Looking to make a claim, and you’d like to know what a fair whiplash settlement is? You’re in the right place. Our guide below has everything you need to know, from what whiplash is (and why it’s so serious) to how you can claim, and how much you can expect to get.
What Is Whiplash?
So, first off, what actually is whiplash?
Easy. It’s a problem that affects the head, neck and shoulders, depending on the severity of your accident. It’s caused by rapidly jarring your neck, especially when you’re not expecting it. When your neck thrusts forward, backward or to the side very quickly it can create microscopic tears in your neck muscles. These take time to heal, and are the source of whiplash pain. As you know, you can get whiplash after a car accident or motorcycle accident. But you can also get it from slips and falls, or even from assault. There’s nothing about cars or driving that makes whiplash possible apart from the speed of the movement of your neck. As such, it can happen any time, anywhere.
Whiplash ranges in severity, from the very mild (headaches) to the completely debilitating. It depends on the force of the crash. But if it’s a) enough to affect your quality of life, or b) enough to have necessitated medical treatment then you can claim for it. But how?
How Can You Claim For Whiplash?
You can claim for whiplash either as a medical expense, or as pain and suffering. Let’s take a look at how you can claim for these factors.
- When you get medical treatment, somebody has to pay for it. That could be you, it could be your insurance company, it could be a third party insurance company, or it could be the federal government/the state (like in many European countries). But the bottom line is that somebody has to pay. When you’re in an accident that’s not your fault, somebody else (or their insurance company) becomes liable for the costs of the damage caused. As such. it’s the basic bread and butter of any compensation claim.
- Pain and suffering is a less well-known reason for compensation to be awarded. The media try and paint compensation claimants as money-hungry whiners who just want a quick buck, but it’s simply not true. If you’re in an accident and have whiplash, the pain on its own can be completely debilitating… Enough to leave you housebound, unable to do anything from go to the shops to going out in the evening.
When you hire a personal injury lawyer, they can claim for both of these reasons. The cost of medical treatment is straightforward: it costs whatever the doctor says it costs, and somebody has to foot the bill. But how does anybody decide how much pain and suffering is worth?
Pain and suffering damages are very real and can be very significant. They effectively act as a multiplier on the value of your claim. An insurance company will multiply the amount that’s spent in medical bills to find how much ‘pain and suffering’ is worth, by a number between one and five. They decide on the number between one and five based on how serious and long-lasting your injuries are. That’s how they arrive at a fair whiplash settlement.
Let’s look at an example.
What’s a Fair Whiplash Settlement?
Let’s say, hypothetically, that you were in a severe car accident. For the sake of simplicity, let’s also say that your hospital bills amounted to $200,000. It’s a lot, but it’s about right for a serious stay in hospital! If you had a serious accident, then whiplash won’t be your only injury.
- If you experienced something very serious—losing an arm, for example—then you’re looking at the maximum multiplier possible of 5. 5 times $200,000 is a million dollars.
- If you experience back pain that’s likely to last for five years, this isn’t as serious, and it isn’t as long lasting. You might be offered a multiplier of 2, meaning you’d get $400,000.
- If whiplash was your only injury, then you might not get a multiplier at all. In that case, you’d get $200,000. Bear in mind that this money would go to pay your medical bills only, not to you. There would be other things you could claim for though, like damages to your car and belongings.
With damages, you can only claim for the dollar amount. But with pain and suffering, that’s where a good attorney earns their pay. A good attorney can successfully argue that you deserve a bigger and better multiplier, and persuade an insurance company or judge to give you far more than you can get on your own.
And how do you find a good attorney? Through 719-PAIN, of course!
Get a Fair Whiplash Settlement Through 719-PAIN!
719-PAIN is a resource for the people of Colorado Springs, a hotline you can call whenever you need help finding a chiropractor, physician or an attorney. Here’s how it works.
- You give us a call at 719-PAIN.
- Tell us what’s wrong.
- Our expert advisor will then be able to point you in the right direction.
We’ve done the work so that you don’t have to, finding the very best personal injury experts that you can hire after an accident. Go it alone, and you have to commit to days of searching through reviews, calling up offices and trying your best to balance your injury with your home and work lives.
By calling 719-PAIN, you say goodbye to the stress of your accident, and say hello to the future—one where you get the fair whiplash settlement you deserve. So, think you’re ready to get started on your claim? Then give us a call today, and see what you might be entitled to.