There are approximately six million motor vehicle accidents in the United States alone, every year. Of those, three million people end up injured. One of the most common of these compensation claims? Payout for Whiplash.
Whiplash injuries, which can occur at speeds as slow as 5 miles per hour, include soft tissue damage typically synonymous with neck strains and sprains. Less commonly realized, whiplash injuries can include the lower back or shoulders, and extend into neurological symptoms like fatigue, vision or memory issues.
How is a Payout for Whiplash Graded
The damage incurred is typically graded on a scale of 0 to 5, with a 0 as the mildest, presenting no physical signs or symptoms and 5 as the most severe, which could include extensive tearing, a severe concussion, or complete dislocation and nerve damage.
The difficult thing about assessing a payout for whiplash after a car accident, is that unless the injury is at its most severe, the symptoms don’t necessarily present themselves right away.
Can I get a Payout for Whiplash if I don’t go to the ER Immediately
Symptoms of whiplash can take anywhere from hours to days or even weeks to manifest themselves. Even more, with the introduction of a whiplash injury, you are increasing your chances of suffering from chronic pain or a mental health condition later on in life. Prompt and proper treatment of your symptoms is imperative to give yourself the best chance at a strong recovery.
With this information, there is a lot to take into consideration as you start the process of pursuing a payout for whiplash.
Because of the wide range of symptoms seen with these types of injuries, there is a natural variation in the results of a claim, settlement or payout for whiplash in the United States.
Average Payout for Whiplash
As a general rule, the more severe the injury, the larger the payout for whiplash you should receive. On average in the United States, mild to moderate cases of whiplash can result in a settlement from anywhere between $2500 to $10 000.
For the most severe of cases, that could look closer to a payout for whiplash of $30,000 and upwards – depending on outstanding factors like, which driver was at fault, your ability to maintain your daily routines, and the financial costs associated with your injury.
Naturally, to begin your claim for whiplash compensation, you’ll want to call your car insurance company. You may also want to speak with an Auto Accident Attorney in your State, who will at the very least be able to talk through your options.
Do I need an Auto Accident Attorney for Whiplash
Take a second to check whether or not your state is considered a “no fault” state. If so, it will not be the other driver’s responsibility to pay you out and you will have to go through your own insurance. Insurance companies typically carry their own best interest, and could try to keep the size of any payout to a minimum.
There are, however, things you can do to maximize yours whiplash payout.
Your first step in making a strong whiplash injury claim, is to contact an Auto Accident Attorney to check your options. An Auto Accident Attorney will go into battle against your insurance Company to secure the very best possible whiplash compensation payout.
How to maximize Whiplash Payout from my Insurance Company
- See a doctor promptly and continually after the accident.
- Use a medical Doctor not alternative medicine.
- Keep a diary of missed work and income. Note the reason for this.
- Record all expenses and keep receipts.
- Ask your insurance company for their whiplash odder in writing.
Because of the nature of soft tissue injuries, it can be difficult to capture the extent of the injury on a diagnostic level (ie. x-ray).
It will be crucial to continually track any medical evidence you can – keeping treatment records and bills you’ve incurred. Spending your time with a traditional doctor as opposed to someone who practices alternative medicine, will also be more credible to your insurance adjustor.
Keep track of any missed work, any disruptions of your regular schedule, as well as car damage costs and repairs. All of these expenses, lost wages, and upsets to your quality of life should be factored into your payout.
Ask your insurance company to present their payout option in writing so that you can have ample time to digest the information they present you with. Although most whiplash patients recover within 3 months of the accident, there are patients who continue to have ongoing health issues associated to the injury, and may need to pay for continued medical bills out of pocket.
If your insurance company presents you with a payout option that is less than you’d hoped, it may be worth your time and interest to speak to an auto accident attorney.
Auto Accident Attorney for Whiplash Compensation
As with everything, there are some disadvantages with pursuing legal action that should be recognized. Trials can be unpredictable and time consuming, not to mention emotionally difficult. Gaining the advice of an attorney will ultimately be the best way to ensure that the appropriate course of action is pursued for your specific case.
Record Keeping wins the Day
Whiplash injuries account for more than 65% of all bodily injury claims in the United States. Being diligent in your pursuit of proper treatment and keeping an accurate record of the injury’s affect on your quality of life – financial and otherwise, will give you the best chance of beating the average, and gaining a strong payout settlement.