whiplash injury from car accident

If you have been in a car accident and suffered whiplash, then you may be entitled to compensation. Learn about the injury and the amount of payout you can expect.

What is a whiplash injury?

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) and spinal cord injuries often arise with or without shoulder injuries (especially in the trapezius area). Complaints regarding an injury to the lower back are also widespread.

What is a whiplash injury compensation claim?

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

Who can claim CTP compensation for car accident injuries?

Anyone who suffered personal injuries in car accidents involving a CTP insured motor vehicle can claim CTP compensation. You need to be not at fault or partially at fault in order to make a claim.

Who pays in a whiplash personal injury claim?

Motor vehicle accident injury compensation in WA is typically paid by the 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 injury in WA, the claim is defended by ICWA.

Average ICWA Payout Figures

We calculate the average payout figure for an ICWA claim to be $35, 552. This figure is inclusive of pre-settlement claim payments to the injured person. The basis of this calculation is that in 2021, 22,024 total new claims were received by ICWA, and approximately $783 million total claim payments were paid by ICWA. 783 million / 22,024 = $35, 552.

ICWA payments fund your medical expenses, medical reports, rehab, care, equipment, travel, administration of your claim, your lump-sum settlement amount, and more. It is important to recognise that the actual lump sum payout you receive on the settlement is only part of the payments that ICWA made to your whiplash injury compensation. Please be aware that ICWA manages all types of motor vehicle accident injury claims. Not all car crashes have the same injuries, and the compensation payouts for injuries often reflect that.

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CTP Compensation Payouts for Injuries – Whiplash Injury Claims

CTP compensation payouts for injuries refer to the payout amount made by the CTP insurer for the personal injury you suffered in car accidents or other road accidents involving CTP insured vehicles. If the road user suffered soft tissue injuries such as whiplash, the CTP compensation for whiplash can also be called whiplash compensation.

Can you claim compensation for whiplash?

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

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

Whiplash is one of the most common motor vehicle accident injuries in WA. There are many ways whiplash may happen. In a car accident caused by rear-end collisions, it’s typically the driver and any passengers in both vehicles that can claim compensation for whiplash but situations do vary.

What Whiplash Compensation can I 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 from a car accident lawyer before settling your injury claim to ensure that you are getting the best payout possible for your claim.

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.

What is a fair settlement for whiplash?

A fair settlement for whiplash is an amount that considers the full extent of the impact on a person’s future lifestyle and income capacity. Personal injury lawyers who are specialised in whiplash injuries should be able to assist with your whiplash claim. Common mistakes that result in a reduction in compensation payout in whiplash injury are:

  • Accept ICWA’s commercial offer without consulting a compensation lawyer
  • Underestimating the amount of pain and suffering in a whiplash injury claim
  • Settle the claim without considering all whiplash symptoms

Don’t accept ICWA’s offer without consulting a compensation lawyer

If ICWA’s claim manager or ICWA’s lawyer makes you an offer within months after your whiplash symptoms start to appear. Don’t accept it without getting legal advice first. Book an obligation free initial consultation with a whiplash claim lawyer first.

ICWA often makes offers to people who have suffered a whiplash injury before they have time to evaluate the full extent of injuries sustained. This offer may be a commercial offer, and it is often a low offer. Many injured people fell into this trap, because whiplash is a common injury post car accident, and it may seem minor, many injured people tend to underestimate the life-altering effect it may have on them.

What happens when a busy and healthy person suffered a whiplash injury …

For example, Jane is a working mother with a busy life. She had a motor vehicle accident, and suffered a whiplash injury but did not have time to attend her general practitioner, physiotherapist and other regular medical treatment. She thought her neck and back pain would go away like it always did. When she started missing treatment, she received a letter from ICWA for a settlement of $5,000 dollars. She accepted it without seeking legal advice from a specialist personal injury law firm 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 enjoyed doing 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 injuries who have a similar experience. If you have a motor vehicle accident claim for the whiplash-associated disorder, It is important to understand the full extent of your related injuries (i.e. spinal injury, soft tissue injury, brain injury), and their future impact before setting your personal injury claim.

Don’t overlook whiplash symptoms

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 circumstances in which the motor vehicle accident occurs, previous injury history and more.

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 are often easier to detect, and the cognitive symptoms can often go unnoticed until it starts to have a significant impact on a whiplash injury victim’s daily life. By then, the statutory limitation period may have passed. The statutory limitation period for most personal injury claims is 3 years from the date of the motor vehicle accident.

Don’t underestimate what impact whiplash injury has on your work and enjoyment of life

In most 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 persistent symptoms, it could make it difficult to carry on with daily activities 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 appears to be minor whiplash, but it results in the inability to perform prolonged sedentary work due to the whiplash caused by back and neck injuries. There are also cases, whereby the increased irritability posts injury results in strains on relationships at home, and at work.

Typical Whiplash Compensation Payout

What is the whiplash compensation average payout in Australia? 

To ascertain the whiplash compensation average payout, we have used historical data from 2017. The data is still applicable in 2022. 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 for spine and neck injuries were $147.4 million dollars. Please be mindful that the payment amount here includes all costs to ICWA, such as paying 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.

What is the typical payout for whiplash?

A typical payout for whiplash injuries is between $10,000 – $30,000 in settlement plus a contribution towards legal costs if the economic loss is minimal and if there are no significant major primary, secondary injuries, or psychological injuries.

How long does it take to get a whiplash payout?

It usually takes 1.5 – 3 years to get a whiplash settlement payout from the time of injury. Based on data from the Insurance Commission of Western Australia, the median claim duration for a car accident injury claim is 18.6 months. Generally speaking the bigger the case, the longer it will take.

Whiplash payments for medical expenses, medical professional fees, medical report fees start as soon as the personal injury compensation claim is accepted by the Insurance Commission.

Each of the motor vehicle accident claims is different and how long it takes to get a payout will depend on several factors. Getting the right legal representation for your personal injury claim will be a great help to your whiplash payout in terms of speed and how much compensation you can get.

What sort of payout can I expect for whiplash?

What sort of payout can I expect for whiplash claims?” 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.

It depends on the expenses and losses incurred by 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 seek expert legal advice for your car accident injury claim. At Foyle Legal, your first telephone discussion is free.

How is pain and suffering compensation calculated?

Calculation of pain and suffering is calculated based on the percentage of the maximum account payable in the General Damages Threshold Schedule. For the 2021 – 2022 financial year, the maximum general damages payable is $438,000. If your general damages are assessed to be less than $23,000. Then you are not entitled to pain and suffering compensation due to a threshold on general damages.

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 factors that are subject to negotiation, such as pain and suffering and other non-pecuniary loss. Using a personal injury compensation payout calculator for compensation payout figures may mislead injured people.

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

Average CTP Compensation Payouts

What is the average CTP compensation payout? In 2017 prior to COVID19, data from the CTP insurer in Western Australia for motor vehicle accident compensation payouts imply an average payout per crash injury was $49,994. This average CTP payout figure reduced to around $35,552 in 2021. It is unclear if the change in average CTP compensation payouts is related to the reduced number of motor vehicles on the road. We would point out there are various ways of interpreting this data.

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 an obligation-free basis. For more information about frequently asked MVA claim questions, please visit the Foyle Legal Motor Injury Claim FAQ page.