Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Attorney Arnold Hernandez

Car accidents, bus accidents, dog attacks, wrongful death, other injury accidents

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California Whiplash Injury Settlements

Whiplash Injury Settlements

A typical call to our office is to discuss a car crash claim and to get an idea of what the personal injury settlement amount would be for a whiplash injury that can be obtained by a whiplash lawyer. A seemingly simple question that any auto accident law firm should be able to answer, but the personal injury settlement amount varies greatly from person to person. There is no set rule for whiplash settlements and there is really no whiplash lawyer, just as there is really no auto accident law firm, or truck accident law firm, or motorcycle accident law firm, or brain injury law firm, or any specific type of injury. A personal injury law firm handles all of these cases and the same law firm gets different result for similar whiplash injury claims. A whiplash settlment for one person can be radically different for what appears to be the same injury. Read on for more specific range of values for typical whiplash settlements.

Whiplash Symptoms

The symptoms of a whiplash injury are very typical. The whiplash symptoms do not manifest as you would expect. Following a rear end collision most people feel little if any whiplash injury pain. What is very typical after a rear end collision is headaches. The rear end collision victim will often feel headaches, maybe weak legs, and probably nothing else. Chances are you will have no whiplash symptoms for a couple of hours. The whiplash pain discomfort comes a few hours later and especially the next day when most people have difficulty getitng out of bed. A whiplash injury is very similar to working out at the gym. A vigorous workout may result in no pain, but several hours later the damage to the body manifests. This is very typical of a whiplash injury, the whiplash injury will not manifest for very hours. Typical whiplash syptoms are severe neck pain, shoulder pain, and upper back pain. It is generally very difficult to move your neck and just about everything around your neck, and sometimes all along your spine, hurts. The whiplash symptoms can include headaches especially to the back of the head.

Whiplash Injury Definition

A whiplash injury is typically caused following a car crash. The body literally behaves like a whip with the spine often being forced out of alingment, specially the cervical spine (the neck area). A whiplash injury settlement is essentially an agreement to settle a whiplash injury claim informally instead of at trial. It is a compromise between the defendant and the plaintiff. There is a winner in a whiplash injury settlement, but no one will ever know if the defendant or plaintiff is getting the better deal, because trials can go in many different directions. The true value of a whiplash injury settlement can only be determined at trial. Typically a whiplash injury is called a soft tissue injury, where muscles are stretched and torn. The tissue is stretched beyond its limits and causes pain and discomfort for several months, some claim the injury remains even after a year. The injuries cannot be identified with objective exams such as X-rays. X-rays cause more harm than good in whiplash injuries, because X-rays are really used to diagnose bone injuries and basically go right through the soft tissue.

Whiplash Treatment

Whiplash treatment varies depending on your preference from chiropractric care, to physical therapy, to swimming, acupuncturist, to rest and prescriptions. Chiropractors treat a lot of the whiplash injuries, but the best benefit is generally from massage and not the manipulation that is often a part of the chiropractic care. Some individuals feel whiplash treatment from chiropractors is exceptional and in many cases get great relief from pain and discomfort. There is also some research which suggests that immediate chiropractric treatment is the best way to recovery faster. Massage is often part of many treatments for whiplash injuries. The type of treatment best suited for any particular individual varies, but massage as a whiplash treatment tends to be well received by all whiplash injury victims. Physical therapy is often prescribed by medical doctors to speed up the healing process and to reduce the pain. Pain killers and muscle relaxants are almost alway sprescribed by medical doctors, but are not necessarily well received by all patients and is probably one of the biggest reasons why chiropractors are popular. Acupunture and even swimming have also been way obtaining relief from the pain and discomfort that follows a whiplash injury

Whiplash Injury Settlement Value Factors

The value of a whiplash injury depends on many factors and can range quite a bit. The whiplash settlement value is impacted by such factors as (1)the severity of the injuries, (2)the damage to the vehicle, (3) the conduct of the defendant following the accident, (4)the conduct of the defendant that led to the car crash such as drinking, drug use, and cell phone use, (5) the length of treatment, (6) the type of medical treatment, (7)the prescription and use of pain killers and muscle relaxants, (8)the loss of income if any, (9) the medical expenses,(10)and even the occupation of the injured party. Seemingly unimportant factors such as the injured party's personality and zipcode can impact the value of the whiplash injury settlement. Some people are more likeable than others and discrimination still exists, so gender, age, race, sur names, and the color of your skin will influence the value of your case . For the most part attorneys look at the objective evidence and set aside the biases that are common to the particular geographic location where the case would be heard if it were to go to trial. Experienced attorneys can value whiplash injury claims fairly accurately and quicly after review of medical records, an interview, and analyzes of the facts.

Whiplash Injury Settlement Value Relative To Other Spine Injuries

Some personal injury attorneys will pursue claims regardless of whether it is a whiplash claim, car crash claim, thoracic disc herniation, herniated disc lawsuit, or a bulging disc surgery claim, and pursue the claim as far as necessary including trial. Some attorneys withdraw from the case and some reach settlements. Whiplash settlements are generally smaller than amounts for other personal injuries compensation settlements. A whiplash injury settlement does not compare to a herniated disc settlement, thoracic herniated disk settlement, lumber herniated disk, herniated spine, or a herniated cervical disk. These cases result in greater settlements than typical whiplash settlements, because the injuries are simply bigger.

Bulging Disc and Herniated Disc Settlements

There are other factors that affect the value of a whiplash injury settlement. A herniated disk surgery case is a more severe injury than a bulging cervical disc and it is unlikely that there would be a bulging disc surgery. A herniated disk also varies in severity, some are worse than others. The ruptured disc treatment may be physical therapy or it may be surgery or injections. Not all herniated disks are the same, and the pain and damage depends on the disc protrusion, meaning how much of the soft gelatin like substance is escaping from the disk. This disc protrusion is measured in millimeters. Personal injuries claims are very unique to the individual person that suffered the injury and the only way to get a fair estimate is to first review the medical evidence, the physical evidence, and to obtain background information about the person making the injury claim.

Whiplash settlements are not always smaller injuries and can turn into a disk herniation claims. The term whiplash is associated with the way the body is forced to go back and then forward and then back again. When this occurs greater pressure is forced to the disc on the neck. A herniated disk of the neck is common in a severe car crash claim. Severe car crashes are are not very common, but even so auto accident settlements should not be made until the injury victim has undergone a course of treatment, which may take several months to a year. Once the injury victim sees no further improvement then a personal injury insurance settlement can be negotiated.

Typical Whiplash Injury Settlements

Whiplash settlements are more often than not a fuction of the severity of the injuries and surrounding circumnstances. The range is typically from a few hundred dollars to somewhere in the mid teens. Whiplash injury settlements above 10,000 are not as common as settlements under 10,000. In fact according to California judges and attorneys the average whiplash judgment is around $9,000. The high end is in the mid teens around 15-17,000. These injury claims are typically accompanied by well documented wage loss claims; significant physcial evidence such as a vehicle that is totalled; significant medical expenses in the 10,000 range provided by medical facilities with significant physical therapy and minimal or no chiropractic intervention; signficant injuries, such as a bulging disc; pain killer and muscle relaxant prescriptions for about 60 days or so; diligent efforts on the part of the platiniff to mitigate damages; and offensive defendant conduct such as driving under the influence and a resulting DUI conviction. There is no set rule for whiplash settlements and the value of the case depends on many factors. Trial verdicts can result in a very large variety of verdicts ranging from 0 to $1 million. There are several documented whiplash injury verdicts in the $100,000 range ! And there are whiplash injury claims that have resulted in $0 !

Secret Factors That Determine A Whiplash Injury Settlements

Less well known factoRs that impact the value of the case are the reputation of the attorney and the quality of the client. If you have no attorney, you are not likely to do as well as when you have an attorney with a good reputation. If you are a very likable, intelligent, and nice person your case is likely worth more. An attorney works harder for good people, juries award more to good people, and insurance attorneys know when your good personality will bring a better verdict. Greedy claimants exagerating their injuries and attempting to mislead experienced attorneys come across as greedy deceiptful people. The secret to goo whiplash injury settlements is not a secret at all. Good lawyers and good people get better results, plaint and simple.

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949-955-3566 Orange County

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