What Is the Average Payout for Whiplash?

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If you’ve been suffering with the pain and incapacity of whiplash after a car accident, there is no way to predict how much you might receive in compensation. The factors that determine a payout depend very much on the individual circumstances surrounding the collision and your condition.

However, a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney at our firm can help you receive the compensation you deserve. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the case to determine a fair settlement amount.

Whiplash accidents

Whiplash occurs when a car is rear-ended. This usually happens at low speed, at 10 miles per hour or less, but the result can be weeks or months of pain for the affected individual.

The affected vehicles may not show any real damage from the crash, other than perhaps a small dent.

Because whiplash frequently occurs after a relatively minor collision, it illustrates the importance of always seeking prompt medical attention after a car accident.

Whiplash symptoms may not appear until up to 48 hours afterward, but failure to go to a doctor for an examination right away can harm your claim.

The insurance company might allege your injuries were not due to the crash, or that they derive from a pre-existing condition.

Because whiplash can occur after even a minor accident, a motorist must report every accident to the police, even if they do not initially believe they were hurt, and their vehicle does not appear damaged. Failing to report means the victim has little chance of a settlement.


Whiplash receives its name because the head and neck, upon impact, are violently jolted, much like the cracking of a whip. However, it is formally known as cervical acceleration-deceleration or CAD.

The muscles, tendons, and ligaments are stretched during CAD, causing strains or sprains. For some individuals, the pain and limited mobility associated with whiplash will respond to conservative treatment such as icing, the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and physical therapy.

Others may find themselves dealing with long-term effects from the accident and the need for injections or even surgery to find relief.  A small percentage suffer permanent disability or chronic pain.

Besides neck pain and stiffness, whiplash symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Pain or numbness in the arms
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Back spasms
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Nausea

The impact of the crash may harm not only the soft tissues, as is typical with whiplash, but also result in fractures or ruptured or herniated discs.

Factors affecting compensation

The bottom line is that whiplash compensation is what both sides agree is a fair settlement. While some whiplash cases may go to trial, this is the exception and not the rule.

Factors that may influence the settlement include:

  • Medical treatment length
  • Type of treatment – requiring surgical treatment is likely to lead to a larger settlement than solely non-invasive procedures.
  • Impact on daily life
  • Ability to work
  • Vehicle damage

Age and the victim’s prior health status may also contribute to the settlement amount.

Whiplash damages

Compensation, or damages, for whiplash injuries may include:

  • Medical expenses, current, and future
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Contact a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer

If you or someone you know suffered a whiplash injury due to another driver’s negligence, contact an experienced Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyer at Chaffin Luhana. Since we offer a free consultation, contact us online or call or text 24/7 to schedule an appointment.

Our dedicated attorneys have recovered more than $1 billion for clients in settlements and verdicts. Because we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless we win.