If you’re wondering whether you can claim compensation for whiplash, yes you can. But it won’t be easy.
On average, settlement for whiplash injuries can range from $2,000 to $10,000. But it can go as high as $100,000 depending on the extent of the injury. There is no minimum settlement amount for whiplash injury. But if your symptoms are very mild and you’ve recovered quickly, your compensation will obviously be lower.
For work-related whiplash injuries, the compensation tends to be higher. But of course, this depends on the state. In Florida, the average settlement for neck injuries like whiplash is $6,300 in 2020 alone. But in 2014, the average even went as high as $11,600.
Why It’s Hard to Get Workers Compensation for Whiplash Injuries
Whiplash, in medical terms, is a type of neck injury caused by vigorous and sudden back and forth motion. This stretches the tissues and tendons in the neck damaging them. But unlike most types of injuries, whiplash symptoms don’t usually show up immediately after the accident. And sometimes, the true extent of the injury will only become apparent months later. This makes it hard to get workers compensation for whiplash injuries.
In most states, work-related injuries have to be reported within a certain number of days. Failure to do so will give your employer reason to deny your claim. But if the symptoms take time to show up, reporting your injury on time can be difficult.
Another reason why it’s hard to claim compensation for this type of injury is the nature of the injury itself. You see, soft-tissue injuries like whiplash don’t show up in x-rays or other diagnostic tools. As such, it’s hard to get a medical document to support your claim. This is why whiplash claims are often written off as nuisance claims.
In addition, most whiplash symptoms go away in a week. In Florida, you won’t get wage loss compensation for the first seven days of disability. Some states also have similar rules. This means you’ll only get medical benefits but not your lost wages if you can get back to work within 7 days.
Factors Affecting Whiplash Injury Settlement
Like most injuries, the amount of settlement you can get from whiplash depends on factors like:
The Severity of Your Injury
Treatment costs usually depend on the severity of your injury. The more severe your symptoms, the more expensive your medical bills will usually be.
Unlike personal injury claims, workers comp don’t pay for psychological damages like anxiety or depression. Your employer is only required by law to pay for medical costs and supplies. So if you’re only experiencing mild symptoms, you can’t expect thousands of dollars in compensation.
How Many Days You Miss Work
Aside from medical benefits, a workers comp settlement will also include lost wages compensation. That is if you miss a significant time off work.
In most cases, workers’ compensation is equal to 66.67% of your average weekly wage. So if you were earning $1,000 before your injury, expect to get about $667 a week.
But unless the damage goes way beyond a simple muscle strain, whiplash injuries rarely last long. Nor do they cause permanent disability. That’s why lost wages compensation for whiplash injuries aren’t usually that much.
The Mode of Payment
Workers’ comp settlement can be paid in two ways: lump sum or periodic payments. If your claim is approved, you’ll be asked how you prefer to be paid.
If you choose to be paid in lump sum, obviously, you’ll only receive payment once. They’ll estimate how long your injury will last and compute your compensation accordingly. It’s usually a huge sum but you won’t be able to request any more after that.
Periodic payments, on the other hand, entitle you to monthly checks until you’re able to go back to work. If your injury will last only a few weeks, obviously, the amount won’t be that much.
Is It Worth Suing for Whiplash?
In most cases, whiplash injuries aren’t that serious. So most people find it bothersome to go through a lengthy lawsuit just for it. But there are instances when a whiplash injury can lead to more serious long-term conditions.
Some workers who suffered from a whiplash injury reported chronic symptoms like:
- neck pain
- impaired neck movement
These symptoms can affect a worker’s productivity and may even impair their ability to work. So if you won’t sue for whiplash, you’ll have a hard time claiming compensation if it leads to a more serious medical condition.
To know if your injury is even worth filing a legal claim, you should consult an experienced worker’s comp lawyer like Victor Malca. He has already helped thousands of injured workers in Florida. He can help you get fair compensation for your injuries too. Call us now for a free consultation.
VICTOR MALCA LAW – A TRUSTED NAME IN FLORIDA
Victor Malca P.A. has over 27 years of litigation experience in Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability lawsuits. His experience and continued success in fighting for his clients puts among the most trusted workers’ compensation lawyers in Florida. Our area of expertise is in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claim social security disability benefits.
Our unwavering advocacy for employee rights and privileges are recognized by our past clients across South Florida. Book a free consultation today.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a writer for Victor Malca Law P.A. and enjoys helping people with questions about social security, workers compensation, and other serious matters involving people’s livelihood. She is not an attorney and her writing should not be considered legal advice.