How much should I settle for a whiplash injury? I have been approached by an insurance company and I have been told that I do not need to make a claim through the Injuries Board or even to use a solicitor.
It is not possible to tell you how much should you settle for a whiplash injury without further information on the severity of your injury. Whiplash injuries can range in severity from a little stiffness in the neck and shoulders to headaches, muscle spasms, lower back pain and in some cases much more severe symptoms.
The recovery time is also difficult to predict, and even relatively minor cases of whiplash can see accident victims suffer pain and discomfort for many months after an accident. Any settlement for a whiplash injury must reflect not only the pain and suffering caused, but also loss of amenity and any costs and expenses that have been incurred as a result of the injury.
It is unlikely that any offer of settlement for a whiplash injury from an insurance company will factor in all aspects of your injury as the insurer is unlikely to be aware of the severity of your injuries. An insurance company will not have access to your medical records and will not have been told about your injuries by your doctor.
The best way to find out how much should you settle for a whiplash injury is to speak with a personal injury solicitor and to describe your symptoms and what your doctor has told you, the circumstances of the accident and what the insurance company has told you.
A solicitor may need to arrange for you to see a whiplash injury specialist to determine the severity and extent of the damages caused and, based on these medical tests and reports, compensation amounts for whiplash can then be accurately calculated. Only when you have been made aware of your maximum entitlement to whiplash injury compensation should you decide whether or not to accept the settlement offer that has been made.
The insurance company has suggested that you do not make a claim or even to seek legal advice and this is not uncommon. Insurance companies stand to make a significant saving by employing this tactic, which is termed third party capture. It is a perhaps unsavoury tactic used by insurance companies to reduce the amount of compensation for whiplash that they are liable to pay and, if an accident victim can be convinced to accept an amount of compensation for whiplash which the insurance company is comfortable with paying, losses can be reduced and company profits increased.
If you want to receive appropriate compensation amounts for whiplash that will cover all aspects of your injuries, it is likely that you will need to make a legal claim for whiplash injury compensation. A solicitor is in the best position to tell you if this will be advisable under the circumstances and if you stand to obtain a higher compensation settlement by doing so.