What is the fastest way to get a cash settlement for whiplash?
Questions like this one could be part of the reason why “whiplash”
injuries aren’t taken all that seriously by insurance adjusters and juries.
This question also raises some important considerations for car accident injury
First off, it’s important to understand that soft tissue
injuries to the neck are very common after a car accident, and they’re just as
valid as any other kind of car accident injury. Though the term “whiplash” has
fallen out of favor in both the legal and medical communities, a “whiplash”-type
injury is often diagnosed as a neck sprain or strain, and it may be described
as a hyperflexion-hyperextension injury. These
injuries can be painful and long-lasting, but they can also be treated
effectively with tools like physical therapy and chiropractic care. Learn more
Accident Neck Injuries.
Having said all that, if
you’re legitimately injured after a car accident, your priority shouldn’t be
getting the “fastest” settlement, and you certainly shouldn’t be expecting a
cash payment (no above-board insurance company is going to pay your settlement
with a stack of 20 dollar bills).
In any kind of injury
claim after an accident, it’s important not to reach a settlement -- which almost
always means signing
a release of your right to any future compensation over the accident --
until you understand the full extent of your injuries and have reached what’s
medical improvement” (MMI). That means you have either recovered completely from your injuries or your
condition has reached a point where you have stabilized and now have a clear picture
of what your future medical care might be including what that future care will cost,
and what kinds of physical limitations or disabilities might be permanent.
Even if you think you only have a soft tissue “whiplash”-type
injury, you need to get proper medical treatment, keep your follow-up
appointments, and take a wait-and-see approach to your injuries and their
effect on your daily life. The last thing you want to do is accept that “fast”
settlement, sign the insurance company’s release, and then be left with no
recourse when your injuries end up being more debilitating and long-lasting
than you thought they would be.
by: David Goguen, J.D.