Whiplash is a relatively common car accident injury. This does not, however, make it any easier for patients to live with or recover from whiplash. Whiplash can be a particularly painful injury that makes it difficult to move the head and neck. Someone with whiplash may need physical therapy, pain medications, neck collars and other medical treatments to heal. A patient may also need to take time off work during recovery.
If someone else caused the victim’s whiplash, that person may owe compensation for damages such as medical expenses and lost wages. An insurance settlement in Hollywood could reimburse the victim for his or her damages.
PIP for Whiplash Injuries
The ability of a victim to recover financial compensation for whiplash does not depend on liability for the auto accident in Florida. Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Insurance companies expect their policyholders to come to them for accident coverage regardless of fault. A victim with whiplash will seek damage recovery from his or her insurance provider even if someone else caused the collision.
A driver’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will cover damages for an injury such as whiplash in Florida. The minimum required amount of PIP insurance in Florida is $10,000. PIP insurance provides compensation to cover expenses related to a driver’s personal injuries, regardless of whether that driver caused the accident. The minimum required amount of PIP may be enough to reimburse the claimant for all expenses related to his or her whiplash injury. If not, the patient may be able to pursue a settlement from another party’s insurance provider.
In Florida, the only time a car accident victim may file a civil lawsuit for damages is if his or her injury fulfills the legal definition of significant. A significant injury is one that causes permanent scarring, disfigurement, disability, immobility or pain. If a whiplash injury meets these parameters, the victim may have grounds to go outside the no-fault system and bring a civil claim against the at-fault party. This could result in a higher settlement award or jury verdict for the claimant’s damages.
Factors That May Affect Settlement Value
It is difficult to calculate an average settlement for whiplash in Florida since no two whiplash cases are the same. An insurance company will carefully review each claim and determine a settlement award – if any – based on the unique factors of the case. The claimant’s diagnosis, specific losses and whether he or she hired an attorney could all impact the final value of a settlement award in Hollywood.
- The severity of the whiplash injury
- How long the injury will foreseeably affect the patient
- Amount of lost wages and earning opportunities
- How much the injury impacted the victim
- Price of past and future medical care
- Fault or liability for the injury
- The limits of the insurance policy
Most insurance settlements for whiplash in Florida will not include an amount to cover pain and suffering or other intangible damages. These types of compensation awards will only be available if the car accident survivor has grounds to file a lawsuit outside of the insurance system.
How Much Is Your Case Worth?
If you recently suffered whiplash in an auto accident in Hollywood, ask a car accident attorney about the potential value of your case. An attorney can review the factors your specific case involves and search for signs of another party’s negligence. Negligence could help you achieve a settlement or verdict award if your lawyer needs to file outside the no-fault system.
A lawyer may also be able to maximize your settlement amount through aggressive negotiations with an insurance company. Your attorney will consider lost wages, treatment costs and the severity of your whiplash injury when determining a fair settlement. If you need to seek compensation outside of PIP insurance, your attorney can help you take your whiplash case to court in Hollywood.