Whiplash is one of the most common injuries reported after a car accident, especially in front-end and rear-end collisions. In the aftermath of a car accident, you may not even realize your neck and spine have been injured for several hours or days. While these injuries might not seem severe at first, but they can quickly become serious over time – especially if you don’t get treatment. Some patients are able to physically recover from whiplash within a few weeks or months, others suffer from chronic neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and other complications. Read on for 5 facts about whiplash car accident settlements.
#1: Whiplash symptoms are often ‘invisible.’
Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury with symptoms that can develop right after the accident or they may not appear immediately. The signs of a whiplash injury vary and cannot always be seen, like bruises or broken bones. That doesn’t mean the effects of whiplash aren’t painful or that they don’t require treatment or therapies to heal. Signs and symptoms of a whiplash injury may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness with worsening of pain with neck movement
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
- Tenderness, pain, tingling or numbness in the shoulder, upper back or arms
Some of the most serious symptoms of whiplash happen when the impact causes a vertebrae misalignment. When this happens, injured victims can experience significant impairment including blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, sleep issues and depression.
#2: Whiplash injuries can be long-lasting
Long-term whiplash injuries are especially common in victims of a serious car accident who may also experience other injuries to the neck and spine as well as those who may have a pre-existing condition in the neck. In fact, one study showed that people who experience severe whiplash were likely to still be dealing with the injury a year later.
Keep in mind that he longer your injury lasts, the more complex your claim becomes. Its important to seek the advice of a car accident lawyer to evaluate your case and advise you of your options. Settlement amounts for long-term injuries tend to be higher, so the negotiations and legal process can be complicated.
#3: Whiplash can happen at low speeds.
It doesn’t take a lot of force to create a whiplash injury. Many whiplash injuries from vehicle accidents occur at speeds as low as 5 or 10 mph, or even stopped vehicles. One of the best ways to try to prevent whiplash is to ensure you’re wearing your seat belt when riding in a vehicle.
#4: Medical treatment is important to prove your whiplash claim.
One of the most important actions you can take after a car accident is to seek medical treatment. If you didn’t seek treatment in the immediate aftermath of the accident, go to your doctor’s office or local clinic to have your symptoms evaluated as soon as possible. Medical treatment will not only start the healing process but also create documentation to prove your injuries in your car accident claim.
Insurance companies are in the business of mitigating risk and reducing settlement claims. Insurance adjusters will look at the available evidence and will deny or devalue your claim if you cannot show evidence of your whiplash injuries and subsequent treatments.
#5: Whiplash settlement amounts depend on the severity of your injury.
The average settlement for a whiplash injury in a car accident varies based on the total value of your medical bills, lost wages and intangible losses, like pain and suffering. For victims suffering the long-term effects of a whiplash injury, the claims process may take longer so that the full expected medical prognosis can be known. If you settle too early, you run the risk of not being compensated for future medical bills or lost wages due to the ongoing care you need.
Brandon J. Broderick Can Help With Your Whiplash Injury
There is no law requiring you to have a lawyer when filing a personal injury claim after an accident. However, working with an experienced attorney who understands whiplash injury claims can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Why risk being unfairly compensated and not having recourse to fix it? When you hire a car accident lawyer from our team, you pay nothing upfront. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.