Whiplash is a common car accident injury that involves the neck. Whiplash can occur when the forces of an auto accident whip the head and neck rapidly back and forth, damaging or tearing the tendons or ligaments of the neck. When the head jerks forward and backward abruptly in a crash, the pressure it exerts on the neck can be harmful. Even a minor crash such as a low speed rear-end collision could cause whiplash. A victim that suffers whiplash in a car accident could be eligible for financial recovery from the at-fault driver in Arizona. A Glendale car accident attorney can help you secure compensation for your whiplash injury.
About Whiplash Injuries
Motor vehicle accidents, especially rear-end collisions, are the most common cause of whiplash injuries. Whiplash can also occur in sports incidents, amusement park rides or due to physical abuse. When a car crash victim suffers whiplash, he or she may feel symptoms immediately, hours after the collision or even days post-accident. Symptoms can vary in type and severity depending on the patient and the injury.
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Tenderness or sore muscles
- Difficulty moving the head or neck
- Shoulder or arm pain
- Tingling or numbness
Whiplash symptoms could also include blurred vision, mood changes, trouble concentrating and memory problems. Most patients fully recover from whiplash with treatments such as pain management, rest, physical therapy and neck braces. Rehabilitation exercises can also help strengthen the neck muscles and regain mobility. Some patients, however, may suffer chronic pain and long-lasting disabilities from whiplash.
What Is the Average Whiplash Settlement in Arizona?
Someone with whiplash after a car accident in Arizona will have the right to file an insurance claim against the at-fault party. Whiplash is a compensable injury that could make the victim eligible for an insurance settlement or jury verdict in a personal injury trial. Arizona is a fault-based car insurance state. The party responsible for causing the wreck will owe financial restitution to the injured victims. A compensation award could contain an amount to cover several different whiplash-related damages.
- Medical costs. A settlement could cover the price of ambulance fees, a hospital stay, doctor’s appointments, x-rays, examinations, tests, surgeries, medications and rehabilitation, both past and future.
- Lost wages. If whiplash forced the victim to stay home from work for days or weeks while in recovery, the victim could demand lost wages as part of a settlement. Chronic pain or disability from whiplash could also entitle the victim to compensation for lost future earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering. Arizona law allows a car accident victim to seek financial relief for noneconomic damages, including physical pain, chronic pain, lost quality of life, lost enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, emotional suffering and psychological trauma.
A settlement award or trial verdict could also compensate a whiplash victim for legal fees, court costs, vehicle damage repairs and punitive damages, depending on the situation. Each case is unique. No average settlement amount for whiplash injuries exists. Each plaintiff could have a significantly different outcome based on the facts of the injury case. Whiplash plaintiffs have obtained between $5,000 to over $1 million for their injuries in Arizona. The best way to accurately evaluate the potential value of a whiplash case is for the victim to consult with a personal injury attorney.
Settlement vs. Verdict Award
Most whiplash injury cases achieve successful settlements in Arizona. If an insurance company disputes liability or unfairly offers a low settlement, however, the plaintiff’s attorney may need to take the case to trial. An insurance settlement will generally result in a lower monetary award than a personal injury trial. A settlement, however, guarantees results, while a trial could end in $0 for the plaintiff. Knowing which route is right for a specific whiplash case often takes assistance from a law firm. A lawyer could fight for top results either way.