain that you are suffering and from the uncertainty of the accident aftermath
  • Emotional distress from the accident itself
  • The loss of enjoyment of the life that you had before you suffered an injury
  • Embarrassment and humiliation resulting from your injuries

Your Settlement Should Reflect Your Own Damages and Injuries

You should never expect that your whiplash injury will result in a "standard" settlement, no matter how much the insurance company swears up and down that it should.

You are not the same as everyone else who files a whiplash, and there may be reasons why you are entitled to more money than someone else. You should never listen to what the insurance company or anyone else claims is an "average settlement" because your situation is unique.

Hire a Car Accident Attorney for Your Whiplash Injury Case

A lawyer in a formal suit shakes hands with his client, signifying agreement and representation in managing the lawsuit.

You only know how much your whiplash injury settlement you can recover when you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your case.

The insurance companies may tell you that you have suffered a common injury and will be back on your feet in no time, so there should not be too many effects on your life.

They say this because they want to get away with paying you less than your case is worth, even though they know what you deserve. An experienced attorney can ensure that insurance companies do not exploit you. 

Your Car Accident Lawyer Will Take on the Insurance Companies

Your attorney will review your case, come up with a number you should seek, and gather supporting evidence. Insurance companies have seen many whiplash cases and may try to minimize the severity of your injuries, but your attorney also has experience and can push back.

If you cannot agree with the insurance companies, your lawyer can take matters much further for you, even taking your case to a jury trial.

An Attorney Can Help You Document Your Pain and Suffering Damages

Even though it may take some time to be in a position to file an insurance claim, you should hire an attorney as soon as possible after your car accident. You need to put yourself in a position to file a claim, and one of your primary tasks is gathering the documentation that will evidence your injuries.

You can start to do this in the days after the accident by beginning to keep a log of the effects that your injuries have had on you. Many things can happen right after an accident, making your legal case much harder.

The best way to avoid any mistakes that can compromise your legal claim is to contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Nobody can afford to wait to get the legal help that they need.

It Costs You Nothing Out of Pocket to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

Attorney Jordan Lulich
Car Accident Attorney, Jordan Lulich

If you are wondering how you can afford to hire an attorney, the good news is that it costs you nothing out of pocket. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case.

This fee is typically a percentage of your settlement or jury award. If you don't win, you don't owe anything.

By hiring a personal injury attorney on a contingency fee basis, you know they will be motivated to work diligently on your case. They will use their experience and resources to investigate the accident, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights.

This level of dedication can make a big difference in the outcome of your whiplash injury claim.

A lawyer can also level the playing field when dealing with insurance companies. These companies have teams of adjusters, lawyers, and experts working to minimize the compensation they must pay out.

Legal representation makes it easier to navigate through their tactics and secure a fair settlement. A skilled lawyer will have the knowledge and experience to negotiate with these entities and fight for your best interests.

Hiring a lawyer does not mean that your case will automatically go to court. In fact, most personal injury cases reach a settlement out of court through negotiations. However, if your case does go to trial, having a lawyer by your side can significantly increase your chances of success.

If you suffered a whiplash injury, hire a car accident lawyer. Not only does it cost you nothing out of pocket, but it also ensures you have a dedicated advocate fighting for your rights.

By taking this step, you can focus on your recovery while leaving the legal tasks in the hands of a qualified professional.