Is It Worth Claiming for Whiplash?
In a whiplash injury case, victims are required to follow particular legal procedures in order to keep their right to compensation for damages caused by another party's negligence. Though most whiplash injury lawsuits are settled far before trial, a victim's best chance of winning a settlement offer may be to file a lawsuit against possibly culpable parties and then concentrate on negotiating a settlement. For help filing a claim visit https://www.plfirm.com/st-louis-car-accident-lawyer or call Powell Law Firm.
The Nature of Whiplash Injuries
The type of damages associated with whiplash injuries also influences when a claim or lawsuit is filed. In most instances of whiplash injuries, the real amount of a patient's physical injuries, particularly to their soft tissues in the cervical (neck) region, is not instantly obvious after an accident or injury. Both patients and legal professionals may take several days to a week to detect the full scope of symptoms. Furthermore, this only applies to small whiplash injuries, whose symptoms can most likely fade away on their own over time.
Whiplash injuries can cause long-term and urgent medical problems for sufferers in more serious circumstances. Such injuries, though frequently dismissed as frivolous claims, can be quite serious medical problems, depending on the extent of the overextension of the soft tissues and ligaments in the neck. The cervical area is critical for physical comfort and proper mobility, and any significant alteration or damage to this area in a victim can have long-term consequences limiting their capacity to move and live pain-free. Whiplash, like other soft tissue injuries, is difficult to prove in medical records, which makes the claims process more complex.
Duration of Pain Impacts the Claim Value
The majority of whiplash injuries heal within a week, and even the most catastrophic instances are symptom-free within three months.
Thus, if a victim has had persistent symptoms of a neck injury — stiffness, discomfort, limited mobility, stinging, numbness, and other signals that something isn't quite right — they could be dealing with something more serious than a simple "whiplash" injury. Long-term symptoms like these could signal that their cervical spine (the highest C1 to C7 vertebrae) has been damaged, possibly involving harm to the intervertebral joints or discs. It's also possible that they’ve injured their neck muscles or ligaments.
This injury could also indicate that the victim’s cervical muscles or tendons have been hurt, or that the nerve roots in that part of their neck have been harmed.
In any event, persistent neck injury symptoms should not be overlooked or disregarded as "whiplash." Victims should get medical help, and if the symptoms don't go away, they must get in touch with a physician until they start to see improvements.
The Claims Process Concerning Whiplash Injury
Only a lawyer can properly advise victims on the best course of action for pursuing legal claims relating to whiplash injuries. Most of the time, however, filing a lawsuit against negligent or possibly culpable parties is just the first step in a series of processes that may eventually lead to a settlement offer. Before informing anyone of their intention to sue, victims must often first determine and document the damages and emotional distress that are essential to their claims. Furthermore, a plaintiff (victim) should assess their claim from a legal aspect, determining whether or not the claim is admissible.
How Much Can You Expect to Receive?
Whiplash settlements or trial verdicts vary widely, although most cases of mild to moderate whiplash are worth between $2,500 and $10,000. More extreme incidents involving months of treatment (usually physical therapy) could cost the offender up to $30,000. Neck injuries that impact the nerves or vertebrae, in addition to soft tissue injury, can easily result in settlements or verdicts surpassing $100,000.
Should You Claim for Whiplash?
While we always advise clients to do their research, we do advocate filing a claim for whiplash injury in certain circumstances.
Whiplash can cause more serious and long-term consequences than minor discomfort for a few days following an injury. Serious whiplash injuries can have far-reaching and long-term ramifications, affecting the plaintiff’s capacity to work and impairing their quality of life.
As a result, it may be worthwhile to file a whiplash claim if the plaintiff:
● Is having whiplash symptoms.
● A doctor, GP, or other qualified medical expert verifies they have whiplash symptoms.
● The injury was caused by the negligence of another motorist; and
● The injury and its symptoms are interfering with their everyday activities, work, or social activities.