If you were recently the victim of a car crash in Mississippi and suffered from whiplash and other complications, you are probably contemplating filing a lawsuit. You may also wonder what the average whiplash settlement is. Unfortunately, the answer is not as straightforward as you might like. This is because every accident, injury, and claim is unique, with a specific set of circumstances. Therefore, there really is no such thing as a meaningful average payout for a whiplash injury. Instead of trying to guess based on data from cases unlike yours, a professional can assess your case and let you know its approximate value.
Whiplash Injuries and Settlement Considerations
Whiplash is a common injury from motor vehicle accidents, especially rear-end crashes. When most people think of whiplash, they usually think of a relatively minor injury that will heal with rest and time. However, the truth is whiplash can be severe and cause lifelong pain and consequences. Even though car accidents are one of the leading causes of whiplash injuries, you can suffer from whiplash due to a sports injury, equestrian accident, fall, or any jarring physical act. Depending on the extent of the impact and resulting injury, your recovery can be more complex and challenging than you might think. Such injuries often come at a significant financial cost due to medical expenses and missed time from work.
Many whiplash claims, like most injury cases, don’t go to trial but end in a negotiated settlement. The amount you can expect to recover can vary greatly depending on the extent of your injury and associated costs.
What Is a Settlement?
Understanding what a settlement is and what it means for you is essential. A settlement is an agreed-upon amount of compensation for a claim, and settlements are negotiated outside of court without any judicial intervention. While most cases resolve in a settlement and only a small percentage go to trial, that is not a reason to rush to settle your case. A settlement will generally absolve the defendant of any further liability or responsibility, which means that once you agree to a number, you cannot go back for more money, regardless of how much your injury ends up costing you. Therefore, it is best to have a seasoned personal injury lawyer negotiate with the insurance company or defendant. Doing so can ensure that you get a fair amount of compensation for your losses.
How Much for a Whiplash Settlement?
A rear-end motor vehicle crash commonly causes whiplash, but it can also be caused by rapid acceleration. The collision’s impact causes the person’s head and neck to thrust forward while their body remains restrained by the seat belt.
If you recently suffered whiplash, you might be contemplating filing a claim for damages.
One of the most commonly asked questions is, What is Mississippi’s average whiplash settlement amount? However, as we stated earlier, it isn’t easy to provide an average because every case is different. It is also challenging to confidently pinpoint an average settlement amount because many settlements are not publicly reported and cannot be considered for the “average” calculation. However, we can look at certain factors that will influence settlement amounts.
While there is no precise formula or calculation for whiplash settlements, several factors will play a vital role in the outcome. These include the following:
- The severity of your whiplash;
- Present and future medical costs;
- Lost wages;
- Any intangible losses you sustain, like pain and suffering;
- Insurance policy limits;
- Who the defendants are; and
- Applicable law.
Should your case proceed to trial, a jury will use these same factors when rendering an award should a case proceed to trial.
Whiplash Injury Grade
One significant factor when discussing whiplash injury settlements is the severity of the injury itself. Whiplash injuries are graded on a scale according to severity. Grade 0 is the least severe, and grade 4 is the worst.
- Grade 0—No visible signs of injury and no medical treatment required. Grade 0 injuries will typically have the minimum payout for whiplash.
- Grade 1—Typically no visible sign of injury but soreness and pain are present. Typically, minimal medical treatment is required, and symptoms resolve reasonably quickly.
- Grade 2—Physical signs of injury are present, range of motion is decreased, and pain is present. Medical treatment is often required.
- Grade 3—Serious injury requiring immediate and persistent medical treatment. These injuries could result in significant loss of range of motion, severe pain, trouble sleeping, missed work, and more.
- Grade 4—The most severe whiplash injury that often requires surgical intervention, physical therapy, and extensive treatment to heal.
Grade 4 whiplash often yields the highest settlements. It is crucial to have experienced counsel advocating for you when attempting to negotiate a settlement that will cover all your losses.
Whiplash Injury Settlement Attorneys
At Harris Law Firm PLLC, we have been advocating for injury victims for over 40 years. We are a small firm that packs a big punch. Here, you are not just another name on a folder to us; we prioritize each of our clients. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your whiplash injury and how we can help you receive the best settlement for your claim.