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How Are Whiplash Injury Settlements Calculated?

November 14, 2022

Car accidents happen on roads and highways all around the country every day.

Many accident victims who suffered injuries have neck and back complaints.

One of these complaints often turns out to be whiplash. While common in rear-end accidents, whiplash can also occur in many other auto accidents.

However, some insurance companies don’t take whiplash injuries as seriously as they should.

That sometimes leads the claims adjuster to offer a whiplash injury settlement for much less than your claim is worth.

If you sustained a whiplash injury in New Mexico or Texas, contact the skilled car accident lawyers at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C.

Reach us online or call (800) 433-2408 for a free consultation.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash injuries occur when your head suddenly moves backward and forward rapidly due to an impact.

While most whiplash injuries occur in auto accidents, they can also happen to people playing contact sports or engaging in high-risk activities.

Examples include football, snowboarding, gymnastics, and boxing.

Common Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash injuries can be minor, moderate, or severe. Some people’s whiplash may resolve quickly.

However, many others suffer pain and mobility issues for months or even years after the incident that caused their injury.

Often, insurance adjusters don’t want to extend a fair settlement for whiplash injuries.

What Is the Average Whiplash Settlement Amount?

Unfortunately, there are no average whiplash lawsuit settlement amounts we can share.

That’s because no two claims are alike and everyone’s injuries and recovery period look different.

Your experience with whiplash might differ entirely from someone else’s—even if the accidents that caused both injuries were similar.

Rather than focus on potential averages, speak to an experienced car accident lawyer who can tell you what your case could be worth.

Factors That Impact a Whiplash Settlement

Various factors impact the potential payout for a whiplash injury. Even similar injuries can result in vastly different settlement amounts.

Once you understand how these factors influence your claim value, it becomes clear why calculating an average settlement amount is not likely to be very accurate or helpful.

Whiplash Severity

The first factor is the severity of your injuries. Consider someone with mild whiplash who recovered after two months of conservative physical therapy.

Their claim value is likely lower than that of a victim with severe whiplash who is enduring long-lasting residual pain.


Liability is another crucial component of any whiplash claim. It also matters what state the accident occurred in because negligence rules vary by state.

New Mexico and Texas have different rules on potential recovery when you’re partially at fault for an accident.

New Mexico negligence laws allow you to collect a portion of your damages, even if you are primarily at fault. Texas does not.

The Texas negligence law bars you from recovery if you are more than 50% at fault.

For example, consider a whiplash injury where the plaintiff is 55% at fault. In New Mexico, you will receive 45% of your claim value, whereas in Texas, you will receive nothing.

Potential Insurance Coverage

The available insurance coverage can also impact your potential whiplash injury settlement.

Minimum auto insurance liability requirements in New Mexico are:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death for one person;
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more people; and
  • $10,000 for property damage in any one accident.

Texas minimum insurance requirements are slightly higher:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury or death to one person;
  • $60,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more people; and
  • $25,000 for property damage in any one accident.

If your claim value exceeds the available insurance coverage, you might not receive the total amount the defendant owes you. The defendant’s insurance company will have you agree to accept full policy limits and sign a release of all claims. The alternative is to try and sue the defendant directly for the total amount. However, someone with low auto insurance limits likely has no assets to pay the judgment.

Recoverable Damages

When you pursue a whiplash claim, you have a right to ask for reimbursement for all your damages. Damages are broken down into two main categories—economic and non-economic.

Economic damages are quantifiable financial losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.

Non-economic damages are subjective and more complicated to calculate. They include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and more.

Your total amount of damages won’t necessarily be the same as someone else. Even two victims with similar injuries and damages could resolve for significantly different amounts depending on liability and available insurance coverage.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

If you sustained a whiplash injury in a car accident, you need an experienced legal advocate on your side.

Our firm has been successfully representing injured victims in Texas and New Mexico for nearly four decades.

We’ve gone up against multi-billion-dollar corporations and won. We know what it takes to build a solid case to maximize your potential whiplash injury settlement.

Contact Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. online or call (800) 433-2408 today to schedule a free consultation and find out what your whiplash injury is worth.