Whiplash is a common result of a car crash, especially rear-end collisions. When hit from behind, a person’s head is pushed forward, sometimes beyond the normal range of motion, before the head snaps back in dramatic fashion, much like a whip. This violent back-and-forth can tear or stretch ligaments and muscles in the neck and upper back, which can lead to a host of complications, including headaches and stiffness in the neck. These complications are called whiplash,” and it is a debilitating injury.
If someone else was at fault for the accident, you can try to negotiate a settlement for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But how long does it take?
There is no standard timeline. Everything will depend on the unique facts of your case. Let’s take a look at the questions you should ask.
Under Nevada law, the motorist who is at fault for the collision will be responsible for paying compensation to victims. All motorists should have liability insurance, which kicks in when a driver causes an accident. But this liability insurance doesn’t pay for the insured’s injuries. Instead, it pays compensation to the people victimized by the driver’s negligence.
As you can see, it matters enormously who is at fault. If you are at fault, then the other driver’s insurance company will not pay you compensation.
Fault is sometimes in dispute. For example, you might have been rear-ended, but you didn’t use a turn signal to notify the driver behind you that you would be braking and slowing down. In this example, the insurance companies might dispute who is really to blame for the collision that caused whiplash.
When fault is in dispute, insurers must engage in an investigation, which can take time. Insurance adjusters might visit the crash scene, talk to witnesses, and search for dashcam or surveillance video. If there is no dispute over fault, then a case can settle much faster.
Nevada does recognize the concept of comparative fault. This means that both parties might be partially to blame for the accident. In Nevada, any negligence on a victim’s part can reduce the amount of compensation they receive. If they were primarily responsible for the accident, then they will probably not receive compensation.
Whiplash can range from relatively mild to severe. With mild whiplash, symptoms can clear up in a couple of months with painkillers, rest, and massage. A person might not miss any work in the process.
More severe whiplash can last for over a year. It might require surgery, depending on the extent of damage to ligaments and cervical bones. Surgery brings a host of other complications which can sideline a patient.
The amount of time it takes to recover matters for purposes of your injury settlement. Generally, our lawyers like to wait until a client has reached maximum medical improvement before negotiating a settlement. At that point, we fully understand how much your medical care has cost and how much you have lost in wages. This certainly makes it easier to negotiate. When future medical expenses are unknown, then there is a lot of uncertainty.
If you suffered a very serious whiplash, your attorney might recommend waiting to settle your claim so that your full expenses are known.
At Ladah Law Firm, we have sat across the negotiating table from every large insurer in the state. Some are more motivated to settle claims than others. If the insurer is willing to offer a fair settlement that fully compensates for our client’s economic and non-economic losses, we are happy to recommend that you accept it.
Some insurers are far less willing to offer fair compensation. Especially when it comes to pain and suffering, some insurers will try to minimize your injuries, in addition to laying some of the fault for the accident on your own shoulders.
When an insurance company fully resists our offers, we have no choice but to file a lawsuit in court and seek compensation that way. Going to court is rarely ideal, but we can do it if necessary. Lawsuits can take over a year to conclude.
The personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas have helped many motorists with whiplash. Please contact us today at 702-252-0055 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We will discuss how long we expect it to take to settle your claim.