Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts for Whiplash

Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts for Whiplash

Did you know that up to 30% of people who sustain whiplash injuries from motor vehicle accidents may remain moderately to severely disabled?

From this percentage, you can imagine the expenses the victim has to incur due to their hospital bills and lost wages. With such a significant possibility of suffering from whiplash and spending plenty of money on treatment, what can you do to get compensated for your injuries?

Sure, you can guess an amount for the settlement, but will that be acceptable to the at-fault driver’s insurance company? How do you properly determine an appropriate compensation? What’s the typical payout for whiplash cases?

This article explores these questions and discusses the factors that can impact your settlement’s value. It also outlines how long a whiplash case takes before you receive compensation.

Do you or a loved one suffer from whiplash due to a car accident and want to receive a fair settlement? If so, Personal Injury Lawyer Search can help you find an attorney who’ll take on your case. Take advantage of the law firms’ free consultations to get more information.

What Is the Average Payout for Whiplash?

Suppose you sustain whiplash injuries from a car accident. You may expect payouts for such injuries to hover around $10,000 and $20,000. However, this estimate is based on average whiplash injury settlements and may differ depending on the accident’s circumstances.

Whiplash injury payouts usually vary depending on the case being filed. For instance, you may seek a significantly large settlement for your injury, while others will settle for small amounts.

Whiplash Settlement Process

Your whiplash settlement process can differ from the settlement of other types of injuries. Such differences may arise due to the nature of your injury and the challenges of proving the damages.

One such challenge is that injuries aren’t always visible on medical imaging tests, making it difficult to prove their severity. Some whiplash symptoms also take days or weeks to manifest after an accident, so immediately assessing the extent of your injury can become complicated.

Another factor is that insurance companies can see your whiplash claims as easily fabricated or less severe than other claim types. This can cause insurers to refrain from offering fair settlements for such injuries or require more proof and documentation.

Given these challenges, can you negotiate a fair settlement for a whiplash injury claim?

If you work with an experienced personal injury lawyer, doing so is possible. With a lawyer’s help, you can gather the necessary evidence to support your claim and negotiate with the insurer to agree to an appropriate settlement.

Responding to a Settlement Offer

Before you respond to an insurer’s settlement offer, carefully consider it and ask yourself, “Is it enough to compensate for my damages and expenses?”

Often, the insurer’s initial offer may be lower than what you deserve. You may want to negotiate for a higher injury settlement amount in such cases.

When you work with an attorney, they can help you understand your claim’s worth and advise whether the offer you’re getting is fair.

What Are Mediation and Arbitration?

During a whiplash settlement negotiation, one way to resolve a dispute outside of court is through mediation. This option involves a neutral third-party mediator who assists the parties in agreeing to a settlement.

Another way to resolve a dispute is by arbitration. In this method, a neutral third-party arbitrator decides the outcome of the dispute.

Going to Trial

Sometimes, you can’t reach a fair settlement with the insurer despite your best efforts in negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. Is there any other way? One recourse you can consider is to pursue your claim in court. If you choose this option, it will involve the following steps:

  • Discovery: This phase involves exchanging information and evidence, such as witness statements, medical records, and other relevant documents, with the other party.
  • Pretrial motions: During this stage, you and the other party can file pretrial motions requesting the judge to rule on specific aspects of the case, such as evidence admissibility.
  • Jury selection: Once your case goes to trial, a jury will decide the outcome based on the evidence.
  • Trial: This phase involves presenting your arguments and evidence to help convince the jury to rule in your favor.
  • Verdict and judgment: After the trial, the jury will decide a verdict on the case. If the decision favors you, the judge will award you damages and other compensation.

“How Much Money Can I Receive for Whiplash in an Auto Accident Lawsuit?”

If your whiplash injury is not permanent, you may receive compensation between $6,000 to $20,000. While the average jury verdict for such injuries is just under $20,000, some payouts during trial can go for 10 times this amount.

Still, every case is different, so you cannot always rely on these average settlements for pain and suffering due to whiplash.

How Do You Know What a Whiplash Case Is Worth?

When determining how much your whiplash case is worth, you must consider several factors, such as the following:

  • The severity of the injury
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages due to the injury
  • Damage to quality of life

Your lawyer can evaluate your whiplash case’s value, and they understand that the status of this type of injury may change. For instance, neck injuries can be slow to heal, or you may not experience the full symptoms until later after the accident.

Therefore, it’s important to work with a lawyer who can evaluate your case and consider the injuries that do not manifest immediately before determining an appropriate compensation.

Whiplash Injury Awards and Whiplash Compensation

Whiplash is among the common injuries you may sustain from a car accident, usually rear-end collisions. Unsurprisingly, whiplash injury claims in the US are numerous, amounting to billions of dollars awarded annually.

With almost 900,000 lawsuits filed yearly, whiplash injuries and settlements have somewhat become a standard for insurance companies.

Because of this so-called “standard,” your insurer may use it to determine the whiplash settlement and refuse to offer you a higher compensation.

So, is there a reason for insurance providers to act this way? Keep reading to find out.

Whiplash Awards for the Right Reasons

Some plaintiffs have tried cheating the system, and many have gotten away with it. Because of these unfortunate events, insurers have refused to make whiplash settlement offers.

However, they may accept your claim if you, as the claimant, prove your honesty and ensure that they’re satisfied with your explanation.

That’s why hiring a lawyer immediately after sustaining injuries in an accident is essential to your case. You don’t have to wait until your whiplash injury claim hits a roadblock before hiring an attorney. They’ll have plenty of work to help move your case forward, so collaborate with them early.

What Can Impact the Settlement Value of a Whiplash Auto Accident Case?

The amount you get for a whiplash injury settlement can differ from that of other similar cases due to numerous factors. Read the following sections to learn about the elements affecting this value.

The Severity of Your Injury

Although serious injuries aren’t necessarily a requirement, they typically result in higher settlements. This isn’t to say minor injuries are less critical. However, severe injuries are likely to impact your life more.

For example, when you sustain severe injuries, you’ll need X-rays, physical therapy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results, and possibly surgery.

These procedures can increase your medical care costs. So, when you file your injury claim, it should help cover all your medical expenses related to your accident.

Whether You Will Make a Full Recovery

A mild whiplash injury can take a few weeks to three months to recover. Meanwhile, a severe whiplash can last for three to six months, while its symptoms may persist longer.

Still, your injury may differ from other people and have long-lasting effects that may affect your recovery, such as the following:

  • Chronic neck pain
  • Chronic lower or upper back pain
  • Adverse effects on your range of motion

What happens if your injury is too severe? You may feel pain that makes it difficult to perform duties, affecting your ability to work. In turn, your earning capacity may decrease, affecting your livelihood.

When you work with an attorney, they’ll consider and list these damages when making your claim.

When You Discovered Your Injury

Some symptoms of whiplash may manifest days or weeks after you sustain vehicle accident-related injuries. This delay may be due to the post-accident shock that makes the pain symptoms less visible.

Whiplash can also cause complications, such as persistent pain lasting for months or longer.

Furthermore, the course and recovery of your whiplash injuries can be difficult to predict. This is why it’s vital to immediately seek medical attention after the accident and attend all appointments and suggested treatments.

Plus, working with a lawyer can help you claim damages for possible future medical costs based on your medical records.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Policy

If you live in an at-fault state, you may be unable to file a whiplash injury claim unless your medical expenses exceed your insurance limits. Fortunately, your personal injury protection policy can help cover many of your injury costs.

Other Damages You Incurred From the Accident

Aside from your whiplash injury-related costs, what other damages can you include on your personal injury claim? Consider listing the following:

You can compute these “economic damages” easily since they have a dollar value based on a related cost. Examples of such expenses are your medical bills due to the injury or the pay you were unable to get during recovery.

Meanwhile, non-economic damages are more complex since they’re more challenging to put a number on. These damages can include the following:

  • Projected medical bills due to chronic or long-lasting back pain
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

Personal Injury Law

How will your car accident attorney help you regarding personal injury law? For one, they know how it can affect your settlement value. Some applicable laws include the following:

  • Negligence: This legal concept refers to the failure to exercise care toward someone in a situation where a prudent or reasonable person will likely do otherwise.

Regarding car accident-related whiplash cases, you must prove the at-fault driver or other party’s negligence during the accident. Doing so is one way to seek a settlement.

  • Statute of limitations: This law specifies the maximum time to file legal proceedings after an alleged offense. For example, in Texas, you have up to two years to file a claim for damages.

Whether You Can Prove Negligence

When you pursue a personal injury case, proving negligence is one of the critical elements you must consider. Fortunately, your lawyer knows how to gather evidence to help prove the at-fault party’s negligence.

Through this evidence, your attorney can determine how this has led to the accident and how the crash has directly caused your injuries.

One of the reasons you should work with an experienced personal injury attorney is that they can help your case, especially when proving negligence can be complex without their expertise.

Your Level of Fault

Do you live in a state whose laws are based on comparative negligence? If so, your whiplash settlement amount will depend on your level of fault in a car accident.

Suppose you’re involved in a rear-end collision where the driver behind you fails to hit the brakes on time and crashes into your vehicle. That driver is likely at fault for the accident.

But what happens when you’re not wearing your seatbelt at the time of the crash? You may be partly at fault, and this negligence may contribute to the severity of your injuries.

Given these circumstances, the court can assign a percentage of fault to you and the other driver. This percentage will determine your final settlement amount.

For example, the court determines that the other driver is 80% at fault, while you’re at 20%. In this case, the settlement offer you’ll receive will be 20% less.

Financial Loss

What should you consider an ideal settlement amount? If you’re a car accident victim, it should make you whole by covering your losses from the collision. Your financial loss, such as lost wages and property damage, can affect your settlement value.

What if your losses include the pay for all the missed work, medical bills, and extensive property damage? Your settlement should also reflect these amounts.

How Whiplash Settlement Payouts Are Calculated

When determining the whiplash injury settlement you believe you’re entitled to receive, you can’t simply conjure numbers out of thin air. You must consider at least three factors when calculating this amount:

  • Medical expenses, which can include:
    • Doctor consultations
    • Emergency room visits
    • Physical therapy or chiropractic treatments
    • Medications
    • Medical equipment, such as supports or braces
    • Any injury-related future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

Steps to Getting a Fair Whiplash Settlement

If you want to establish a figure that covers all whiplash-related costs, consider working with an attorney who’ll guide you through the process of getting a fair settlement.

One of the first steps is to calculate the value of the following categories:

  • Out-of-pocket medical costs: These expenses aren’t reimbursed by your insurance and include the following:
    • Annual and line item deductibles
    • Copayments
    • Services your policy does not cover
  • Lost and potentially lost wages: These refer to money you would have earned from when the accident occurred to the settlement date.
  • Emotional stress: This condition involves negative emotions, such as anxiety, and may be challenging to calculate. You may have this condition if you have inadequate resources to meet your situational demands effectively.
  • Pain and suffering: This category almost always relates to pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Under these conditions, you may experience the following:
    • Aches
    • Depression
    • Scarring
    • Temporary or permanent limitations on your activities
    • Potential shortening of life

You may find the first two categories easier to compute than the other two. Regardless, this won’t affect your case’s compensation value.

Do you still struggle to calculate your settlement based on the abovementioned categories? Work with a lawyer who will help you get the settlement you deserve.

“How Long Does It Take for Me to Receive Whiplash Injury Compensation?”

About 95% of all personal injury cases are usually resolved before a court trial. But when your claim becomes a lawsuit, how long should you wait before getting a final verdict? The whole process can take around six months to over a year.

You can also reach a pretrial agreement in two to six months. Additionally, the insurance company may contact you early, usually within a couple of weeks, to offer you compensation or obtain information.

Should You Pay Bills Now or Wait for Whiplash Settlement?

If you’re not at fault in a car accident, it’s understandable if you feel apprehensive about asking your insurer to pay your bills. However, you can’t expect the other driver’s insurance to issue checks to support you.

In such cases, what other options do you have? You can either leave your bills unpaid, pay them out of pocket, or file a claim with your insurance company.

When you have car insurance, it’ll provide you with coverage against uninsured drivers. It also comes in handy for circumstances or “gaps” where you need money while waiting for your claim’s resolution.

Example Whiplash Settlements and Verdicts

Whiplash injury verdicts and settlements won by victims vary from one case to another. Some examples by state are as follows:

  • Washington, 2023: A 60-year-old male claimed to suffer whiplash with a back and shoulder sprain after the defendant hit the back of his car while stopped at a red light.

The final verdict was $33,640, which included $15,000 for medical expenses and $18,000 for pain and suffering.

  • Georgia, 2023: The plaintiff claimed to experience whiplash pain, shoulder pain, headaches, and right knee pain that required surgery when the defendant rear-ended the vehicle she was driving.

Although the defendant disputed the liability and damages, the jury sided with the plaintiff, who was awarded a $60,000 verdict

  • Maryland, 2020: The victim was rear-ended at a red light and sustained a physical therapy-type injury due to whiplash.

Although the insurance company offered $17,000 to settle, the victim’s lawyers sued. However, before the jury decided, the victim accepted a $200,000 settlement offer.

What Is Whiplash?

The Mayo Clinic defines whiplash as a neck injury caused by rapid, forceful back-and-forth neck movement. This motion is like a whip cracking, hence the term “whiplash.”

In car accidents, you can associate whiplash injuries with rear-end car crashes. However, physical abuse, sports accidents, and other traumas, such as a fall, can also cause such injuries. You can also refer to whiplash as a neck sprain or strain, but these terms also include different neck injuries.

Whiplash Injury: Primary Symptoms

Some symptoms of whiplash injury generally manifest themselves immediately or within hours of an accident. These symptoms include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Pain that intensifies with neck movement
  • Pain in the arms, shoulders, or upper back
  • Restricted range of motion in the neck
  • Numbness in the arms
  • Headaches radiating from the base of your neck
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Whiplash Injury: Secondary Symptoms

Other symptoms you may also experience due to whiplash are as follows:

  • Blurry vision
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Memory issues and difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Disturbances in sleep patterns
  • Depression

How Long Does It Take to Feel Pain From Whiplash?

The time it takes for you to start feeling pain from whiplash is usually around 6 to 12 hours after the injury. If you feel uncomfortable on the day of the accident, you may notice that your pain, swelling, and bruising intensify over the next few days.

Whiplash and Related Injuries

Whiplash is one category among various neck, head, back, and spinal injuries. So, if you suffer whiplash from a car accident, you may also sustain those injuries. And if you believe they’re already serious enough individually, just think how severe the risks will be when combined with whiplash.

This severity is why seeing a doctor immediately after an accident is critical. Just because you’re diagnosed with whiplash doesn’t mean you can rule out these other conditions. If you don’t get them treated, they can cause paralysis, chronic suffering, and possibly death.

Whiplash and Brain Injuries

Car accidents can cause your neck to accelerate and decelerate suddenly. When you experience such movements, expect to sustain painful spine and neck tissue injuries, such as the following:

  • Muscle strains
  • Inflammation
  • Herniated or bulging discs
  • Facet joint injuries

Whiplash can also relate to concussions and traumatic brain injuries. How does this happen? When your neck snaps back and forth, your brain also moves violently, causing your brain to collide with the inside of your skull.

Coup-Contrecoup Injury

Coup-contrecoup occurs in a sequence similar to the sequence that causes whiplash. When your head strikes an object or vice versa, the recoil causes your brain to hit your skull on the opposite side.

Examples include front-to-rear, rear-to-front, or side-to-side skull collisions. The initial hit is the coup, while the diametrically opposed injury is the contrecoup.

Seek medical help immediately following this injury because the bruising of your brain due to this movement can lead to problems with the following:

  • Reasoning
  • Speaking
  • Speech comprehension
  • Decision-making
  • Memory

Furthermore, severe impacts can cause you to suffer from the following:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vertigo
  • Coordination issues
  • Muscle weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Sensory perception problems

Spinal Cord Injury

When a car accident damages your spinal column, connecting tissue, spinal cord, and nerves, it can cause numerous grim conditions, such as the following:

  • Incomplete spinal cord injury: You retain some motor (movement control) or sensory (feeling) function below the injury area.
  • Complete spinal cord injury: You lose all sensory and motor functions.
  • Tetraplegia (also called quadriplegia): This condition affects your arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.
  • Paraplegia: This condition affects all or part of your trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.

Whiplash Headaches

When you sustain a whiplash injury, you may experience headaches radiating from the base of your skull. In this case, you may be one of nearly two-thirds of victims suffering from headaches due to whiplash.

These conditions are caused by inflamed or irritated cervical facet joints. The whiplash motion can directly or indirectly cause swelling in these affected areas.

Pinched Nerve

How do you sustain a pinched nerve? It occurs when the tissue, bones, muscles, cartilage, or tendons surrounding a nerve apply too much pressure to it. This pressure may prevent the nerve from functioning correctly, resulting in numbness, tingling, pain, or loss of strength.

The Severity of Whiplash Injuries

Usually, whiplash goes away within a few weeks through proper pain medication and exercise. However, others may not be so fortunate and suffer lasting, chronic symptoms.

Other injuries, such as damage to the spinal discs and facet joints, can also worsen a victim’s lasting symptoms.

What Is Chronic Whiplash?

About 15% to 40% of patients suffering from acute neck pain develop chronic neck pain. Are you one of these patients? If so, you may feel chronic neck pain in your cervical facet joint, followed by disc pain, after a whiplash injury.

Treatment for this type of pain may include remaining active, getting prescribed medications if needed, and following sound advice that will generally result in favorable outcomes.

Why Are Some Whiplash Injuries Worse Than Others?

Defense lawyers and insurance companies may want to know why some victims sustain long-term whiplash injuries while others do not.

Are you one of these victims with long-term injuries? If so, those lawyers and insurers may assume you’re faking or exaggerating.

Fortunately, science can explain why some victims are more prone to such injuries and likely to experience long-term complications. That reason is known as risk factors, and some of them are as follows:

  • Hit from behind, such as rear-end collisions, affecting the severity of whiplash
  • Cervical lordosis (the spine curvature affecting the extent of whiplash injury)
  • Old age (older victims may sustain more severe whiplash injuries)
  • Preexisting degenerative changes affecting whiplash severity
  • Prior whiplash injury making subsequent injuries severe
  • Lack of awareness of impending impact

General Damage and Special Damages

In the legal setting, “damages” are the amount you receive upon winning your whiplash lawsuit.

However, some losses can’t easily be assigned a monetary value. These are called general damages and may include the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium (such as loss of love, affection, companionship, and other basic social life needs)
  • Emotional trauma (such as anguish, rage, and depression)

On the other hand, special damages are losses that can easily be assigned a monetary value. You can verify these damages by computing the bills and receipts for your expenses, such as lost wages and out-of-pocket medical costs.

Medical Providers: Who to See After a Whiplash Injury

Who should you go to for medical care after suffering whiplash from a car accident? Consider approaching any of the following medical providers:

  • Family physician or general practitioner
  • Chiropractor (specializes in soft tissue healing but are unlicensed to write prescriptions for pain relievers)
  • Osteopath (licensed in 50 US states to provide the full range of medical procedures, including surgery)
  • Rehab specialist (does minor surgeries like epidural or steroid injections)
  • Pain management specialist
  • Orthopedic surgeon (focuses on broken bones and dislocated joints and helps treat soft tissue injury side effects)
  • Neurologist (specializes in treating the central nervous system)
  • Physical therapist (treats soft tissue injuries using techniques like massage, strengthening, and stretching)

How Long Does It Usually Take to Recover From Whiplash?

Your whiplash injuries from a car accident may start healing within a few days or weeks. If you’re experiencing symptoms, expect them to improve after several days.

Most people suffering from a whiplash injury fully heal in about a month. However, a smaller percentage of victims may need up to three months to recover completely.

If you work in a physically intensive industry, you may miss a month or more of work while recovering from your whiplash injuries. Seek help from a car accident lawyer who’ll ensure you get compensated for this loss due to the accident.

After a Whiplash Injury: “What Should I Do?”

If you want to get compensation for your whiplash injuries following a car accident, consider taking the following steps:

Step One: See a Doctor

What do you do when you start feeling pain, such as in your neck or back, that didn’t exist before the accident? Consider taking an ambulance ride to the nearest hospital.

Seeking medical attention sooner can help you heal faster. Although your main objective should be treating your injuries immediately, prompt medical treatment is also essential for the claims process.

What if you’re severely injured? You can be admitted to the hospital for ongoing care or be treated and released upon a doctor’s recommendation, provided you seek follow-up care.

Some complications do not manifest for days or weeks. Therefore, you shouldn’t skip getting sufficient medical intervention considering this possibility.

Step Two: Contact a Whiplash Injury Lawyer

When insurance companies operate from a position of strength when it’s only you versus them early in your case, they usually prefer to stay that way.

That’s why you should contact and work with a personal injury lawyer, especially one with a history of winning whiplash injury lawsuits. This way, you balance the playing field and improve your chances of winning the case.

Step Three: File a Whiplash Injury Claim

After an accident, file an injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer immediately, whether or not you’ve hired a lawyer already.

Don’t delay your filing, even if you don’t know the total amount for your medical bills and lost wages yet. You can update those figures later.

Afterward, follow the steps for filing the claim and gather copies of your bills, the police report, and other pertinent documents. Avoid getting your claim delayed, reduced, or dismissed due to technicalities.

Also, don’t let the insurance company use any misstep on your part as a reason not to pay what you deserve. Better yet, work with a skilled attorney to avoid most procedural errors that you may otherwise make.

Step Four: Update Your Evidence

Having incomplete or missing evidence can impede the progress of your insurance claim or court case.

Still, file your claim immediately because, by default, it will be incomplete during the first filing. For instance, medical bills often arrive slowly, so gathering them may take time. Even your expenses for follow-up care and physical therapy may not be available immediately.

Once you’ve collected the evidence, take extra care to preserve it. The other party can challenge or misinterpret your testimony, but solid evidence is unlikely to falter.

Whiplash Prevention

In most car accident cases, you can do little to prevent getting rear-ended by another car, especially at a stoplight. Still, you can decrease your risk of sustaining a whiplash injury through the following:

  • Headrests and head restraints: The top of your headrest should align with the upper tips of your ears, and the headrest shouldn’t be more than two inches behind your head.
  • Neck-strengthening exercises: Because a sudden impact on your head and shoulders can cause whiplash injuries, making your muscles stronger can make your neck more resistant to the rapid back-and-forth motion.

One of the best strengthening exercises is by slowly bowing your head to the front, as far down as you can go, and then slowly lifting and rolling it back as far as possible. This movement helps stretch your muscles throughout the motion.

  • Take a break from sitting: If you work in an office, consider getting up from your chair, drinking water, and stretching your neck. Do this routine every couple of hours.

Whiplash Claims Often Raise Red Flags for Insurance Providers

Aside from getting treated quickly, why should you consider seeing a physician immediately after an accident? One reason is that your claim’s success depends on their confirmed whiplash diagnosis.

Still, if your case goes to trial, the insurance company or opposing lawyer can challenge that diagnosis.

Whiplash has numerous symptoms, many of which aren’t easily discernible by anyone other than the victim. Because of this, whiplash is more closely scrutinized than many other injuries in a claim.

For instance, since fraud is prevalent in the US, insurance companies automatically suspect whiplash cases as fraud.

What if a physician runs the tests for whiplash? The medical community may accept the results, but that doesn’t automatically mean insurers will also take them.

For these insurers, such tests are only valid if you, as the patient, tell the truth, such as what hurts and what your range of motion is.

Challenges of Proving Whiplash Injury Claims

While whiplash injuries can range from mild discomfort to severe pain, proving the validity of such claims in a court of law can be difficult. Some of the common challenges you may face are as follows:

  • Lack of visible evidence
  • Delayed onset of symptoms
  • Preexisting conditions
  • Subjectivity of pain
  • Insufficient documentation
  • Lack of expert testimony
  • Inconsistencies in statements or medical records

Whose Fault Was the Accident?

Suppose a rear-end collision happens. Who will people think is at fault? In most cases, they’ll immediately assume the trailing car driver is responsible for the accident.

But what happens when you consider other factors like road rage or staged accidents? The issue of who’s at fault then becomes more challenging to ascertain.

Even dashcam recordings of rear-end collisions can show that the front car may suddenly brake or reverse, giving the trailing car insufficient time to stop. This can either be an accident or a deliberate brake-checking.

These occurrences happen infrequently. However, they can still convince the insurance company to challenge the accident victim about their driving before the crash.

Whiplash Injury: Tricks From the Other Side

When it comes to whiplash cases, insurance companies typically avoid paying awards they disagree with. If you’re familiar with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, these companies act similarly: appearing cheerful and friendly at first, then becoming strict and intimidating to suit their goals.

These companies’ primary concern is getting you to sign their whiplash settlement. Usually, this first offer is enough for the insurer to live with. However, this amount may not be enough to cover all your losses.

What if you say you want to think about it first or decline the offer? The insurer can tell you there is a time limit, and it may no longer be valid after a specific date.

How Insurance Companies Stall Whiplash Claims

Some insurance companies promise a satisfactory outcome to the process if you, as the claimant, patiently wait despite the numerous delays.

Sometimes, these insurers use these delays to complicate the claims process or insinuate that your claim is invalid or lacks critical information.

How do these delays benefit the insurer? Every day that passes with your claim being unresolved is another day they don’t have to write you a big check.

Additionally, a significantly long delay, such as over a year, can cause your window of opportunity for a lawsuit to close.

Suppose you live in a state with a two-year statute of limitations, such as Alabama or Florida. Thus, when you get delayed by over a year, you’ll have less than a year left to file a lawsuit. Depending on the severity of your case, that period may not be enough.

Whiplash Award Limit

Insurers can attempt to convince you that their offer represents an average whiplash settlement and is something all insurance companies think is reasonable.

However, you won’t know your case’s limit amount unless you talk to a whiplash injury lawyer.

Also, don’t give the insurance company or opposing attorney a statement. Why not? Because people can misinterpret statements, take your data out of context, or use that data against you.

Difference Between Statement and Deposition

After an accident, most insurers will want to record a statement from you and other parties involved. This statement is unsworn and recorded by the insurance adjuster.

Meanwhile, a deposition is part of a lawsuit’s “discovery” phase. During this stage, the parties discover and learn all the facts about the case and document everything the other side may know.  

Think of deposition as a question-and-answer session wherein the opposing lawyer questions you about yourself and your claim.

When Would You Need a Lawyer?

Are you involved in a case involving whiplash injuries to you or someone close to you and need legal advice? If so, consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to assist you. They’ll also help you navigate the complex world of the legal system.

There is no specific guideline or deadline to follow if you need a personal injury attorney, especially after you sustain a car accident injury. However, you should still consider engaging their services shortly after the accident.


1. Is whiplash common in rear-end car accidents?

During rear-end collisions, whiplash is a common injury because it usually involves a forceful jerking motion of the neck and head. But that’s not all. Minor collisions may also cause whiplash.

2. Is whiplash pain and suffering?

Whiplash can cause tangible physical pain lasting for a short or long time. This injury can also cause pain and suffering.

Because you can’t predict whiplash injuries, they can cause chronic pain or long-term back pain, affecting your life for many years. For this reason, you can include pain and suffering damages on your whiplash injury claim.

3. Can whiplash be medically proven?

Whiplash causes soft tissue injury, so medically proving it can be difficult. After the accident, you can get X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results, but whiplash will not show up on these scans.

However, as long as you seek medical attention after the crash, a lawyer can prove your whiplash injury is related to the car accident.

4. How is pain and suffering calculated?

Some insurance companies compute pain and suffering by adding the medical and property damage bills. Afterward, they multiply the result by a number between 1.5 and 4, depending on the case’s severity, to calculate an offer for pain and suffering.

However, be aware that pain and suffering are highly subjective. Having skilled attorneys working with you can help present a convincing case for higher compensation.

5. What is the highest payout for whiplash?

Most states don’t limit the compensation you can receive for whiplash-related medical bills. Still, a jury has the final say on the total amount you can get for your whiplash claim.

6. What is Grade 1 whiplash?

A Grade 1 whiplash is neck pain, stiffness, or tenderness without physical signs. Other whiplash grades are as follows:

  • Grade 2: Neck complaint with musculoskeletal signs that include decreased motion range and point tenderness.
  • Grade 3: Neck complaint with neurological signs that include decreased motion range and point tenderness.
  • Grade 4: Neck complaint with dislocation or fracture.


  1. Whiplash-associated disorder: musculoskeletal pain and related clinical findings
  2. How Long Does It Take to Recover from Whiplash?
  3. Statute of Limitations: Definition, Types, and Example
  4. Whiplash
  5. Whiplash
  6. Chronic whiplash and whiplash-associated disorders: an evidence-based approach
  7. Acute whiplash associated disorders (WAD)

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