At Golden Law Office, we regularly meet with car accident victims hoping to recover the financial expenses they were unfairly saddled with after an accident caused by another motorist. One of the questions that frequently arises is: What’s the average settlement for whiplash injuries? Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries—and those recovering from this form of neck damage are familiar with the costs of treatment.
Below, we’ll take a more in-depth look at the cost of treating a whiplash injury and what accident victims can expect to recover in the average settlement. We advise you to take in this information with the understanding that every person’s case is different. While these figures represent broad averages, it doesn’t necessarily mean your case outcome will look the same.
If you have questions about your own car accident injuries or another personal injury matter, we invite you to reach out to Golden Law Office in Lexington, KY. We provide free case evaluations to potential clients exploring their legal options.
The Average Settlement for Whiplash Injuries
An injury victim’s settlement for whiplash injuries will depend on several factors. It’s important that compensation should explicitly address the economic damages (medical bills and other tangible costs) and noneconomic damages (pain and suffering and other non-tangible losses) the individual suffered.
Because each individual’s whiplash injuries are different, average settlement amounts can vary greatly. After a whiplash injury, your settlement amount will be calculated to reflect:
- The severity of your condition
- The total cost of past and future treatments and rehabilitation
- The type of treatments required, including prescription medications, support devices, and chiropractic care
- The amount of time needed to recover or reach maximum medical improvement
- The length of missed work time
- The amount of income lost
- Your pain and suffering and emotional anguish
- Other costs associated with your whiplash injuries
Whiplash is considered a relatively minor injury compared with catastrophic injuries like paralysis or amputation. It’s estimated that the average settlement for whiplash injuries usually falls somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000 for moderate cases and up to $100,000 for more serious cases. If the whiplash injuries are considered highly severe—expected to impact the victim for a significant period of time—a settlement may reach upwards of $1 million.
How Do I Know if I Have Whiplash?
Whiplash is named for the back-and-forth motion of the head that occurs during high-impact trauma. The “whipping” movement causes the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and soft tissues in the neck to become strained, sprained, or torn. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of whiplash injuries. Equestrian accidents, sports injuries, falls, or acts of violence can also cause whiplash.
If you were involved in an accident that caused your head to snap back and forth, you may notice certain symptoms following the incident, such as:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Difficulty moving your head
- Muscle fatigue
- Muscle spasms
- Pain and limited mobility in the head, neck, and shoulder region
When a victim suffers nerve damage in a whiplash case, they may also experience neurological symptoms, including:
- Unexplained fatigue
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of focus
- Mood disorders
- Interrupted sleep patterns or insomnia
How Long Does It Usually Take To Recover From Whiplash?
Most whiplash injuries begin to heal within a few days or weeks. After suffering whiplash in a car accident or other event, injured victims can typically expect their symptoms to show signs of improvement over the next several days. The majority of people who sustain a whiplash injury fully recover in about a month, with a smaller percentage requiring up to three months to completely heal.
Due to its comparatively short healing period, whiplash is considered by many to be a minor injury. But even two or three weeks can be a long time to suffer through some of the symptoms listed above, like depression, insomnia, chronic headaches, and limited range of motion in the upper body. Many people are forced to miss a month or more of work in recovery time, especially those who labor in physically-intensive industries.
However, the situation is even more life-altering for people who are diagnosed with chronic whiplash syndrome after suffering a traumatic neck injury.
What Is Chronic Whiplash?
Any case of whiplash that continues to persist beyond six months to one year is considered chronic whiplash. Along with the symptoms mentioned above, many sufferers experience long-term shoulder pain, along with weakness and numbness in the arms, hands, and fingers. The neurological disturbances associated with whiplash, such as anxiety or depression, may also continue throughout the duration of the condition.
Although chronic whiplash is somewhat rare, there are risk factors that increase the likelihood a person will endure long-term complications. Individuals who are above the age of 65, have sustained a whiplash injury in the past, have pre-existing neck and shoulder issues, or who are involved in extremely high-impact traumatic events have a greater chance of developing chronic whiplash.
If you are still suffering the effects of a whiplash injury months after your accident, you may need to seek more targeted medical care. Your doctor can advise you of your treatment options and whether therapies such as massage, steroid injections, physical therapy, or chiropractic treatment are right for your case. To fully cover the cost of treatment, people who suffer chronic whiplash generally need to seek a higher compensation amount than the average settlement for whiplash injuries.
Get a Full and Fair Settlement for Your Whiplash Injuries
For decades, the attorneys of Golden Law Office have been helping the people of Lexington recover full and fair settlement for their injuries. We understand that the impact of a whiplash injury on your life is never insignificant. We make sure to give your personal injury claim maximum value, treating your case with the dignity and respect it deserves.
Contact our Kentucky office to schedule a case evaluation with a member of our legal team. We never charge a fee for a consultation, and sitting down with one of our attorneys for legal advice does not obligate you to continue working with our law firm. We look forward to helping you seek justice after injury.
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