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.

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