Accident reconstructionists perform studies that recreate the circumstances of car accidents to determine if victims have actually suffered the injuries they claim. Almost always, these experts – hired by the insurance company – come to the conclusion that a victim’s injuries are not as severe as the doctor reported. This can especially be the case with whiplash injuries, which are often called fake, or impossible injuries.
What Exactly Are Whiplash Injuries?
Cervical Acceleration/Deceleration (CAD) is an injury to the neck which is most often caused by rear-end collisions. The lower cervical vertebrae of the neck experiences a state of hyperextension while, simultaneously, the upper vertebrae are bent beyond their normal range. This can result in tissue damage, bruising, and tenderness.The backward/forward snapping motion of CAD is why the injury has come to be known as “whiplash.”
What Is the Average Payout for Whiplash?
The average nationwide payout for whiplash is generally between $10,000 – $20,000, but is based on individual circumstances. The accident victim may claim damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Whiplash is not considered a major injury by insurance companies. Fortunately, most whiplash victims recover within a couple of months, without any permanent damage.
Can Whiplash Be Proven?
Even if insurance companies — and, by extension, their accident reconstructionists — don’t actually suggest that a whiplash injury is real, they might argue that a patient did not suffer from the injury. They may even propose that the doctor erroneously diagnosed the injury as whiplash. Accident reconstructionists can overlook some very important details in their studies, like:
- The position of the head at the time of impact.
- The kind of seat on which the driver was sitting.
- The driver’s health at the time of the accident.
- The driver’s height and weight.
Can I Sue for Whiplash?
Rear-end collisions are the most common cause of whiplash injuries. Under Pennsylvania law, the driver who causes the rear-end collision from behind is typically at fault. You may be able to sue an at-fault driver, but it’s important to seek advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer who will help you navigate the legal system.
Can You Get a Settlement from Whiplash?
Working with a personal injury attorney, you may be eligible for a settlement. On average, whiplash injuries do not receive large cash settlements. This type of neck injury is generally not considered serious by insurance companies; therefore, it’s important to receive prompt medical treatment and document accident information in detail.
At What Speed Does Whiplash Occur?
Whiplash can occur during low speed auto accidents, as well as high speed auto accidents. One of the best ways to prevent whiplash, at any speed, is to use your lap and shoulder seat belts. Additionally, make sure your head is comfortable against the headrest.
Can You Claim Whiplash Without Seeing a Doctor?
In order to claim whiplash, you must be evaluated by a medical doctor. In addition to performing a physical exam, a doctor may order x-rays. More serious cases of whiplash may require more intense medical care. If you believe you have sustained a whiplash injury following a car accident, seek immediate medical attention.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Pennsylvania and think you may be experiencing whiplash, contact an experienced accident attorney, Carpey Law. If you have never filed a personal injury claim before, the process may seem intimidating. Since 1987, Carpey Law has represented thousands of car accident victims who have obtained compensation for their injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.