Anyone that has ever seen the back and forth movement of a whip when one is used to striking or lashing something understands how rapid and natural that movement is.
While it is natural for a whip to move in that manner, it is not natural for the neck of a human being to move back and forth so easily and naturally.
The term whiplash is used to refer generally to neck injuries resulting from a sudden, rapid ‘whip-like’back and forth movement of the neck outside of its normal range.
The major cause of whiplash is motor vehicle accidents with a number of cases also being reported as resulting from sporting injuries and industrial accidents. Victims experience stiffness and pain in the neck.
The more serious the injury the more intense is the pain. This pain often extends to the upper back, the shoulders and the arms.
Claims for Damages
As with other accidental injuries, people who suffer whiplash because of the negligent acts of others have a right to claim compensation.
The amount of settlement paid out is dependent on a number of factors, chiefly the seriousness of the injury, the estimated recovery period and the possibility of causing some form of permanent incapacity.
The State in which you file your suit also matters. In Florida for instance, damages for whiplash injuries are only awarded if they cause permanent injury or disfigurement or the loss of a significant bodily function.
Average settlement Amounts for Whiplash
Simple injuries to the neck that do not cause anything beyond soft tissue injury attract awards of between $ 2,500 and $10,000. Moderate to serious injuries may entitle one to between $10,000 and may go up to $100,000.
When whiplash injury is very serious and affects other central parts of the body such as the head or the spine, awards may go over $ 100,000. Extremely severe cases may attract awards of up to $ 1,000,000.
On the national average, whiplash injuries fall between moderate to serious. For this reason, the average settlement amount for a whiplash injury usually falls between $ 10,000 and $50,000.
It is noteworthy that there are States whose laws require drivers to carry personal protection insurance polices. These policies cover the initial medical costs incurred in case an accident occurs and the driver sustains injury.
In such States, an example of which is Florida, there would be no use in litigating a claim for a minor neck injury because it is fully covered by the personal protection insurance.
The point to note in claims for compensation for whiplash injury is that every injury is different from the other. Additionally, two people may sustain the same injury but suffer different consequences.
For instance, an old person’s injury may not heal as quickly as a young person’s injury might. Also, one of the victims may have had a pre-existing weakness or illness which might significantly worsen the effect of the whiplash.
This is to say that the amount of settlement paid out is to a significant extent also determined by the circumstances of the person injured.
Generally, however, the award should include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of earnings and medical expenses.