If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury in a car accident, you may be unable to work. You may also have a difficult time handling regular household chores or daily tasks. In fact, this is a key reason who so many people file whiplash claims for car crash-related neck injuries. According the Mayo Clinic website, “Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip.”
This type of injury is commonly caused by accidents where the driver behind you hits your car’s rear bumper. This collision can happen while going at a slow, moderate, or high speed. It can also happen in sports or from a fall. In some cases, your doctor may call it “neck sprain” or “neck strain” instead of whiplash.
This is a very tricky injury because it can feel minor at first, yet become more serious over time. Everyone recovers at their own speed. Whiplash can lead to chronic pain, more limited range of motion, and pain that can spread to your arms. This is also why it may interrupt your ability to work in the short or long-term. For this reason, whiplash claims are often the only way to recover all your medical costs and lost wages from the at-fault driver’s insurer.
When our reader wrote to ask how much money whiplash claims are usually worth, there’s not a standard set amount. Whiplash claims are often worth anywhere from a low four-figure sum to mid-five figures and higher.
How Much Money Will I Receive?
Let’s look at the data: The median motor vehicle injury cost treated in an Emergency Room with ongoing medical care needed for 12 months was $49,861 in 2015 dollars.
Adjusted for inflation, that’s $55,963 in 2022 dollars.
We also know that bodily injury claims paid in 2020 by car insurance providers amounted to $20,235. However, since attorneys also calculate for pain and suffering and lost wages, you could get 2x-4x that amount depending on how much work you miss and your injury’s severity.
To figure out pain and suffering payouts, insurance adjusters consider the severity and permanence of your whiplash injury. You will receive a bigger payout for pain and suffering if your doctor says your whiplash will have permanent effects on your day-to-day life or long-term earning ability. The more severe and permanent your whiplash injury, the more money your lawyer will request to settle your claim. Insurance companies often multiply the amount of your whiplash medical treatment bills by a number between one and five to determine the “pain and suffering” component of your damages.
How Do They Treat Neck Injuries Like Whiplash?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, healthcare providers usually diagnose whiplash by looking at your symptoms and asking questions about your car accident. They may also use diagnostic tools like CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Getting a CT scan or MRI can cost several hundred or even over $1,000, depending on where they diagnose you.
In years past, doctors always placed whiplash injury victims in a hard neck brace to limit movement. However, this is no longer the standard treatment. Healthcare providers now know that slow movement or measured stretches can help with healing.
Other whiplash treatments include ice or heat applied the first day, over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription muscle relaxants, physical therapy, a soft neck brace, steroid injections, massage, and chiropractic work. If you’ve received medical treatment for your injury but have not yet filed a legal claim, gather all your bills ahead of calling a whiplash lawyer for your first consult. It matters how much all your medical care has cost in total.
What Factors Influence the Amount Most Whiplash Claims Are Worth?
Each case is a little different, so it’s important to work with an attorney who specializes in whiplash claims. For example, according to Mayo Clinic, the following risk factors are linked to a worse outcome for whiplash injury victims:
- Having had whiplash before
- Being older in age
- Pre-existing low back or neck pain
- A high-speed injury
Your lawyer will want to know all these details.
Get Free Advice from an Attorney Who Specializes in Whiplash Claims
As with any car accident injury, expert legal help is available. To ensure you receive the highest possible payment for your whiplash injury, sign up for a free auto accident consultation today.
Attorneys understand how insurance companies handle these kinds of cases and will work to get you more money.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Complete your free online auto accident case evaluation now!
Laura Schaefer is the author of The Teashop Girls, The Secret Ingredient, and Littler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at lauraschaeferwriter.com and linkedin.com.