Whiplash is one of the most serious accidental injuries that can hamper the lifestyle of an individual. Whiplash injuries often cause a lot of inconveniences that may last for an entire lifetime depending on the strength of the impact. The average settlement for a car accident involving a back and neck injury can easily go from anywhere between 9,000 to 250,000 USD. One needs to consider various factors in deciding the final cost of the settlement.
The damage to the car and the physical well-being of the person are two of the biggest factors that govern the overall settlement costs that the defendant needs to pay.
Symptoms of a Rear-End Car Accident Injury
Various serious medical conditions arise from a high impact rear-end collision. If the difference between the speeds of the vehicles in the accident is on the higher end, the person in the front car suffers a direct impact on the neck and back. A heavy spinal injury can leave a person permanently paralyzed for the rest of his/her life.
In case of a low-impact accident, the person can suffer from a temporary dislocation of the vertebral column. Such medical conditions require physical training and guidance for a long period. The whiplash accidents can also affect the knees, head, as well as the shoulders of a person. The impact of the accident in the front car is more serious if the person is not wearing a seatbelt during the collision.
How to Deal with the Financial Damages after a Rear-End Car Accident?
A person requires immediate medical attention after the rear-end car accident. The doctors treating the victims of a severe car accident ensure that the patient does not move a lot after the accident, at least for a couple of weeks. The financial costs incurred in treating the patient form a major part of the settlement claim.
Here are the 5 basic steps that you need to take after a rear-end car accident.
Step 1: Assess the Damages to Your Physical Well-Being
The physical injuries that you suffer in the accident form the major part of your claim. Severe neck and back injury surgeries can easily set you back by several thousand dollars in an instant. Under such cases, you can pay the initial cost of the surgery with your insurance scheme. The insurance company should ideally help you with a major portion of the medical treatment costs. You need to handle other costs.
Generate a medical report for your condition as soon as possible to get the most accurate analysis of your physical condition. A legal team needs to have the right resources to fight your car accident claim case on your behalf.
Step 2: Assess the Damages to Your Vehicle
The second most important component of the claim is the damages incurred to your vehicle in the accident. If your vehicle is damaged beyond repair, the insurance company may consider it totaled and not pay any amount in getting the car fixed. Instead, the insurance company will help you purchase a new car. However, here, most insurance companies do not pay the full amount for purchasing the new car. You can get the necessary financial assistance from the amount of the claims.
In case of minor damages, you don’t need to contact your insurance company for a claim. Instead, you can directly ask for the complete cost of repairs in the settlement amount. However, here is a company that will take their customer claim instantly. You can follow this general car insurance reviews for the satisfaction.
Step 3: File a Police Complaint and Contact a Legal Advisor
As soon as you get out of the hospital, contact a legal advisor and file a police complaint against the other person. If you can, file the police complaint on the same day with the assistance of a friend or a relative. The person who files the police complaint quickly after the accident has a good advantage over the person who waits for several weeks to do so.
Step 4: Assess the Other Financial Costs of the Accident
Once you get in touch a reliable auto accident lawyer, the lawyer will help you assess all the financial costs that may incur in the future regarding your treatments. The expert counseling of the lawyer will have the necessary experience in dealing with multiple auto accident claim cases. Therefore, the lawyer is in an excellent position to identify the right places where you can make a quick claim.
The lawyer can also help you get special economic claims for emotional distress and post-traumatic counseling. He/she can consult the right physician and doctors to get a medical check-up for your condition and help you in generating the right medical reports. The lawyer can also collate all the necessary proof and documentation needed to process the claim faster.
Step 5: Fight for the Claim with Legal Support
After the lawyer collates the necessary documentation and proof, it is time to take the case to trial. Most defendants who know that they are at fault for the accident would not risk going to a trial in front of a jury. Instead, they will want to bring the case to a settlement outside the courtroom. Under such situations, the negotiation power of your lawyer comes into the picture.
The best lawyers know how to use the right tactics for effective negotiation. They know that they have the upper hand in the case and can force the insurance company as well as the defendant to pay more. Ideally, the insurance companies try and keep the overall settlement costs down to the minimum amount for business viability reasons. Therefore, they offer a lucrative but unfair settlement amount to the victim of the accident. A professional auto accident lawyer is familiar with such power play rules and knows how to tackle them effectively.
Damages Included in The Average Settlement for Rear End Car Accident
The overall amount of the settlement consists of different components. Most people fail to realize that they can charge for much more than just the cost of immediate medical treatment. You can file for the following bills as part of the final settlement.
Future Medical Treatment Costs
Your legal advisor will help you get the necessary medical treatments and check-ups from a reliable clinic to get an estimate of the final medical bill. In case of severe back injuries, you might need to opt for physical therapy sessions that go on for a period of 6 months to 3 years regularly. You can file for a higher settlement by taking a fair projection of future medical expenses.
The doctors and the lawyers work cohesively to find the approximate costs of medical treatment that will take place in the future.
Cost of the Pain and Suffering (Unquantifiable Costs)
The best lawyers can help you get a higher settlement package by filing for emotional distress and suffering cost. He/she can help you get in touch with a therapist for a post-traumatic therapy session. The lawyer can then include the final bill of these therapy sessions into the settlement cost.
It is important for you to get this therapy session conducted as quickly as possible because in several cases, the post-traumatic stress hits harder a few days after the accident. A therapist can also help you recall all the finer nuances of the accident so that it helps the lawyer strengthen your case further.
Loss of Income
In severe accidents, you may be bed-ridden for several weeks. This might hamper your ability to function normally which will, in turn, affect your salary. The salaried individuals can file for a loss of income in the overall settlement cost. Therefore, if you cannot work for the next 6 to 8 months, the insurance company of the defendant should pay you your monthly salary. This will help your family resume its lifestyle in the normal mode.
Damages to the Vehicle
The insurance company of the defendant must also take care of the overall cost of repair or replacement of the vehicle.
Damages to Properties
The repair or replacement costs of the damages to the property inside your vehicle is also covered by the insurance agency of the defendant.
Critical Factors That Impact Your Claim’s Settlement Amount
Multiple factors govern the final amount of the settlement. The top 3 factors include:
The Severity of the Accident
The lawyers usually assess the severity of the accident based on the condition of your vehicle and your physical well-being. The lawyers may also collect further evidence from video footage of a nearby CCTV camera or a dashcam.
The Total Medical Expenses
The total amount of medical expenses also governs the final amount of settlement. A relatively minor injury may result in a major physical disability in the long run. For example, small damage to your backbone or spinal cord in a whiplash injury may leave your body paralyzed or severely disabled. Such accidents may also cause unsuspecting hemorrhages that can affect your body at a later point in time.
Conditions of the Accident
In the case of an honest mistake during the accident, such as in a blind turn, the defendant’s insurance company will take up the overall cost of the settlement claim. However, if the defendant is found drunk or driving under the influence of drugs, the insurance company may not pay the full amount. In such cases, the defendant must manage to pay the full amount of the claim in his/her own capacity.
When Should You Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer?
Ideally, you should contact an auto accident lawyer right after the accident takes place. Any delay will weaken your case. Here are a few pointers where you should reach out to an auto accident lawyer immediately.
1. Back Pain
Back, neck and shoulder pain are the key pointers that serve as a warning for the need of a settlement claim. You might not deal with pain immediately after the accident. In some cases, the pain sets in at a much later stage. So, you must contact a lawyer and a doctor immediately when you detect pain in the back, neck, or shoulder. Even minor and inconsequential pain may be a sign of a severe injury at a later stage.
2. Numbness of Foot or Legs
If you feel any kind of numbness in the foot or legs, your spinal cord might have suffered damage due to whiplash. Under such scenarios, you should get a full body check-up to see if you are suffering from a slip disk or a backbone dislocation condition.
3. Problems in Standing Up and Sitting Down
You should take the minor problems in standing up and sitting down as a sign that the injury needs immediate medical attention.
4. Severe Damage to the Vehicle
Seemingly inconsequential damages to your car after the accident may result in its total failure in a short period thereafter. Get your car’s condition analyzed by a professional technician to assess the scope of damage correctly. Contact a lawyer immediately if the damage is significant and visual.
5. As Soon as You Are Hospitalized
If you are hospitalized, you must contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Do not sign any forms before you get a professional lawyer’s opinion. A few hospitals may ask you to sign a liability release form as soon as you are admitted. Once you sign this form, you cannot fight the insurance company for a settlement.
The services of a legal advisor will help you identify the average settlement for a car accident involving a back and neck injury. Contact a professional auto accident lawyer for legal assistance in fighting the case. A reliable legal team can fight the accident settlement case on your behalf and get you a huge sum for settlement even for minor injuries. Most defendants would like to settle the case out of the court in case of a severe accident. Under such circumstances, the negotiating power of your lawyer will determine the overall cost of the settlement. So, choose a professional auto accident legal firm to represent your case at the court.