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Whiplash Injuries and Settlements

Whiplash InjuriesWhiplash is one of the most common injuries you can get from car accidents, especially rear-end collisions. Unfortunately, it is also one of the worst compensated types of injury.

Because whiplash is very difficult to prove, juries tend to award very low amounts for claims. Victims often feel cheated because the pain and suffering can be great in comparison to the settlement they receive. However, unless someone on the jury has personally experienced whiplash, it is difficult for a jury to understand how severe whiplash can be.

Meeting the Burden of Proof for Whiplash Claims

A jury needs reasonable proof that an injury deserves compensation. Many personal injury firms will reject whiplash cases because settlements tend to be low and the injury can be difficult to prove in court.

Traditional methods to show proof of injuries often do not work in whiplash cases. X-rays, for example, will be useless in showing damage, because whiplash only damages internal soft tissue. By having an x-ray done, whiplash victims can sometimes hurt their own case, because when shown to a jury, the damage is not visible. The real injury to the soft tissue cannot be demonstrated in an x-ray or another visual medium.

Another way that victims tend to lower their settlements unintentionally is by going for treatment at a chiropractor. Insurance carriers will start by offering a lower settlement if the victim has visited a chiropractor instead of an orthopedist or another doctor because they know that chiropractors are valued less in court.

Although chiropractors may be appreciated by many people, some people do not trust a chiropractor’s opinion as much as they would a doctor’s opinion. This may seem unfair, but jurors will be affected by their own preconceived opinions. If there is one juror who thinks that chiropractic services are pseudoscience, a victim can lose all chance of being awarded a settlement.

The only way to persuade a jury to take a whiplash claim seriously is through objective evidence. Several weeks of physical therapy or prescribed medication from a medical doctor and other evidence such as hospital visits that tend to support a significant injury will go much farther than subjective claims of pain.

Another common way juries are convinced of whiplash injuries is if the defendant seems less trustworthy than the victim. For example, if the accident was caused by the defendant’s use of illegal drugs or if the defendant had been drinking and driving, juries tend to be more sympathetic towards the victim. However, it is still important to support any claims of whiplash with further objective proof of injury.

Have You Been Injured in a Georgia Car Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by another party’s negligence, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 855-GA-INJURY or 404-991-5950 to schedule your free consultation.

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From the first time I called them to the current status of my case, has been by my side through it all. I would like to thank everyone in Van Sant Law for answering any questions that I have in a timely manner. I can personally say, Everyone in deserves recognition for being honest, hard working, ethical, logical, dedicated people. The only reason I rated them 5 stars is because it would not let me go higher! Hilary
I was in a car accident with a tractor trailer two years ago and David Van Sant came highly recommended for someone I could talk to about the situation. Best decision I've ever made! He fought for me in ways that was truly amazing. David and his crew worked so hard to come to a great conclusion on my case. Thank you David, Michael and everyone in the office. Mary
Attorney David M. VanSant is one of the best injury trial attorneys here in the Atlanta area. They are precise and unique in their approach. When I had my car accident, my whole world was turned upside down, but with Attorney VanSant and his team of professionals dedication and quality of service, my life is back on track. Let the VanSant team handle your case! You're in good hands. Crystal