Whiplash is a generic term used to describe soft tissue injuries that occur in the neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This type of injury is most commonly seen in rear-end collisions, but it is not a formal medical diagnosis, since it cannot be substantiated via tests or scans. Nevertheless, it is an established fact that, when a person is involved in an accident, the violent whipping motion that their body and head encounter can damage the soft issues in the neck and shoulders.
If you have been involved in an accident, you will know if you have whiplash because you will exhibit symptoms that include:
- Neck and back pain
- Neck stiffness
- Shoulder pain and stiffness
- Burning or itching sensations in the shoulders and neck
- In severe cases, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, issues with sleep, etc.
If you are suffering from whiplash, you are entitled to compensation for your injury – as long as another party is liable for those injuries.
Determining Your Damages in a Whiplash Case
In order for your attorney to value your case, they will need to determine two different things:
- The chances of successfully winning the case, including what evidence is present, what medical records show about your injuries, etc.
- If you are also partially liable for your injuries – such as not wearing a seatbelt in an accident.
There are two types of damages you can receive in any type of injury case: compensatory and punitive. In a whiplash accident case, it is unlikely you would qualify for punitive damages unless the defendant purposely or maliciously caused the accident.
Compensatory damages are what compensate you for your financial losses – including medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, etc.
Establishing the Value of Your Case
You will need to speak with a car accident attorney in order to determine how much your claim is worth. An attorney will consider multipliers in your case to help determine your pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is typically added on via multiplication based on your true costs, including medical costs and lost wages. The multiplier typically ranges from 1.5 to 4.
However, the multiplier concept only applies in some situations. Because whiplash injuries are so heavily contested, you will have several unique things to consider when evaluating your case, including:
- If the plaintiff is a good witness
- If the plaintiff’s testimony is believable
- If the plaintiff has a record of filing false injury claims in the past
- If the injuries for the plaintiff are documented
- If the plaintiff has received medical treatments and has lost wages due to the injury and not another reason
Speak with a Chicago Attorney Regarding Your Car Accident Claim
After an accident, contact the team at Malman Law regarding your injuries. In most cases, whiplash will take anywhere from a few hours to days to start exhibiting symptoms, but contacting an attorney as soon as possible can preserve the evidence in your case and improve the likelihood of success. Schedule your free consultation with an attorney today at 888-625-6265, or fill out an online contact form with your questions.