Is the Injury Serious Enough to Warrant Whiplash Injury Compensation?

Injury & Accident Attorneys Serving Alpharetta, Atlanta & Nearby Areas of Georgia


Posted: January 9, 2017

Whiplash Injury CompensationWhiplash injury compensation has unfortunately obtained “nuisance” and “frivolous” status. It’s almost a given that car accident victims will claim whiplash injuries even if they’re not truly injured. Despite this reputation, whiplash injuries are real and potentially serious problems that can warrant significant whiplash injury compensation.

What Are Whiplash Injuries?

Before we explain whether a whiplash injury will result in an injury damage award, we need to define what whiplash is. Whiplash is a type of neck injury that often accompanies rear-end vehicle collisions. It can include both “hard” injuries, such as torn ligaments or broken bones, as well as “soft” injuries, such as trauma to soft tissue, muscles and nerves.

Some whiplash injuries may go away over time, or they may linger and require significant medical attention to treat, possibly including surgery.

Whiplash Injury Compensation Depends on Several Factors

Obviously, the more severe your whiplash injury, the more likely you’ll receive compensation and larger the award is probably going to be. Specific factors that can increase the chances and amount of a whiplash injury compensation award include:

● The existence of “hard” neck injuries
● Severe pain
● Pain that lasts a long time
● Medical records and tests diagnosing and identifying specific neck injuries
● Whether you’re in a no-fault state

Being in a no-fault car insurance state is very important. To sue for certain injuries in a no-fault state, the individual must have sustained injuries that meet a threshold regarding severity. Therefore, if the injury isn’t severe enough, the person suffering the injury can’t sue.

In situations where there are only soft tissue injuries, that doesn’t mean recovering for whiplash injuries can’t happen. However, it’s harder to win a lawsuit. Ultimately, recoveries are usually smaller in these cases than with whiplash that contains “hard” injuries.

Calculating Whiplash Injuries

One way to determine if a whiplash injury is severe enough to warrant compensation is to calculate the potential damage recovery due to whiplash injuries.

Damages for whiplash can be categorized in two ways: actual damages and general damages.

Actual damages refer to objective numbers, such as medical bills and lost wages. These are numbers you can often prove with documentation. General damages refer to subjective things like pain and suffering. There is no perfect way to determine general damages. That’s because there’s no surefire way to put a price on discomfort.

Some attorneys and insurance companies may have formulas that calculate possible pain and suffering awards based on what the actual damages are. But these are just estimates. Other factors that can play a part as to pain and suffering damages include:

● How believable the plaintiff will come across at trial
● The quality of the documentation of the plaintiff’s injuries
● Whether the plaintiff is likable

Finally, as common sense would indicate, the larger the actual damages, the greater the pain and suffering damages are likely to be.

If you think you are entitled to whiplash injury compensation, schedule your complimentary consultation with Williams & Williams, LLC by calling 770-823-2711.