Whiplash Settlements: How Much Can You Expect?
Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents, particularly in rear-end collisions. After being hit, a motorist’s head is pushed forward, before it snaps back like a whip.
This violent movement can cause serious damage to the soft tissue in the neck. This damage can leave a person in immobilizing pain for months as they wait for the injury to improve.
If you’ve been in an accident, you might wonder about the average settlement for whiplash. Instead of talking about “averages”—which few people have calculated—we’ll look at how you can best estimate the size of your whiplash settlement.
Have You Spent Money Because of Your Accident?
A whiplash settlement can compensate for economic losses, such as:
- Medical care. To treat whiplash, you might need prescription painkillers, massage, doctor visits, physical therapy, and a neck brace. You can be reimbursed for these expenses.
- Lost wages. Whiplash can keep people out of work for several months, costing them income. You can be reimbursed for your lost wages or income.
- Property damage. If you own the car that was damaged, you can receive a sum of money to have it repaired.
Remember to hold onto all receipts, medical bills, repair bills, etc. that show how much it cost to recover from the accident.
How Much Has Whiplash Disrupted Your Life?
The true cost of whiplash goes well beyond what you spent for medical care or lost in wages. Whiplash can cause immobilizing pain, making it hard for people to enjoy their lives. Fortunately, Colorado law allows you to receive money to make up for:
- Pain and suffering, for the physical distress that whiplash has caused
- Emotional distress, mental anguish and negative emotions like anger, embarrassment, fear, etc.
- Loss of enjoyment of life
You might struggle to translate this suffering into dollars and cents. However, your attorney can use his experience to come up with a fair amount that you are likely to receive.
Are There Any Limitations on Compensation?
Generally, you can receive 100% of your economic losses and a fair amount to compensate for pain and suffering. Nevertheless, there are some limitations to whiplash injury compensation you should be aware of:
- Shared fault. You might have partially been responsible for the accident. If so, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-111
- states you will receive less money than you otherwise might have gotten. Analyze the circumstances surrounding the accident with a lawyer to better understand if you share some fault for the accident.
- Policy limits on insurance. You can sue the driver responsible for your injury. As a practical matter, however, you are unlikely to get more than the driver’s maximum policy limit. If the driver only carries the state’s minimum liability insurance--$25,000 in bodily injury liability per person—then you might not get more than that, regardless of how much the accident cost.
Need Help? Contact a Seasoned Whiplash Attorney
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Contact us as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation.