Whiplash is defined as “a non-medical term used to describe neck pain following an injury to the soft tissues of the neck (specifically ligaments, tendons and muscles)”. It is important to note that damages in a whiplash case are normally on the small side. Therefore, if your injury has been diagnosed as whiplash or neck strain or sprain it is generally not a severe injury. This is mainly because whiplash does not involve an injury to the intervertebral discs. So the claim is not expected to be a big one. However, when coming up with the value of a car accident case the first thing to do is to add up your economic damages, these include your medical bills and lost earnings. This is the first main category in a car accident damages case. The second main category is non-economic damages which includes compensation for pain and suffering.
One common question asked with regards to whiplash cases is how to value pain and suffering in a workplace case. This is done by the use of a multiplier as part of the car accident settlement formula. The multiplier is where insurance companies calculate pain and suffering as being worth some multiple of your economic damages. The multiplier could be anywhere from 1.5 to 4. However, in the event your case goes to trial the jury will not use the multiplier calculation. With a jury there are a number of factors that come into play that either decrease or increase a damages award. Some of these factors include but are not limited to the following:
- If the plaintiff is a good or bad witness
- Whether the plaintiff is believable
- If the jury understand the plaintiff’s injuries
- The nature and the extent of the plaintiff’s medical treatment
- The method of medical treatment the plaintiff used