Whiplash Injury Settlement
Recipients of a whiplash injury settlement may be awarded monetary compensation for pain and suffering sustained in a motor vehicle collision, physical assault, or possibly in an accident as a passenger on a bus, train, or airplane. What differentiates whiplash from other types of personal injury cases is the trauma caused primarily to the neck, head and back sustained when the victim's neck is jerked violently back and forth, similar to cracking a whip, upon impact. Most accidents involve rear-end collisions or a sudden stopping motion, which throws passengers backward. For example, subway and public transit passengers may sustain whiplash injuries when the drivers brake suddenly. Trauma to the neck muscles can travel to the back and spine, causing severe pain as bones of the neck and vertebrae compress and pinch nerves.
Soft tissue injuries account for a majority of pain and suffering claims and can range from slight and temporary to severe and permanently disabling. In severe cases, victims can incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, physical therapy and rehabilitation, medication, and home or acute nursing care. Chronic back pain may last several years after what may have seemed a minor rear-end collision. No one can be certain of the extent of short- or long-term injuries immediately following an accident. A whiplash injury settlement will be based on the victim's ability to prove another's liability, backed by medical records which substantiate claims of temporary, long-term, or permanent physical impairment.
Accident victims whose injuries are permanent or prohibit them from gainful employment may pursue a lawsuit against the offending party. Victims whose injuries cause permanent disability, acute chronic pain, or prolonged medical treatment are awarded larger settlements than those whose injuries are temporary and require limited care. In the case of victims who prove liability on the part of another, judges may award significant damages. But proving damage and winning adequate compensation requires the help of a personal injury lawyer with the experience and expertise to prepare and present a strong case. When it comes to winning the case for eternal life, Jesus is the epitome of advocacy. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sin of the whole world" (I John 2:1-2). Eyewitness testimonies, medical records, photos, and written documentation are all pertinent to winning a whiplash injury settlement. A defendant's insurance agent may try to settle out of court, offering much less than the victim is actually entitled to. Personal injury lawyers may advise refraining from agreeing to an out-of-court settlement, especially if the defendant and their attorney appear unwilling to pay an initial claim.
The amount of a plaintiff's claim in a whiplash injury settlement case is determined by using a unique formula to place a dollar value on pain and suffering. Victims should be compensated for the amount of money spent on medical bills, ambulance, or prescription drugs, plus damages to their vehicle, if involved. The total amount of expenses is multiplied by three. In order to submit a claim to the guilty party's insurance company prior to taking a case to court, victims may then double this sum. But they should not expect the insurance company to want to pay. The plaintiff's insurance agent usually will try to settle out of court for less than the sum requested, or try to discredit a portion of the claim. That's really where the plaintiff's legal counsel can help protect them from rushing too hurriedly to settle and keep the case out of court. A whiplash injury settlement should not only compensate accident victims for medical and vehicle expenses, but also for wages lost while receiving medical treatment or physical therapy. If injuries are severe, permanently disabling, or require chronic long-term care, the plaintiff's insurance company should be willing to agree to an amicable payment arrangement. No personal injury victim should have to bear the burden of an accident, lose time off the job, and foot the bill for acute or chronic healthcare without being compensated by the guilty party.
Key to the plaintiff's case is documentation or photos taken at the scene. Others may have witnessed the accident and taken digital or cell phone photos. Other drivers may also give a first hand account of the accident. Police called to the scene should have a written report detailing the events which led up to the collision, the time of day, weather conditions, and positions of vehicles when they collided. Relevant to the case will be whether the victim and driver of the other car were wearing seatbelts. The plaintiff's attorney may cite the lack of using restraints as a contributing factor in a motor vehicle accident, which might be justifiable cause for reducing the amount of money awarded in a whiplash injury settlement. Cell phone usage by either party may also be cited as a factor for or against the driver who crashed into the plaintiff's rear bumper. Eyewitness testimony, police reports, photos, and diagrams may all be used as court evidence.
While the case is pending, the plaintiff in a whiplash injury settlement claim should refrain from activities which might be misconstrued and prejudice the case. An honest victim with genuine injuries to the neck, back and shoulders will keep all medical appointments, consult routinely with the personal injury attorney, and exercise discretion when in public. Cases may take time to be presented in court and delays could very well surpass a victim's healing process. If injuries sustained in the collision heal sufficiently to enable the plaintiff to go horseback riding or skiing, it would be an unwise move to engage in physically challenging activities in public. No matter how innocent the victim may be, the appearance of fraud and deceit will adversely affect the outcome of the case and possibly jeopardize an ensuing whiplash injury settlement.
Back Injury SettlementsThe seekers of back injury settlements are those people experiencing one of life's most debilitating injuries because of the back's connectedness to every part of the body. This kind of injury can bring about a few days, a few weeks or months and years of complete incapacitation. And in any of those scenarios, the need for income can be quite pressing. Depending on the circumstances of the accident that brought about the injury, all victims have the right to seek back injury settlements through the insurance channels open to them. In almost every case, the company, the building owner, the driver of the other car or other entity's insurance company will become the focus of a demand for injury payment.
When an injury to the vertebrae occurs and the fault or responsibility lies with someone else, the first thing some people think of is hiring an attorney and suing the socks off that offending party. Litigation for profit taking has become a favorite parlor game in America. But the first step before hiring an attorney or in conjunction with hiring that lawyer should be the filing of a formal demand letter to the insurance company. If the vertebrae injury is relatively minimal, and a few weeks or months is all that is involved in the recovery effort, then filing this demand letter without an attorney might be an option. In this claim letter, the formal demands for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering can be made. For more serious injuries, this back injury settlements letter is best left to an attorney. All copies of records, proof of income and employment and injury reports should be included. Make sure and keep the originals for yourself. There is an art to writing this letter and so it might help to have a good writer assist in putting the letter together.
If an attorney is not secured, the negotiations between injured part and the insurance company will begin. It is advised to always ask for twice what one is expecting to receive in that back injury settlements letter. And know that on the other end of the phone or at the desk across from you will be an adversary who has only the thought of protecting as much of the insurance company's money as possible. This negotiating process is exactly why many people turn to attorney first, but it can be accomplished with good results if the negotiator one employs with the insurance company is mean as a snake and tough as Kevlar. Actually, an acid tongue won't get that negotiator very far but his rattle ought to be decibel breaking. So many people want God to act right now, immediately, but listen to these powerful words from the psalmist: "I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock and established my goings." (Psalm 40:1-2)
When the decision is made to seek an attorney, understand that he or she will ask for at least forty percent of the settlement monies. This can be quite a reality check for some who seek back injury settlements. But this is a standard fare for the services of a barrister and might make the difference in taking on less serious case negotiation without an attorney. However, there is one other serious fact to be faced. Injuries to the vertebrae don't always manifest themselves severely until months or years later. Clearly, there is a lot to be weighed in the direction one will go with any back injury.
There is also another issue to be considered in the awarding of back injury settlements that can be quite shocking. Take the case of the man who was injured on the job as a non-union iron worker and will be laid up for three months after coming home from three weeks in the hospital following surgery and therapy. Hospital, therapy, physician costs and lost wages will top one hundred and seventy five thousand dollars. The attorney's negotiations with the insurance company got that amount and took forty percent as a fee. That leaves one hundred and five thousand dollars but the hospital is suing for its full cost of the care and treatment because the HMO only pays seventy percent of the hospital's actual expenses. Now the actual settlement is seventy five thousand, and then the HMO wants part of the back injury settlements money to pay for its outlay for physicians and therapy. It all under the legal term known as subrogation which means a person shouldn't be paid twice for a service.
A person that has gotten a vertebrae injury has a lot to think about when contemplating the things that can happen in the unfolding of one or more back injury settlements. Even the choice of an attorney can be quite daunting so remember these things. Pick an attorney or law firm that specializes in tort law. Ask for a list of clients who agree to have their name released and contacted. Ask every question possible about the conduct of the attorney of record, the help the firm staff gave and the outcome of the case. If the firm is acceptable but the attorney chosen for you is a dud or a cousin of Ichabod Crain, you have every right to ask for another attorney within the firm.