Whiplash From A Car Accident: How Much Compensation Can You Claim?
One of the most common injuries sustained every year in the United States is whiplash. Although many assume it isn’t a serious injury, it can result in chronic and debilitating pain. Especially a whiplash from a car accident.
According to recent statistics from the Spine Research Institute of San Diego, around 3 million Americans sustain severe injuries, while about 100,000 victims become disabled. Almost half of all whiplash victims will experience some degree of chronic pain.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury due to sudden, forceful cracking movement of the neck, similar to the cracking of a whip. A sudden whip or jerk movement can damage delicate neck ligaments, muscles, joints, and nerve roots. It’s also commonly referred to as a neck sprain or neck strain.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes describes whiplash as a “soft tissue injury to the neck” that can lead to chronic neck pain and other complications.
Common Symptoms of Whiplash
Although symptoms of whiplash can occur immediately, it may take days or weeks for symptoms to appear. Whiplash can last up to three months. However, chronic whiplash could last for 6 months or longer. The length of time you have to skip work will depend on the severity of your injury.
Some of the common symptoms of whiplash include the following:
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Unusual sensations like burning or prickling
In more severe cases, whiplash victims may also experience other symptoms, such as:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Inability to concentrate
How Does One Get Whiplash?
Whiplash typically occurs when your head is forcefully thrown back and forth. While it is commonly caused by vehicle collisions, it can also result from slips and falls, sports injuries, and other types of physical trauma.
Although many assume whiplash only happens in high-speed car accidents, many cases occur at speeds of 12 MPH or less. Several types of auto accidents are more likely to result in damage to the neck, namely:
- Rear-end crashes
- Sideswipe accidents
- Head-on crashes
Latest Whiplash Statistics in Los Angeles
According to the Spine Research Institute of San Diego, approximately 50% of whiplash injuries suffered in the U.S. will result in chronic symptoms. Statistics show women are five times more likely than men to suffer a whiplash injury in an accident.
Women also tend to sustain more serious whiplash injuries in accidents than men because of their smaller neck size. Children are also at high risk for severe whiplash injuries for this reason.
Not surprisingly, many whiplash victims face longer recovery periods than expected. The average time taken off from work after suffering a whiplash injury is approximately 8 weeks.
Some victims are faced with the grim reality of never being able to return to work. More than 60% of whiplash victims will require long-term medical care, and almost 50% will experience some type of neck pain up to 20 years after the initial injury occurred.
What to Do After Suffering a Whiplash From a Car Accident?
Seek immediate medical treatment for neck pain or other chronic symptoms after sustaining whiplash from a car accident. Consult your doctor immediately to determine whether you have broken bones or spinal injuries that could worsen your condition.
If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury in a vehicle collision caused by another person’s carelessness, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact the experienced California whiplash attorneys at Adamson Ahdoot today for a free case review. Our knowledgeable legal team will use every available resource to ensure you get the best possible case result.
How Much is the Whiplash Injury Compensation?
The average whiplash settlement for a car accident with minor neck and back injuries is around $10,000 to $20,000. However, the amount can be over a million dollars for paralyzing and debilitating injuries.
A whiplash injury settlement still depends on the following factors:
- The severity of injuries sustained
- The other party’s degree of fault
- The available amount of insurance coverage
Can I Estimate the Amount of my Settlement for Whiplash in a Car Accident?
Insurance companies and personal injury lawyers typically estimate the amount of your settlement by taking into account the following economic damages:
- Medical bills such as the cost of your x-rays, doctor consultations, medication, and medical devices like a cervical collar to support your neck
- Future medical treatment expenses like physical therapy
- Property damages
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
Make sure to keep track of your bills for medical care, vehicle repair, and your time log indicating the days you missed from work. These will be the reference point for your total settlement.
Meanwhile, pain and suffering, on top of other non-economic damages, are determined using a multiplier. Whiplash from a car accident commonly has a multiplier above 5 and can lead to a higher settlement when added to the economic damages. Minor injuries can be as low as 1, while severe injuries can be as high as 10.
How to Process Whiplash Claims?
Determining the cause of your whiplash is important. If someone else’s negligence caused your whiplash, it might provide a basis for recovering financial compensation.
The first step to processing your claim is to contact your insurer for your car insurance policy. You have 3 years to make a claim in California, so you can use the time to watch out for further symptoms that may affect the amount of your compensation.
Make sure to exchange insurance details with the other driver at the scene of the accident, take photos of the scene, and gather witness statements if you can safely do so.
After receiving medical care and speaking with first responders, contact your insurer and inform them about the accident. To process your claims easily, turn to our legal experts at Adamson Ahdoot. Our skilled Los Angeles whiplash lawyers can help guide you through the legal process of filing a whiplash claim.
What Damages are Available to Whiplash Victims?
The experienced personal injury lawyers at Adamson Ahdoot understand your difficulties and can help you move forward after an accident.
Our primary goal is to get you the most financial compensation possible for the damages caused by your injury. You may be entitled to financial compensation for the following compensatory and punitive damages:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
If you or a loved one suffered a whiplash injury, you might be wondering what steps to take next. Most of the time, whiplash injuries do not seem serious, but they can appear in weeks, months, and even years of recovery. Unable to work and in pain, victims often struggle to pay accruing medical bills and treatment costs.
How Long After an Accident Can I Make a Claim?
You can make a claim within 3 years after discovering injuries caused by the accident. However, if you’re a minor under 18, you can claim anytime until your 21st birthday. You can also claim compensation for someone who is mentally incapacitated, in which case, there is no time limit.
How Long Does it Take to Settle Your Claim?
There is no specific time when a whiplash claim can be settled, as every case is different based on complexity. However, if it’s a more straightforward claim, your insurer may only take a few months to resolve your request.
Are You Injured With Whiplash From a Car Accident? Get Help From a California Whiplash Lawyer
When the unexpected happens, and you find yourself dealing with a painful whiplash injury, don’t hesitate to get help from a Los Angeles whiplash lawyer at Adamson Ahdoot.
With more than 100 years of combined legal experience, our team will fight aggressively to get you a fair result. We work on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t pay any out-of-pocket costs until we win your case.
Call us at (800) 310-1606 to schedule your free consultation today. You may also chat with one of our skilled team members. Our consultations are available in English or Spanish. Consult a premier personal injury lawyer now!