If you’re considering filing a whiplash-related personal injury claim, you should understand the factors influencing typical car accident settlement amounts for whiplash. The attorneys at Sieben Polk Law Firm have extensive experience representing individuals who have suffered whiplash in car accidents. We can evaluate your case and estimate how much compensation you may realistically be entitled to.
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries resulting from car accidents. While the effects of whiplash can be subtle at first, they often intensify over time, leading to significant pain and disability for many victims.
If you have suffered whiplash in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim. However, the typical car accident settlement amounts for whiplash can vary greatly.
The best way to determine your potential whiplash settlement amount is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney at Sieben Polk Law Firm. Our Minnesota car accident lawyers have decades of experience representing victims of whiplash injuries and can provide an estimate of the amount of money you may be eligible to receive.
What Is the Average Settlement for Whiplash as the Result of a Car Accident?
The exact amount of compensation you may be able to receive when you file a whiplash injury claim will depend on a variety of factors. Only a car accident lawyer who has carefully evaluated the details of your situation can provide you with an accurate assessment.
However, we can give a general range for the typical car accident settlement offer amounts for whiplash. Compensation in such cases can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, but some whiplash cases have resulted in settlements of $100,000 or more.
Keep in mind that these figures reflect compensation for whiplash only. Many car accidents result in multiple injuries in addition to whiplash. In those cases, your total settlement could be much higher.
Types of Compensation You Can Claim
If you have suffered whiplash as the result of a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident in Minnesota, you may be eligible to receive compensation for any of the following types of losses:
- Medical expenses: You may be able to receive compensation for past and future medical bills related to the treatment of your whiplash injury, including doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription medications, and more.
- Rehabilitation: If your whiplash injury requires physical therapy or other rehabilitative treatments, you may be able to receive compensation for those costs.
- Lost wages: If you’ve had to miss work due to your whiplash injury, your settlement could include reimbursement for lost wages.
- Reduced earning capacity: If your whiplash injury has caused a long-term reduction in your earning capacity due to changes in the type or amount of work you can do, you may be entitled to payment for the income you are expected to lose.
- Pain and suffering: You may be able to receive additional compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress that accompany your whiplash injury.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: If your whiplash injury has kept you from participating in activities and experiences you previously enjoyed, you may be eligible for remuneration for this type of loss.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash occurs when the neck is suddenly and forcefully thrown backward or forward. This pushes the structural components of the neck beyond their limits, causing strain and damage to the neck’s muscles, tendons, discs, and nerves.
Not all whiplash injuries are alike. Some people may experience mild to moderate pain and stiffness that eventually subsides, while others may suffer long-term chronic pain and disability. The severity of a person’s whiplash injury depends on a variety of factors, including age and sex. Due to biological factors, older adults and women are more likely to suffer lasting whiplash injuries.
In addition, the vehicle’s speed before the accident and how quickly the vehicle came to a stop often affect the type and severity of the injury. A higher rate of speed combined with sudden deceleration increases the chances of suffering a severe whiplash injury.
How Do I Know if I Have Whiplash?
Most whiplash symptoms appear within a few days after the accident, but many people will begin to feel symptoms in 24 hours or less. The symptoms of a mild whiplash injury may include the following:
- Neck stiffness and reduced range of motion
- Tender muscles
- Pain that radiates to the head, face, back, or shoulder
- Muscle spasms
- Bruising or swelling
Some people sustain more severe injuries, which can result in the following symptoms:
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness, tingling, or burning in the neck, shoulder, upper back, or upper arms
- Vision issues
- Trouble swallowing
- Voice hoarseness
- Dizziness or vertigo
If you believe you may have whiplash, it’s best to avoid self-diagnosis and seek medical attention immediately. Waiting too long to seek treatment may worsen your symptoms of whiplash, delay your recovery, and make it more difficult for your personal injury attorney to get the maximum compensation you deserve.
How Long Does It Usually Take To Recover From Whiplash?
The amount of time it takes to recover from whiplash depends on the severity of the injury. Most people with a mild or moderate whiplash injury can expect to fully recover within a few days or weeks. More severe cases of whiplash can take much longer to heal—often several weeks or months—and some cases may even develop into a condition known as chronic whiplash.
Some studies suggest that around 50 percent of people who suffer whiplash experience ongoing symptoms after the initial injury, such as pain, fatigue, and impaired physical function. The magnitude of these long-term symptoms varies greatly among individuals, but they can significantly impact the quality of life.
In extremely rare cases, whiplash injuries may tragically result in death. If this happens, the victim’s surviving loved ones may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
What Factors Can Affect My Whiplash Settlement?
The severity of your whiplash injury will likely be the biggest factor in determining the size of your settlement. More serious injuries will generally result in higher settlements than milder whiplash cases.
Severe injuries often require more intensive treatment, resulting in more medical expenses. They also take longer to recover from and are more likely to affect your earning capacity, which can result in a larger settlement for lost wages and reduced earning potential.
In addition, more severe injuries are more likely to cause significant pain, suffering, emotional distress, and disruption of your enjoyment of life.
The quality of legal representation you choose can also have a major impact on the amount of compensation you receive. A skilled personal injury lawyer will be fully equipped to enter negotiations with your insurance company. They’ll also know when negotiations are futile and can file a lawsuit to pursue maximum compensation if necessary.
How Are Whiplash Settlement Payouts Calculated?
Typically, whiplash settlements are calculated by examining the total amount of economic and non-economic damages you have suffered due to the accident and your injury.
Economic damages are those that can be easily quantified. They include all your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and any other monetary costs related to the accident.
However, non-economic damages are harder to quantify and require more subjective interpretation. They may include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment in life, and other intangible losses. A common method for quantifying non-economic damages involves multiplying a person’s total economic losses by a number to arrive at an appropriate settlement amount. The multiplier is typically between one and five and depends on how much the injury impacted your life. Some cases may use the per diem method, which involves multiplying a daily rate by the amount of time it took—or is expected to take—for the injury to heal.
Your share of the fault for the accident can also impact the amount of your settlement. Under Minnesota’s comparative fault law, you can recover compensation if your share of the fault is not greater than that of the person from whom you seek recovery. If you are 50 percent or less at fault for the accident, you can recover damages in proportion to your share of the fault. For example, if you are 30 percent at fault for the accident, you can recover 70 percent of your damages.
Our Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You Get the Settlement You Deserve
If you or a loved one has experienced whiplash due to an accident, contact our experienced Eagan car accident lawyers. We have a proven track record of success in helping clients achieve maximum compensation in whiplash settlements, and we want to do the same for you.
Call Sieben Polk Law Firm at 651-437-3148 for a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t owe us anything until we win your case, and there are no out-of-pocket costs for you.