How Much Will Auto Insurance Pay for Whiplash Symptoms?

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries after a car accident, and auto insurance will usually cover whiplash. But how much auto insurance will pay for whiplash symptoms depends on the auto insurance policy of the at-fault driver. Minor whiplash symptoms can receive compensation between $2,500-$10,000, but severe whiplash symptoms can receive settlements exceeding $30,000. Read our guide to learn more about how much car insurance will pay for whiplash symptoms in your state.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2022

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Whiplash is one of the most common types of car accident injuries. After a car accident, you might be entitled to receiving significant compensation for your whiplash treatment.

How much money can you expect to receive from a car insurance company for whiplash symptoms? What types of whiplash treatment will a car insurance company cover for whiplash? Will car insurance cover physical therapy, chiropractic care, and other expenses for whiplash? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about how much auto insurance will pay for whiplash symptoms.

How Whiplash Injuries Work

One of the trickiest parts of a car accident is to accurately assess the full extent of your injuries. Sometimes, you might feel completely pain-free after an accident – only for debilitating neck and back pain to appear weeks after an accident.

In other cases, you might feel severe whiplash symptoms immediately after an accident – only for those whiplash symptoms to disappear after 1 to 2 weeks.

Most whiplash-type injuries disappear within a week. Even the most serious whiplash injuries will not have symptoms past 3 to 6 months. However, a rare few whiplash injuries are more serious, leading to stiffness, pain, and mobility issues for years in the future.

If your whiplash symptoms last longer than three months, then you are likely experiencing something more serious than a standard whiplash injury. Lengthy whiplash symptoms could indicate that you have suffered damage to your cervical spine (your C1 to C7 vertebrae), including damage to the joints and discs in between those vertebrae. Lengthy whiplash symptoms could also indicate damage to your cervical muscles, cervical ligaments, or the nerve roots around your neck.

For all of these reasons, it’s crucial for you to get an accurate diagnosis for your whiplash symptoms. Neck pain that lasts weeks after a car accident should not be dismissed as “just” whiplash that will quickly go away.

Get an accurate diagnose of your neck and back injuries after a car accident. These bills could provide crucial evidence in a future personal injury lawsuit or car insurance claim.

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How to Make a Car Insurance Claim for a Whiplash Injury

With most car accidents, the at-fault party is required to pay for the medical bills of the not-at-fault party.

Let’s say someone slammed into your vehicle from behind at an intersection, causing your head to whip forward and creating enormous pressure on your neck. You have bad whiplash injuries, and you deserve compensation. In this situation, the other party may be 100% at-fault, and you may be entitled to having 100% of your medical bills covered by the other driver.

If the other driver is at fault, then the other driver’s insurance company will cover your medical bills up to the limits of the other driver’s insurance policy.

If the other driver does not have insurance, or if your medical bills exceed the limits of the other driver’s insurance policy, then you have two options: first, you can use your own uninsured or underinsured driver insurance to cover your remaining expenses; or, second, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver to cover any remaining damages.

What about if you live in a no-fault state? In a no-fault state, your own car insurance would be used to cover your medical bills, including your medical payments coverage or your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. 12 states in America are no-fault states. Even in these states, however, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the at-fault party – say, by filing a personal injury claim.

How Much Can I Expect to Receive from Car Insurance for a Whiplash Injury?

How much compensation can you expect to receive after experiencing a whiplash injury?

Settlement values can vary widely. The more serious your whiplash injury is, the more compensation you can expect to receive.

A mild to moderate whiplash injury, for example, can lead to an average settlement of between $2,500 and $10,000.

A more serious case of whiplash, however, could require extensive physical therapy and massage therapy to make your body whole again. This could lead to a settlement as high as $30,000.

Certain neck injuries after a car accident are more than just whiplash: they involve damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, nerves, muscles, and other components of the spine. For neck injuries that go beyond soft tissue damage, you could end up with a settlement of over $100,000.

Ultimately, car insurance settlement payouts for a whiplash injury vary widely depending on your situation, your location, the extent of your injuries, and a number of other factors.

When to Speak with an Attorney for Whiplash Injury Compensation

An attorney can help you decide if you should pursue a personal injury claim after a car accident. If you have suffered serious neck or back injuries after a car accident, then it may be in your best interest to speak with a personal injury lawyer.

You should especially speak with a personal injury lawyer is your insurance company is refusing to cover your whiplash claims or is refusing to take your claim seriously.

Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. Consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer today to ensure you receive adequate compensation for your whiplash injuries after a car accident.

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