A whiplash injury often arises from rear-end collisions in a road accident. When a person’s car comes to a sudden halt, it causes the body to be thrown forward. The result is usually a neck injury and an injury to the lower back.
A whiplash injury is one of the most common car accident injuries for which compensation claims are made in Western Australia. If you have made a whiplash injury compensation claim in Perth, please contact one of the personal injury lawyers near you to arrange an obligation-free initial consultation. This article covers commonly asked topics about whiplash injury compensation claims in Western Australia.
Table of Contents
- How much compensation do you get for whiplash?
- Can whiplash be proven?
- What evidence do you need for a whiplash claim?
- Is it worth suing for whiplash?
- What is the average settlement payout for whiplash injury?
- What sort of payout can I expect for whiplash Australia?
- How to claim whiplash car accident compensation?
- How is whiplash settlement calculated?
- How long should a whiplash claim take?
- Has the law changed on whiplash claims?
- How would personal injury lawyers assist your whiplash injury compensation claim?
How much compensation do you get for whiplash?
Whiplash claims often settle for between $10,000.00 and $30,000.00 in circumstances where the injury is relatively minor, and the injured person has no time off work or a couple of weeks off work. Please note how much compensation you get in a settlement is only part of the total payment that ICWA made to a whiplash injury claim. According to data published by ICWA in 2017, the implied payment of $36,047 was made per spine and neck injury claim.
Whiplash injuries from a car accident can be very severe and, in some cases, the injured person is injured so badly by their whiplash injury that they are totally permanently incapacitated for work. In this scenario, the claim for damages will be considerable and the claim may well settle for over $1,000,000.00. Claims that settle for over a million dollars are unusual.
Can whiplash be proven?
Whiplash can be proven by medical evidence. Following a whiplash injury, it is common for the person with injuries to attend their medical professional for medical treatment regarding their neck pain.
It is common to receive a diagnosis that the injured person suffers from ‘soft tissue injuries as a result of the whiplash. The injured person may undergo scans such as x-ray, CT scans or MRI scans to check for an alternative diagnosis.
What evidence do you need for a whiplash claim?
The most important evidence in a whiplash claim is the medical evidence to prove that you suffered a whiplash injury. To successfully prove a whiplash claim, you also need evidence that you were not at fault in causing the motor vehicle accident, and evidence of your loss. Your loss may include pain and suffering, economic loss, a need for medical treatment in the future and a need for family and friends to assist you in the future.
Evidence of initial whiplash injuries
The initial evidence of whiplash injuries is often based on the treating doctor’s note about the motor vehicle accident and the whiplash symptoms reported by the injured person when they first seek treatment immediately after the car accident.
Medical Authority Form
Medical professionals’ notes about their patients are private information but can be requested with the injured person’s consent. This is the reason when you made a motor vehicle accident claim with the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA) – the only CTP insurer in WA, they required you to file a Medical Authority Form and together with the accident claim form.
ICWA’s claim offer, ICWA’s lawyers, or your car accident injury lawyer may obtain a copy of these medical records and use them to make observations about your claim. For example, scans may show that you have osteoarthritis in your neck. Personal injury lawyers often use your medical records to show that you did not complain to your doctor about any neck-related problem prior to the car accident.
Notice of Intention to Make Claim Form
The accident claim form for an ICWA claim is the Notice of Intention to Make Claim Form. To complete the form, the injured person needs to collect the following information:
- Details of the crash – date of the accident motor vehicle accident, location of the accident, vehicle registration, name and address of the drivers, name and address of witness if any, and a description of the circumstances of the crash.
- Details of the deceased or injured person – name and address of the deceased or injured person, minor injuries suffered, serious injuries suffered, and occupation of the claimant or the deceased person in the case of fatal injury dependency claim, details of incapacity and return to work.
- Details of the previous claim – date of injury, type of the previous claim, type of injuries.
Evidence of ongoing whiplash injury
It is also common for a medical professional to recommend treatment. The treatment for minor injuries following a car crash may include physical therapy by way of physiotherapy together with hydrotherapy and a gym program. In the context of personal injury claims, your follow up treatments also form a part of the evidence to prove your incapacity.
Is it worth suing for whiplash?
It’s common for injured people to sue for whiplash, but suing or commencing legal proceedings is a very serious decision and strict time limits apply. Each of the whiplash claims is different, it is best to seek legal advice from specialised compensation lawyers regarding whiplash compensation.
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What is the average settlement payout for whiplash injury?
ICWA’s whiplash compensation average payout figure is estimated to be $35,000 – $36,000 per neck and back injury claim. However, ICWA’s payment consists of the average settlement for the injured person as well as payment to the ongoing medical costs, care providers, administration costs and others. In our experience working in personal injury law, we see most whiplash injury claims settle between $10,000 – $30,000 depending on a range of factors.
If you have suffered a whiplash injury and wish to claim whiplash injury compensation you should seek legal advice from a personal injury claim lawyer who can explain to you what your claim is worth and can provide experienced legal advice about the average payout for your whiplash injuries.
What sort of payout can I expect for whiplash Australia?
In Western Australia, many whiplash claims will have an ongoing effect on health, but not a major effect and will settle for between $10,000.00 and $30,0000.00.
The law relating to motor vehicle accident injury claims differs from state to state and if you want to know more about a whiplash claim outside of Western Australia, you should contact a law firm for legal representation in your state.
How to claim whiplash car accident compensation?
If you have suffered a whiplash injury and were not at fault, you should contact the Insurance Commission of Western Australia on 9264 3333 to make a whiplash compensation claim. The Insurance Commission will usually request that you complete a Notice of Intention to Make Claim Form. You should also report the car crash to the Police.
The Insurance Commission of Western Australia will determine liability, and if it is determined in your favour they will usually pay for your reasonable medical treatment. You should seek medical attention. Common whiplash symptoms include pain and restriction of the range of movement in your neck and lower back.
How is a whiplash settlement calculated?
In Western Australia, there is a maximum amount payable for ‘non-pecuniary loss’ which includes pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of amenity. The current maximum amount (as at January 2022) is $438,000.00. The maximum amount is payable in a ‘worst case’ such as quadriplegia.
The other components of a claim are calculated based on the actual value. For example, a person who has two weeks off work following a car accident can claim the amount they have actually lost in income or leave benefits.
Future needs are usually calculated based on medical opinion. For example, a medical report may state that a person has a need for ongoing physiotherapy and medical review and they would claim accordingly.
How long should a whiplash claim take?
Whiplash claims usually take between 1.5 years and 3 years to resolve. The Insurance Commission Annual Report for 2021 states a median car accident compensation claim period of 18.6 months as the median claim duration.
How long a whiplash claim should take will depend on the severity of the whiplash injuries, the medical treatment needed, and the quality of legal advice. The whiplash claims process is the same as other car accidents, if you have compensation lawyers to assist with a whiplash compensation claim, you are likely to receive a better compensation outcome. If you suffered a whiplash injury, many personal injury lawyers offer No Win No Fee legal representation.
No Win, No Fee Lawyers
Under the No Win, No Fee arrangement, you won’t need to pay Foyle Legal’s Legal fees (the fees that we charge for the work we do on your claim), unless we get you a settlement amount.
Your lawyer will take you through this arrangement in more detail including any terms and conditions in your obligation free first initial consultation.
Has the law changed on whiplash claims?
In Western Australia, the law has not really changed regarding motor vehicle claims for a long time. Relative to other places in the world it has been a long-standing and stable system.
How would personal injury lawyers assist your whiplash injury compensation claim?
Foyle Legal acts in whiplash cases as a compensation lawyer on a no win no fee basis and is very experienced in the area of personal injury law. This means we can help you even if your whiplash neck pain escalated, or brought on secondary injuries. The common secondary injuries associated with whiplash injuries are depression, anxiety, pain on the shoulders, medication dependence and more.
It is common for whiplash compensation claims to receive relatively low offers of settlement regarding their losses. We have acted in hundreds of whiplash injury claim cases. We can help you to make the legal claims that are required, we can act for you in court proceedings and we help you to get further compensation from the insurance company.
Foyle Legal offers an obligation free consultation where we can provide you with legal advice about the claims process and the compensation payout you can expect for the injuries sustained by you, your lost income and medical expenses. Call Foyle Legal on 0408 727 343 today.