There is no average settlement for whiplash. Every whiplash victim’s neck injury is unique and should be assessed by a professional, such as a car accident lawyer, before determining its true value.
Allowing a law firm to evaluate your case can also protect you if the liable party’s insurance company tries to undervalue your injuries. You only get one chance to seek compensation, so you want to ensure that whatever you receive will cover all your damages.
What Goes Into Determining a Whiplash Settlement?
Your personal injury attorney will consider many different factors when assigning a value to your whiplash injury claim, such as:
- How serious the injury is: The more pain you experience, the more money you could recover. For instance, someone whose whiplash causes intense physical pain for several weeks can ask for more than someone whose whiplash receded after a few days.
- How much money the injury cost: According to the Mayo Clinic, treating whiplash may require you to pay for medical tests, pain medication, physical therapy, and other medical expenses. In serious cases, the injury might cause you to miss work, depriving you of your normal income and job benefits.
- The injury’s future toll: While whiplash often resolves completely, some people may experience lingering symptoms that cause chronic pain and lost quality of life for an extended period of time.
- The presence of other injuries: In addition to the whiplash, you could suffer other physical injuries, experience emotional or mental trauma, or pay for repairs to your vehicle.
These factors illustrate why there is no average settlement for whiplash. The circumstances surrounding one accident victim are completely different from those of the next. It is impossible to come up with an “average” amount that would fairly reflect the losses of most (or all) accident survivors.
Meeting the Deadline for Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
According to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, you generally have two years to file a lawsuit for personal injury damages in Georgia. This deadline may be shorter if you intend to sue the local government—for example, if a city-owned vehicle rear-ended you.
If you want to keep your legal options open, your safest bet is to contact a car accident attorney as early as possible. They can explain how to take full advantage of your right to compensation.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-214-2001
How to Get a Whiplash Settlement
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries from a rear-end collision. If you suffered whiplash due to this or any other type of accident, you can seek compensation from the liable party by:
- Hiring a personal injury law firm that has worked on whiplash cases before and can advise you on how to pursue yours
- Collecting evidence, such as medical records and accident reports, to prove your injury resulted from someone else’s negligence
- Asking the at-fault driver’s insurance company to reimburse you for everything the whiplash and your other injuries have cost you
- Negotiating with the insurer to request a fair settlement
Sometimes, insurance companies can be stubborn about offering accident survivors an appropriate amount of money for an insurance claim. They may employ stalling tactics or try to get you to accept less than you deserve.
If your whiplash injury lawyer cannot secure fair compensation, they can seek a jury award by taking the at-fault party to court. This would involve:
- Setting a trial date
- Asking witnesses to write statements or testify in person
- Preparing and delivering oral arguments in front of a judge and jury
- Questioning witnesses on the stand
- Raising objections if the defense tries to bend the rules or violate your rights
- Submitting and presenting evidence for the jury’s consideration
Even after trial preparations have begun, the insurer may change their mind and offer an acceptable settlement. You and your personal injury lawyer can assess their offer and decide whether you want to accept it.
Responding to a Whiplash Injury
Before you file a lawsuit, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself and your rights in the wake of an auto accident. These include:
- Calling the police: The police can get you medical help or other assistance you require after a vehicle collision. They will also file a report and collect evidence you can use to support your whiplash claim or lawsuit later on.
- Speaking to the other driver: After a motor vehicle accident, make sure the other driver is alright, and request emergency medical care for them if needed. If they are well enough to converse with you, ask for their name, phone number, and insurance information.
- Collecting evidence at the scene: It is a good idea to document both the scene and your injuries immediately after the accident. Take photos and videos of everything you see, and ask witnesses for their contact information.
- Going to a doctor: Some whiplash symptoms can take days or weeks to appear after an accident. You should not wait that long to seek treatment. If you do not receive emergency care, schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible. This can prevent unnecessary pain and make it easier to link your injury to your accident.
It should go without saying that, aside from seeing a doctor, you should only perform these actions if you are well enough to do so. Do not endanger your health by taking photos or speaking to others. You can always report the accident after you have received medical care, if necessary.
You can hire a car accident attorney soon after the accident to help you determine the best way to recover a whiplash settlement.
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Get a Personal Injury Settlement for Your Whiplash
Because there is no “average” settlement for whiplash, we work diligently and carefully to determine the value of each client’s case individually. Contact Kaine Law today, and let us put our decades of experience to work on your whiplash injury case.