Even a minor car accident could cause painful and debilitating injuries. One of the most common injuries in a rear-end collision, for example, is whiplash. Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck, such as tendons and ligaments. Depending on the severity of the tears or injury, whiplash can take weeks to months to heal. Pursuing a car accident injury settlement from the at-fault driver for whiplash may be the only way to recover the costs of medical expenses and lost wages related to whiplash. A settlement may be attainable through an insurance claim in Kansas City.
Is Someone Else Liable?
How to bring an insurance claim for whiplash depends on the state in which you live. Kansas is a no-fault state, while Missouri is a fault state. In a no-fault state, you will seek damage reimbursement after a car accident from your auto insurer, even if you were not at fault. In a fault state, the party at-fault for your wreck will be liable for your damages. You will file a claim with his or her auto insurer. In Missouri, you may have to pay out of pocket if you caused the car accident. In Kansas, your auto insurance company will pay for your losses whether you were at fault or not.
The minimum required amounts of insurance in Missouri are $10,000 in property repairs, $25,000 per person in bodily injury and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury. It is not a requirement to purchase comprehensive or collision coverage. Collision coverage will pay for your damages if you cause an accident, however. After an at-fault collision in Missouri, call your insurance company to find out if you have coverage for your losses. If you need assistance understanding which car insurance company to file your claim with, speak with an accident attorney.
Average Settlements for Whiplash
The settlement amount you may receive for a whiplash injury from an insurance company depends on several factors. First, it will depend on how much insurance the at-fault party purchased. Insurance coverage maximums on another driver’s policy could limit your payout unless your insurance company steps in to fill gaps in coverage. Second, it will depend on the severity of your whiplash injury. How much you receive in compensation will directly correlate to the amount of damages you suffered.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Hospital stays and doctor’s appointments
- Travel expenses
- Surgeries or physical rehabilitation
- Medical equipment such as a neck brace
- Medications and painkillers
- Losses in earned income
- Vehicle damage repairs
- Vehicle replacement
- Rental car costs
Most insurance settlements will cover your medical expenses and property damage repairs. Claimants generally receive between $10,000 and $20,000 for whiplash injuries in the U.S., on average, but this can change significantly depending on the circumstances. If the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable amount, your personal injury lawyer may need to take your whiplash claim to court. A civil lawsuit against the at-fault party may be the only way to achieve a fair amount for your damages in these situations.
How to File a Demand Letter for Whiplash
A whiplash settlement begins with a demand letter. The demand letter outlines how your car accident occurred, what injuries you suffered, proof of these injuries (e.g. a doctor’s note or medical records) and the price of vehicle damages. A demand letter must be well-written and descriptive for the best odds of securing a settlement offer from the insurance company. A lawyer can help you write a demand letter to optimize your odds of obtaining a fair settlement.
A reasonable amount to demand for a whiplash injury after an auto accident depends on the unique factors involved in your case. A car accident attorney can review your case, calculate your damages, estimate your future expenses and draft an accurate demand letter to send to an insurance provider on your behalf. A lawyer can then help you negotiate a fair and full settlement from the insurer. If a settlement is not possible, your attorney can help you take an at-fault party to court in Kansas City.