WHIPLASH INJURY LAWYER - CAR ACCIDENT
A whiplash injury compensation claim usually arises as a result of a rear end shunt whilst riding in a motor vehicle. This condition is a collection of symptoms arising as a result of damage to the discs, muscles, nerves or tendons of the neck caused by a sudden acceleration or deceleration. The head is violently thrown back, forwards or sideways followed by an equal and opposite reflex contraction. Swelling and inflammation usually occurs which leads to pressure being placed on the nerves often resulting in the classical symptoms. Most neck damage is not serious and broken bones are extremely rare. Most injuries heal within a few months following conservative treatment although there can be long-term permanent damage particularly to those in vulnerable groups including the elderly. The severity of the injury depends on the posture of the claimant at the time of the accident and the speed and relative weights of the vehicles involved. Injuries caused as a result of truck accidents and bus accidents can be particularly serious to the occupants of the lighter vehicle. Drivers who are usually able to brace themselves often suffer lesser injuries than unprepared passengers. Side ways impact usually produces the most severe symptoms and often involves facet joint damage which may cause permanent disability. The amount of any settlement that can be claimed by a whiplash injury lawyer, for pain and suffering following damage to the neck depends on severity of the injury, the time that elapses for full recovery and whether or not there are any residual long term or chronic symptoms.
Whiplash Injury Compensation
Whiplash injury lawyers divide compensation that can be claimed into several categories including :-
- General Damages represents compensation for items which cannot be calculated precisely and are based on the Courts best assessment. Pain and suffering is usually the main item in this category and is assessed following review of medical reports.
- Special Damages represents compensation for items which the courts can calculate accurately and may include lost income, medical expenses and loss of personal property. It is usually necessary to prove these losses by production of receipts, however in the absence of receipts estimates of loss can often be made and verified by other documentary evidence.
- Punitive Damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and are awarded by the court based on a best assessment basis. They may be recovered where there has been intentional wrongdoing, or a total and reckless negligent disregard to the possibility of injury or damage to the claimant.
- Future losses may include anticipated loss of wages over a period of years and subsequent expenses relating to care or the provision of medical services. The calculation of these losses can be complex and a special calculation is applied to the estimated annual loss to arrive at a fair figure for compensation.
Whiplash symptoms are caused by damage to the neck usually occurring after a rear end shunt whilst traveling in a car. Pain and stiffness is caused by pressure being placed on the nerves as a result of tissue swelling which causes muscle spasms. Indicators and symptoms which may be present immediately or may develop gradually over hours, days or weeks after the accident may include:-
- pain or stiffness of the neck, back, jaw, shoulders, or arms
- memory loss, concentration impairment, nervousness, irritability
- headache and dizziness
- sleep disturbances, fatigue and depression
- loss of feeling, or burning or prickling in an arm or hand
- blurred vision
- nausea or vomiting
- balance problems
Diagnosis of this condition is based on the symptoms, history and a medical examination which are necessary to evaluate the patient's general condition. In more severe cases X-rays, CAT Scan or MRI may be necessary to confirm the symptoms and to assess the condition of the cervical spine's soft tissues including inter vertebral discs, muscles and ligaments.
It is important that qualified medical advice is obtained as soon as possible after whiplash symptoms become obvious as the medical record will used for the assessment of the value of the personal injury compensation to be awarded It is therefore important that the injury is documented in full as soon as possible after the accident. If you have suffered this condition please contact our whiplash injury lawyer for advice on compensation claims at no cost and with no further obligation.
This injury is more accurately called cervical acceleration/deceleration trauma or syndrome and is a collection of symptoms arising as a result of damage to the neck which most commonly causes serious and lingering neck pain, back pain, headaches and dizziness. Whiplash treatment has changed over recent years and whilst the use of a cervical collar was recommended in the past, the current advice is to encourage early mobilization with the use of a soft collar only intermittently and in the short term. Pain and stiffness is caused by pressure being placed on the nerves as a result of tissue swelling which causes muscle spasms. The application of ice, in the first 24 hours, to reduce swelling and pressure on the nerves followed by gentle active movement is now recommended. Activities including walking and aerobic or isometric exercises together with an early return to work is often encouraged by health care professionals.
Whiplash treatment may include:
- immobilizing the neck in a soft cervical collar
- physiotherapy to reduce muscle spasms, increase circulation, and promote healing
- use of painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants
- cervical traction
- moist heat, ice, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and exercise
- surgical intervention including removal of a torn intervertebral disc and subsequent spinal fusion
- trigger point injections
If you have been involved in an accident it is important for the purposes of a car accident compensation claim to ensure that you preserve evidence. Immediately following the accident you should exchange personal details with all parties involved and make a written record of events immediately before and after the event. You should make a note of the personal details of witnesses and take photographs of the location and damage to vehicles. If you have been injured you should visit a hospital or your family doctor as soon as possible to ensure that there is recorded evidence of your injury. You should keep a diary of subsequent events including the progress of your injury and keep a written record of all expenditure together with bills and invoices where appropriate for submission to your whiplash injury lawyer.
There are time limits that apply to almost all legal claims for damages including actions relating to personal injury. The general rule is that a personal injury compensation claim must have either been settled or proceedings must have been filed by a lawyer in a court of law before the expiry of the limitation period which varies dependent on the type of claim, the location of the incident that caused injury, the status of the potential defendant and the status of the injured party, failing which the claim can be statute barred and the opportunity to claim compensation will generally have been lost forever.
There are some exceptions to the general rule that you should be aware of if you intend making a claim after the general limitation period. It is essential that you take local legal advice from a qualified lawyer on exceptions:-
- In the event that you were a minor when the accident took place then the time period starts usually starts running from the date of your 18th birthday.
- Time does not usually run against those who are mentally incapacitated until such time as the person regains full mental capacity.
There are qualifications to the general rule. In most provinces time only starts to run when an injury is discovered or should have been discovered with reasonable diligence. Exceptions to the general rule are rare in accident cases and mainly apply to medical negligence claims and industrial disease cases.
Whiplash Injury Lawyers
Our whiplash injury lawyers offer expertise that is second to none. All of our lawyers deal exclusively with claims involving physical injury. If you have suffered whiplash injury and would like to talk to an experienced accident lawyer without obligation then just call the helpline or email our offices or complete and send the contact form and an advocate who deals exclusively in accident claims will phone you with free advice and information on how best to preserve your legal rights to compensation for your injuries.