What is the Average Payout for a Whiplash Injury in a Car Accident?
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in a car accident– so it’s no surprise that many people ask about the average payout. Nationally, it falls somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000, but the amount will vary based on the specific injury and whether the claimant has an attorney.
If this has happened to you, understanding the factors that go into a settlement can help you be more prepared when it comes time to settle your claim or go to court.
Why whiplash injuries are common after car accidents
Whiplash is the most common non-fatal injury caused by car crashes, and the numbers may be under-reported. Since many accidents involve a quick backward-then-forward jolt, the soft tissue of the neck and back is the most vulnerable. It is called “whiplash” because the neck moves like a cracking whip.
Calculating the value of a whiplash claim
Most accidents are resolved as injury claims rather than as lawsuits, but either way, maximum compensation depends on how badly you were hurt.
Mild cases of whiplash may be healed in a few weeks or several months. Serious cases, however, can leave you with chronic pain or impairment. If you are eligible to file a lawsuit and make a claim for pain and suffering, this can drive up the value of the claim significantly.
When someone else is legally at fault, compensation for car accidents causing whiplash injuries can include:
- Medical bills– both those you have already incurred and those expected in the future so long as they are reasonable, necessary, and related to the accident.
- Other necessary medical costs— rehabilitation, prescription and over the counter medications, and even medical devices are included.
- Lost income— time off of work due to the injury and treatment, as well as lost opportunities for future income and benefits.
In a no-fault state, if you can show that you meet the criteria to file a personal injury lawsuit, you can also recover compensation for:
- Pain and suffering— both your physical pain and emotional impact figure into this calculation.
- Impact on life— loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of your life, inability to participate in your usual activities may also be compensated.
- Property damage— you are entitled to a vehicle of the kind and quality that you had before the accident.
As a plaintiff, you have the burden of proof when it comes to establishing your losses.
Why an attorney can help you get a bigger settlement
Insurance companies undervalue claims. They rely on generic formulas and computer programs. They also look to the extent of visible property damage as an indication of how much physical injury the accident has caused. Unfortunately, accident victims who mistakenly assume that whiplash can only cause a stiff neck may accept a low-ball settlement.
In reality, whiplash can lead to a serious problem like paralysis or a traumatic brain injury. People represented by attorneys are more likely to have their injuries diagnosed by a medical professional. They are also more likely to understand and fight for full and fair compensation.
Contact us at Douglas and London today
There can be a lot to take care of after an accident. The top of your to-do list should be to obtain a medical evaluation as soon as possible and to speak with a car accident lawyer in New York before talking to insurance adjusters or signing any papers.
At Douglas and London, we focus our practice on helping those who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence. If you have experienced whiplash or another injury– call today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.