Whiplash is a non-medical term describing a range of injuries to the neck caused by or related to a sudden movement of the neck associated with extension.
Whiplash is commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, usually when the vehicle has been hit in the rear; however, the injury can be sustained in many other ways, including falls from stools, bicycles or horses.
It stands out as one of the main injuries covered by the car insurers.
Before the invention of cars, whiplash injuries were called “railroad spine” as noted mostly during train collisions. After the invention of cars, the number of whiplash-related injuries have risen sharply due to an increase in rear-end motor vehicle collisions. The first case of severe neck pain arising from a train collision was documented around 1919.
Do I have a Whiplash injury?
You may have a whiplash injury if you experience any of the major symptoms reported by whiplash sufferers:
- Pain and aching to the neck and back,
- Referred pain to the shoulders,
- Sensory disturbance (such as pins and needles) to the arms & legs
Symptoms can appear directly after the injury, but often are not felt until days afterwards.
Whiplash is usually confined to the spinal cord, and the most common areas of the spinal cord affected by whiplash are the neck, and the mid-back (middle of the spine).
If you have any of the above symptoms you need to see a GP immediately. The GP will then diagnose your situation and begin to prescribe professional medical treatment if required. Diagnosis occurs through a patient history, head and neck examination, X-rays to rule out bone fractures and may involve the use of medical imaging to determine if there are other injuries.
How much compensation can i get for a Whiplash injury?
Damages are awarded generally to place the claimant in the position in which he would have been had the accident not taken place.
Special damages compensate the claimant for the quantifiable monetary losses suffered by the plaintiff. For example, extra costs, repair or replacement of damaged property, the loss of irreplaceable items, additional domestic costs, and so on.
Economic loss is another area in which an injured person can be compensated. Lost earnings including loss of past and future superannuation form part of this head of damage.
Claimants are often represented by Lawyers who act on their client’s behalf to prepare materials to demonstrate the factual and anticipated financial burden that the claimant has had imposed on them as a result of the whiplash injury. It is in the best interests of any claimant to present this material professionally and thoroughly.
How does the compensation process work?
If the negligence of another party can be proved, the injured party may be entitled to monetary compensation from that party.
In Queensland, this system is complex. Lawyers often represent clients on a “contingency basis,” in which the Lawyer’s fee is a percentage of the plaintiff’s eventual compensation, payable when the case is resolved.
Often times, having a lawyer becomes essential because cases can become extremely complex, particularly if liability is contentious, or the damages are unusual. Since every person’s claim is unique, experienced lawyers know how to present the claimant’s situation to maximise their recovery.
Deadlines involved in Whiplash compensation claims.
In Queensland, under the limitation rules, where an individual is bringing a claim for compensation, court proceedings must be commenced within 3 years of the date of the accident, failing which the claimant will lose the right to bring his or her claim. However, injured parties who were under the age of 18 at the time of their accidents have until the day prior to their 21st birthdays to commence proceedings. Urgently contact one of our expert car accident injury lawyers to commence your claim as strict time limits apply.
Is it worth making a Whiplash compensation claim?
Seek legal advice from an experienced whiplash lawyer so that you can outline your particular set of circumstances. We will run you through the process of making the claim to let you know if your claim is likely to be successful. Many cases may appear to be similar.
At Gouldson Legal we understand each case is unique.
Speak to a lawyer for a free no obligation assessment of your claim.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the changes to the worker’s compensation legislation and its impact on you or your family, please contact Gouldson Legal.