Whiplash Injury Compensation After a Car Accident
If the forces of a car accident push a driver’s body rapidly forward and backward, it can whip the head and neck sharply around on its axis. This can stretch, tear or damage the tendons and other soft tissues in the neck, causing an injury known as whiplash. Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents – especially in rear-end collisions. Find out how much your whiplash injury could be worth in financial compensation to avoid settling for less than you deserve from an insurance company.
What Is the Average Settlement for Whiplash After a Car Accident?
The value of a whiplash injury claim in Massachusetts depends on the circumstances. There are different levels of whiplash, known as grades, based on the severity of the injury. A higher-grade injury – such as whiplash that results in severe pain, neurological signs or debilitation – will generally be worth more money, as the victim has more medical bills and related losses.
A Grade IV whiplash injury, for example, (neck pain with a fracture or dislocation) will result in a higher amount of money offered by an insurer to settle the claim. A whiplash injury that will change the victim’s life or cause permanent disability could be worth $1 million to $5 million or more, while a minor neck injury could be worth closer to $10,000 to $100,000.
“Average” settlement amounts are generally not accurate due to the fact that car accident victims receive drastically different awards based on the facts of their cases. The enormous disparity in how much money whiplash victims can receive makes it impossible to base your case value on a projected average.
The only way to gain an accurate understanding of how much your whiplash injury case is worth is by consulting with a car accident lawyer in Merrimack Valley. A lawyer will analyze the specific facts of your case, such as the grade of your whiplash injury, your prognosis for recovery, the cost of your medical treatments, your age and health, and the amount of car insurance coverage available, to determine a fair settlement amount.
What Types of Damages Are Available for a Whiplash Injury?
While you may not know exactly how much you could obtain in compensation for a whiplash injury, you can create a comprehensive list of your damages to prepare for the insurance claims process. You will include this list on the demand letter that you send to the car insurance company to demand a certain amount of financial compensation. The damages that you are eligible to recover after a car accident in Massachusetts include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Lost capacity to earn due to a disability
- Legal expenses and attorney’s fees
- Property damage repairs
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional injuries
With a serious neck or back injury, such as damage to your spinal cord, most of these losses will be significant. This can increase the value of your car accident settlement and the amount you are given for your whiplash injury. It’s important to consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement offered by a car insurance company, however, as the insurer may undervalue your claim.
How to File a Claim for Whiplash After a Car Accident
Whiplash is a difficult injury to prove in a car accident case, as it is often only a soft-tissue injury, meaning it will not appear on a scan or x-ray. This makes it even more important to visit a doctor immediately after your car accident for professional medical attention and a record of your injury. Once you’ve been diagnosed with whiplash, take your medical records and other information about your car accident to your car insurance company to initiate a claim. Before you accept a settlement, however, contact an attorney for a case review.