Whiplash Grade 0 to 3: What Goes Into Calculating the Compensation?
More than 1.5 million people in America are injured in car accidents each year. These crashes can cause a long list of injuries, including broken bones, organ damage, soft tissue injuries, burns, and cranial trauma. Whiplash is among the most common injuries people sustain in accidents. It’s often the result of rear-end collisions though any type of collision can cause it.
Taking a Closer Look at Whiplash
Whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully jerked backward and then forward. That motion damages the muscles, vertebra, and other tissues in the neck. Symptoms of this type of injury can include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, and ringing in the ears.
People often experience back and shoulder tenderness and tingling or numbness in their neck or arms as a result of whiplash as well. When whiplash occurs, contacting a car accident lawyer can improve your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries.
When determining the severity of whiplash and the compensation to which accident victims are entitled, the courts use a grading system. Four grades of whiplash have been established ranging from 0 to 3. Each one is more severe than the last.
Grade 0 – At Grade 0, victims experience little to no pain or other noticeable signs of injury. They may still be injured, but the symptoms aren’t immediately evident.
Grade 1 – Grade 1 whiplash consists of mild injuries. Those may include minor neck pain and stiffness.
Grade 2 – Grade 2 whiplash involves moderate injuries. Victims may experience neck pain and show signs of injury that are visible on X-rays.
Grade 3 – At Grade 3, whiplash symptoms are severe. Pain can be accompanied by weakness, tingling, or numbness. Those symptoms may indicate nerve damage.
In some cases, whiplash symptoms arise shortly after an accident. Other times, they may take days or weeks to become evident. It’s always best to seek medical care as soon as possible after an accident to ensure any resulting injuries are properly addressed.
Calculating Compensation for Whiplash
Compensation for whiplash injuries is calculated based on several factors. Those include the grading system mentioned above that indicates the severity of a victim’s injuries. Other considerations also come into play.
Whiplash compensation generally includes medical expenses stemming from the accident that caused it. That encompasses not only emergency treatment but also follow-up visits, physical therapy, and medications. Any related medical care your doctor feels may be necessary in the future is likely to be factored into the equation as well.
If you miss time from work because of whiplash, your compensation may also cover that aspect. Current and future lost wages may be included in the calculations. If you’re able to work but unable to return to the job you had before the accident, the court will take that into consideration as well.
Pain and Suffering
You may be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering as well. This category of damages is more difficult to calculate than others because it doesn’t involve tangible losses. Pain and suffering may include anxiety, depression, PTSD, and insomnia caused by the accident and your injuries.
Receiving Compensation for Whiplash Injuries
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries people sustain in car crashes. It affects the neck, but its effects can radiate into the head, back, and shoulders. It’s graded on a scale of 0 to 3 based on the severity of the symptoms victims experience and their severity.
Compensation for whiplash injuries is based on the grading scale as well as other factors, including pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses. Keep in mind that each case is unique, so compensation won’t be the same for everyone. Seeking help from a personal injury lawyer can improve your chances of receiving the compensation you’re entitled to.