If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury you probably have questions regarding compensation and recovery. In this article, we’re going to discuss your legal rights, treatment and what you can do in order to make things right.
Updated on 15/01/2020
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury to the muscle and soft tissue around the neck. These types of upper back and neck injuries commonly result from road accidents when two vehicles collide or make a sudden impact. When this happens the occupants of the vehicle can be shaken violently back and forth.
While seatbelts are designed to restrain the torso and body, a person’s head is left unprotected against any external forces. When the head is thrown forward violently or unsuspectedly in a car crash, this causes what is known as the whiplash-effect, which is a sudden jolt of the neck.
The “whip” movement refers to that of a whip, which extends out and then back in rapid motion. The severity of the injury is dependent on many factors, such as the size and velocity of the vehicles involved.
It’s a common misconception that only high speed accidents can result in whiplash injuries because neck and soft tissue injuries can occur from any sudden halt or minor collision. The gap between your head and the seat when the crash occurred also factors into your injury.
While neck injuries often are the result of road accidents, they also occur after any sudden force to the head, falls or even contact sports. Whatever led to your injury, our legally trained claims advisers will talk you through the claims process and identify whether you’re entitled to compensation.
If you’re in pain and discomfort and haven’t yet sought medical attention Spine health has some great information on their website.
Alternatively, you can speak with one of our whiplash injury claim lawyers in Brisbane or Perth for free to discuss your injuries and find out whether you are entitled to compensation. We can also offer you tailored advice regarding treatment and recovery, for a no-obligation conversation call 1800 106 107.
Average compensation for whiplash
|Injury type||Severity||excl lost earnings|
|Whiplash/neck injury||Minor||$5,000 to $29,000|
|Moderate||$24,000 to $99,000|
|Severe||$80,000 to $220,000|
There is no one size fits all when it comes to settlement amounts. The amount of compensation owed to you will depend on the severity of your injuries and the state in which your accident took place.
Some of the main variables a lawyer will consider when negotiating compensation will include.
- Any time off work and lost earnings
- future lost earnings
- changes in your ability to work
- care or support, even if given to you for free by family or friends
- any adaptations you might need to your home or motor vehicle
- and travel and accommodation expenses
Although at this stage we can’t give you an exact amount of what you will receive, you can make your own assessment using our compensation calculator.
Common whiplash symptoms
If you were involved in an accident which you sustained a sudden jolt to the neck from a sudden braking force, your injuries could be symptomatic of whiplash. These types of injuries are very common yet painful, often causing damage to the muscles around the neck. However, whiplash symptoms differ in every individual. Symptoms can include both neck pain and muscle stiffness and may render your head immobile. Some people experience discomfort immediately after the accident, while others report having a sore neck several days later. These symptoms may dissipate after a few weeks, but if left untreated, can persist for years.
Your whiplash symptoms may include, but are not limited to:
- Headaches, blurred vision or fatigue
- aching or difficulty moving and turning the neck
- swelling or inflammation – surrounding the area
- pain in shoulders, arms or the upper and lower back, causing pain and discomfort when walking Dizziness or nausea
- memory loss, problems concentrating, ringing or buzzing in the ears and anxiety/depression
If you’re considering making a whiplash claim, it is very important to see your GP so we can help you manage your schedule if you need to take time off work as part of your treatment. We can also use your medical records as evidence if you choose to make a claim.
Minor injuries to the muscles in the neck are relatively straightforward to diagnose and treatment usually consists of pain relief medication.
In most cases it will not require specialist determinations, your GP will simply order a straightforward examination, scan or X-ray to determine the severity of your injury.
It will also reveal whether the injury has affected just the tissue and tendons, or if you have fractured a vertebra.
Why make a whiplash injury compensation claim?
Recovering from any type of injury is not only time-intensive but also expensive. You might have had to take time off work without pay in order to recover.
Despite losing a source of income, you may have spent significant time and money on physiotherapy, putting you under financial pressure and stress.
If you make a ‘no win no fee’ whiplash claim with us, we’ll make sure you obtain the maximum amount of compensation you deserve, allowing you to concentrate on recovery.
What to do if you have suffered a soft tissue neck injury
We understand that your injury may be painful and uncomfortable but your first priority is to seek treatment from a medical professional. They will be able to help ease your pain and suffering and make certain there is evidence of your discomfort. Fortunately, over-the-counter analgesics and anti-inflammatory medication can easily treat your injury but you must consult your GP beforehand.
Make sure you have fully recovered before going back to work after a whiplash injury, as returning to work soon after can impair your recovery, since whiplash symptoms often return. If you feel unable to work immediately the accident you should seek professional advice from your GP to discuss your options.
If and when you feel ready you can call our Perth or Brisbane office to find out if you can recover financial compensation for your neck injury.
How to claim for whiplash a whiplash injury?
We have streamlined the claims process so that it’s fast and straightforward and will be able to tell you in minutes whether you have a genuine whiplash claim or not. If a fellow passenger or driver also suffered a similar injury during your accident, we can also help them with any whiplash treatment, recovery and compensation advice too.
Call us free on 1800 106 107 or start your claim online
Please note: Millner and Knight will never pressure you into starting your claim with us. Our advice is 100% free, impartial and comes with no obligations.
FAQ’s about whiplash
How much do you get for a whiplash claim?
Most whiplash injuries only last for a couple of weeks causing mild discomfort or headaches. These cases settle on average between $9,990 to $19,050. Severe whiplash injuries causing on-going symptoms or permanent damage average between $74,440 to $237,000. In some extreme cases, payouts have exceeded seven figures.
Can you prove you have whiplash?
Soft tissue injuries are quite possibly the hardest type of injury to prove and symptoms can take weeks to appear. For this reason, we recommend that medical attention should be sought after any type of accident that causes a jolt to the head. The reason being is if you do encounter problems later down the line your medical notes can be used as evidence to support your case.
How long does whiplash take to heal?
The amount of time it takes to fully recover from whiplash will depend on the severity of your accident. Most healthy people who take adequate rest should recover within a matter of weeks. However, some people can suffer from a number of complications that can affect them for the rest of their lives.
How long does whiplash last?
If you are suffering from severe whiplash symptoms you might find yourself asking how long will my pain and discomfort last for? Unfortunately, we can’t answer that question for you because only a qualified medical professional can answer that.
Sometimes symptoms can take several days or even weeks to appear so after an accident just because you aren’t feeling the effects right away, it doesn’t mean that you haven’t suffered a whiplash injury.
For this reason, we always recommend seeking medical attention just in case and it will also be on record then if you do wish to claim in the future.