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What is the Average Settlement for Whiplash in Florida?

on  Car Accidents

The average settlement for whiplash in Florida is somewhere between $10,000 and $100,000. However, in cases of severe, life-altering injuries, the average settlement can escalate dramatically, often falling between $1 million and $5 million.

Because Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Florida covers most whiplash injuries, a jury award may not reach the millions. That being said, the right personal injury lawyer can build a solid case and help you collect maximum compensation after suffering a whiplash injury. You won’t know how much your whiplash injury is worth unless you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. 

At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys, PA, we understand that no two whiplash injury cases are ever quite the same. Each injury is unique, affecting victims in vastly different ways. That’s why we take the time to learn about your accident, your injuries, and your story. We want to know how your injury has affected you and your quality of life. This is just one way we can build a stronger case to help you collect the money you need and deserve after a crash. 

Understanding Whiplash and Its Impact

Whiplash is a type of neck injury that commonly occurs during car accidents. This injury results when the head is suddenly jerked backward and forward, mimicking the lash of a whip. Whiplash can vary in severity, from mild discomfort to severe, debilitating pain. It’s not limited to car accidents; high-impact sports like football, boxing, gymnastics, and snowboarding can also cause whiplash.

  • Each year, over three million Americans suffer from whiplash injuries.
  • Sadly, around 300,000 of these individuals experience disabilities as a result.
  • After a whiplash injury, the neck takes 17 weeks to stabilize.
  • Nearly half (45%) of those injured by whiplash still experience symptoms 12 weeks later.
  • Symptoms of whiplash often don’t manifest until weeks or even months after the injury.
  • About 7% of whiplash sufferers cannot return to their jobs after their injury.
  • Recovery time before returning to work is often at least eight weeks for most victims.

Whiplash can affect your entire life, affecting your ability to work, engage in daily activities, and enjoy a pain-free existence. It’s important to recognize the seriousness of this condition and the extended recovery period it often requires. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with a whiplash injury, remember that the journey to recovery can be a gradual process, and seeking appropriate medical and legal advice is crucial for a better outcome.

Calculating Settlements for Whiplash Injuries in Florida

Whiplash can range in severity from a few days of discomfort to permanent, long-lasting pain and discomfort.  It can be difficult to know what your whiplash case should be worth since they differ from case to case.  

First, it is important to talk to a doctor about your injury to get a good idea of how severe the injury is and what your prognosis is like. Some whiplash injuries may involve more severe spinal cord injuries or lasting effects you need to get treated. 

Second, you should keep records of all expenses from the injury and the pain and suffering you face to help calculate damages. When calculating damages, your car accident lawyer will usually focus on three major categories of damages.  

  • Medical Expenses: You can collect damages for any medical expenses you paid because of the injury.  This can include medical imaging, doctor’s visits, chiropractor appointments, rehabilitation, medical devices (e.g., neck braces), and other expenses. 

You can use multiple tools and pieces of evidence at your disposal to determine the actual amount of damages you should be entitled to. The hospital bills you receive can provide a simple way to calculate the medical expenses you face. The sum total of these bills should be incorporated 100% into the damages you receive.

  • Lost Wages & Income: You can claim damages for any miss you worked. If you cannot go back to work or must take a lower-paying job because of your injuries, you can also claim those lost future wages.  

Pay stubs, bank accounts, and tax forms can demonstrate your typical wages. You can use your missed work days to calculate what you should be entitled to in lost wages. If the injury reduces your earning potential, a financial expert can help calculate the damages you should receive. 

  • Pain and Suffering: In many cases, you could be entitled to damages for your pain and suffering, alongside intangible things like emotional distress. These damages are difficult to calculate but primarily depend on the severity and length of your injury.

Your personal experiences and the damages received in other peoples’ similar cases help calculate what you are entitled to for pain and suffering damages. Your personal injury attorney will work with you to gather evidence to prove your pain and suffering. 

How to Maximize a Whiplash Settlement

Dealing with a whiplash injury can be both physically and emotionally taxing. If you’re seeking compensation after a whiplash injury in Florida, there are steps you can take to help maximize your settlement or award. 

  • Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Prioritize your health. Immediate medical evaluation not only aids in your recovery but also provides a documented record of your injury, which is vital for your claim.
  • Follow Medical Advice Rigorously: Follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan. Consistent medical care is a clear indication of the impact the whiplash has had on your life. Insurance companies will look to see if you filled medications, attended therapies, and followed up with your doctor. If you don’t, they’ll use this to reduce your claim. 
  • Document Everything: Keep a detailed record of all medical visits, treatments, and any out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury. Additionally, document how the injury affects your daily life, including work absences, routine tasks you can no longer perform, and its impact on your overall quality of life.
  • Gather Evidence: Collect as much evidence as possible. This includes medical reports, photographs of the accident scene (if applicable), witness statements, and anything else that can substantiate your claim.
  • Avoid Early Settlement Offers: Insurance companies often offer a quick settlement to close the case. While tempting, these offers are typically much lower than you might be entitled to. It’s important to fully understand the extent of your injury and its long-term implications before considering any offer.
  • Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney: A knowledgeable attorney can provide invaluable guidance. They understand the intricacies of whiplash cases and can negotiate effectively on your behalf, ensuring that the settlement offer reflects the true extent of your injury and its impact on your life.
  • Consider Future Costs: Ensure that your settlement accounts for not just current medical expenses but also potential future costs, such as ongoing therapy, medication, and any possible long-term effects.
  • Be Wary of Social Media: Be cautious about what you post on social media. Insurance companies may monitor your online activity to find evidence suggesting your injury is less severe than claimed.

Settling a Whiplash Case Vs. Suing in Court

When you take your injury case to court, you can claim the full amounts for all damages. Judges and juries may award additional damages to injury victims to punish the at-fault party.  These damages are rare in court, but you will almost certainly never receive them in a settlement. In addition, a settlement may not cover 100% of the damages for medical bills and lost wages, and it may exclude pain and suffering damages entirely.

Insurance payouts often fail to cover pain and suffering. What they do cover for medical expenses and lost wages are often reduced to a certain percentage of the damages or may simply include lower offers to try to save the at-fault party and the insurance company money.

In many cases, the total damages you receive by taking your case to court could be higher than what you receive in a settlement. The defendant must pay court and attorney fees, so they often try to settle the case to avoid those expenses. Early settlements may be low offers that fail to account for your needs. 

Ultimately, you should talk to an attorney before accepting any settlements.  The choice of whether to take the settlement or press the case in court is your decision – not your lawyer’s – but your attorney can help guide you through the decision.

If you received your whiplash injury in a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident, you may be limited in your ability to sue in court.  Florida’s no-fault car accident laws only allow you to take your injury case to court if it is worth more than $10,000 or if the injuries are permanent.  Talk to an attorney about whether your case qualifies for a lawsuit in the first place.

Miami Whiplash Injury Attorney Offering Free Consultations

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident or another accident and faced serious whiplash injuries, talk to an attorney today.  Prosper Shaked represents the victims of whiplash injuries and other serious injuries and fights to get them the compensation they need after an accident.  
For a free consultation on your case and for help understanding what your case is worth, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676.