whiplash injury from car accident

Car accident whiplash injuries are a type of motor vehicle accident injury in Western Australia and often results in personal injury claims in WA. This type of accident injury compensation claim is widely known as whiplash injury compensation.

The term whiplash injury refers to the bodily damage and injuries during the process where the neck or cervical spine suddenly moves backward and forward and whiplash injury is often associated with motor vehicle accidents where a person’s motor vehicle is struck from behind by another vehicle. Neck injuries (cervical spine) often arise with or without shoulder injuries (especially in the trapezius area). Complaints regarding an injury to the lower back are also widespread.

Motor vehicle accident injury compensation in WA is typically paid by Insurance Commission of WA (ICWA). ICWA is the compulsory third party insurer (i.e, CTP insurer) in WA. When an injured person makes a whiplash injury claim relating to a motor vehicle accident injuries in WA, the claim is against ICWA.

CTP Compensation Payouts for Injuries – Whiplash Injury Claims

Injured people may be entitled to compensation payouts for injuries from ICWA, if:

  • the injury involves a motor vehicle registered in WA, and
  • the injured person not entirely at fault.

In 2017, 10,928 total new claims were reported, and approximately $462.4 million total claim payments were paid by ICWA.

ICWA manages all types of motor vehicle accident injury claims. Not all the car crashes have life threatening consequences, and the compensation payouts for injuries often reflect that. For example, serious injuries claim payouts, often have a higher compensation amount than a relatively minor injury, such as whiplash compensation payouts. Because whiplash is a common injury post car accident, and it may seem minor, many injured people tend to underestimate the life altering effect may have on them. Many injured people don’t understand the full extent of the impact on their life when settling a whiplash injury claim, and accept a low offer made by ICWA. By the time the life altering effect re-surfaces again later in life, it is often too late to turn back the clock.

For example, Jane is working mother with a busy life. She suffered a whiplash injury but did not have time to attend regular treatment. She thought her neck and back pain will go away, like it always did. When she started missing treatments, she received a letter from ICWA for a settlement of $5,000 dollars. She accepted it without seeking legal advice, because it’s convenient and it suits her schedule. Not long after she accepted the settlement cheque, she realised that her neck and back pain did not go away, and it gets triggered more easily than before, and it is affecting her ability to perform work duties and normal daily life. She started to incur more and more out-of-pocket treatment expenses, and had less ability to do what she enjoy to do at work, and at home. She called ICWA to seek fair compensation, however, the claim was settled and closed, and she lost her entitlement to further compensation.

Jane is not an isolated example. There are many people with whiplash injury have similar experience. It is important for car accident whiplash injury victims to understand the full extent of your injury and its future impact before setting their injury claim.

A Whiplash Injury is Common in Car Accidents

Whiplash is one of the most common types of car accident injuries. Symptoms of whiplash can occur immediately after a car crash, or can occur in the days immediately following it. The degree to which people experience pain and suffering as a result of a whiplash injury varies from person to person, depending on the severity of the car accident, the age of the injured person, the circumstance in which the motor vehicle accident occurs, previous injury history and more.

“What sort of payout can I expect for whiplash claims?” is the most common question for people who have made a whiplash compensation claim. The answer to the whiplash compensation payout question depends on your whiplash symptoms, the impact on you, your whiplash compensation payout entitlement, and the legal process.

Not all Whiplash Symptoms  are Easily Noticeable

Typical symptoms of whiplash may include headaches, dizziness, neck pain, shoulder and back pains, numbness and weakness including pins and needles, visual disturbance, ringing ears, nausea, drowsiness or confusion, and more. Cognitive symptoms in general, take longer to manifest. Typical symptoms of cognitive complaints after a whiplash injury may include complaints of forgetfulness, poor concentration, becoming easily distracted compared to the pre-injury state, and increased irritability. Physical symptoms of whiplash injury often easier to detect, and the cognitive symptoms can often go unnoticed until it starts to have a significant impact on whiplash injury victim’s daily life. By then, the statutory expiration period may have passed. The statutory limitation period for most personal injury claims is 3 years from the date of the motor vehicle accident.

Whiplash Injury Can Have Impact on Your Work and Your Enjoyment of Life

In most of whiplash injuries, treatment often involves pain management through analgesia and allied medical treatments such as physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. The treatment time is often hard to predict due to the individual differences in the injuries. In the case of several and persistent symptoms, it could make it difficult to carry on daily actives at work or at home. When the loss of normal enjoyment of life and ability to perform employed duty occurs, it may lead to further complications like anxiety or depression. At Foyle Legal, we have seen sedentary office workers who suffer what it appears to be minor whiplash, but it results in inability to perform prolonged sedentary work due to the whiplash caused back and neck injuries. There are also cases, whereby the increased irritability post the injury results in strains on relationships at home, and at work.

What Whiplash Compensation I can Claim?

If you have made a motor vehicle accident compensation claim, typically you can claim your medical expenses, travel expenses, losses of income, pain and suffering and future losses. It is important that you seek legal advice before settling your injury claim to ensure that you are getting the best payout possible for your claim.

Typical Whiplash Compensation Payout

What sort of payout can I expect for whiplash? It depends on the expenses and losses incurred to you. To maximise the amount of your whiplash compensation payout, you will need to understand the full extent of your injury both physical symptoms, physiological and cognitive symptoms if any. We strongly suggest any sufferers of whiplash injury to seek expert legal advice for your car accident injury claim. At Foyle Legal, your first telephone discussion is free.

A simple whiplash compensation average payout calculator often does not provide an accurate prediction of your whiplash compensation payout because it doesn’t take into consideration of factors that subject to negotiation. The downside of using a personal injury compensation payout calculator is that it will most likely mislead injured people.

What is whiplash compensation average payout Australia? The whiplash compensation average payout data from ICWA, implies an average payment of $36,047 per spine and neck injury claim, which would generally include whiplash claims. In 2017, there were 4,089 recorded spine and neck injury claims caused by crash injuries. The total payments to spine and neck injuries was $147.4 million dollars. Please be mindful that the payment amount here includes all costs to ICWA, such as payment for care, payment for economic loss, payment for pain and suffering, payment for hospital costs, payment for medical and equipment, and other payments which may be paid before compensation payout settlement.

If you have made a whiplash injury claim, the best way to estimate your whiplash compensation payout is to contact an expert personal injury lawyer who is specialised in motor vehicle accident injury compensation.

Average CTP Compensation Payouts

What is the average CTP compensation payout? Data from the CTP insurer in Western Australia for motor vehicle accident compensation payouts imply an average payout per crash injuries is $49,994. The average CTP payout consists of CTP compensation payouts for all types of crash injuries such as head injuries, face injuries, spine and neck injuries, trunk injuries, lower and upper limbs injuries, mental stress, abdomen & pelvis injuries, burns and other injuries. The average compensation payouts have a large range depending on a range of factors.

If you have made a motor vehicle accident injury compensation claim, Foyle Legal can help you to understand your personal injury compensation entitlement on obligation free basis. For more information about frequently asked MVA claim question, please visit Foyle Legal Motor Injury Claim FAQ page.