Whiplash Injury Claims *
Whiplash is caused by a sudden jolt of your neck which causes damage to the ligaments. The neck rocks back and forward, causing a hyper-extension of muscles and other tissues which throw the neck out of its natural shape. This form of personal injury * limits your mobility and can prevent you from carrying out your daily routine with activities. If you or a family member has experienced a whiplash injury you may be entitled to seek a legal remedy for the error *.
Symptoms of whiplash may not appear for hours after the accident. As soon as you experience symptoms you should receive treatment from a doctor. The symptoms can worsen several days after the accident, requiring medical attention and rehabilitation. The most common symptoms associated with whiplash include:
- Reduced mobility of the neck
- Chronic pain
- Tenderness of the neck muscles
- Blurred vision
- Muscle spasms
- Shoulder pain
Common Types of Injuries *
Rear-end collisions are the most common cause of whiplash. If this happens you should receive medical attention no matter how minor you think the injury may be.
Aggressive tackles in contact sports can lead to whiplash, especially in cases where the back is in a relaxed state.
Whiplash can occur due to violent treatment of the body. It can occur from being vigorously shaken or being punched.
Victims who get whiplash injuries can suffer from a lack of sleep and can experience pain at work or throughout a normal day, reducing their mobility.
Making a Whiplash Injury Claim *?
1. Seek medical attention
The most important priority is your own health and safety. No matter how minor in the injury may feel it is important to be examined by a medical practitioner. A medical report will also be required as part of your claims process
2. Report the accident
Report the incident to the relevant authority – this will vary depending on the cause of the injury. Keep a record of the report as part of the claims process.
If there were any witnesses to the accident speak to them and ask for their contact details.
4. Document the incident
It is important that you have all information available to give to your solicitor when you start the claims process. Any information that you cannot get access to, your solicitor will be able to source it for you. The information you can record is details of the accident, photograph of the scene, photograph of your injuries, witness details, medical bills, transport to and from hospital/treatments, cctv footage of the accident, if there were any cameras around and any other important information about the accident.
5. Speak with a solicitor
Having a solicitor involved early in the process can help to ensure that the claims process runs as smoothly as possible for you. Your solicitor will help you in gathering document, submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment and work with you to bring your case to a close.
The settlement of a case will vary as each case will be different. Generally, the settlement procedure would work as follows (of course, this is subject to change and your solicitor will keep you informed at each stage of the process):
- Your solicitor will submit your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment
- The Injuries Board assess your case and revert with a suggested whiplash compensation amount
- You then decide whether to accept the amount suggested or to reject and move the next stage of the process
- If both parties accept the compensation suggest, then your case will be settled at this point.
- If one of both parties decline the suggested settlement amount then you move to the next stage of the settlement process
- In cases where the Injuries Board assessment is not agreed to, then legal proceedings are issued and your case moves forward to a court hearing.
- Before the court hearing, settlement talks do take place. In most cases, a case is resolved, settled and compensation agreed at the whiplash settlement talks before having to step foot into a courtroom.
- If your case is not settled at the settlement talks stage then your case moves to a court hearing where a Judge will make a decision on your case.
Settlement talks are a good opportunity for your legal team to talk to the other side’s legal team to settle any disagreements on what costs are to be awarded. Costs awarded usually consist of an amount for the injury itself and added expenses you may have incurred, these claims are called damages:
- General Damages: Non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following the incident and impact of the injury on your quality of life.
- Special Damages: Out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident * for example, loss of earnings (if you were out of work), future loss of earnings for extended time out of work, medical bills, future medical bills, and any added travel costs as a result of the injury, for example, travel to and from the hospital.
How long does it take to settle a Whiplash claim *?
A typical whiplash injury claim * may take months to settle. However, this will depend on a number of factors, such as:
- The extent of your injuries – if your injuries are severe it may mean that you cannot make a claim straight away.
- The insurance company – while we may have best practice in place to move the administration of your case forward in the quickest time possible, the insurance company may not be as fast as we can be. This could extend the length of your case
- Gathering documents – depending on the complexity of your case, it may take time to gather certain documents.
- The Injuries Board – Once all documents have been gathered, we will submit your case for assessment to the Injuries Board, they have 9 months to revert to us with their assessment.
- Assessment – once the Injuries Board has reverted with their assessment, you will have 28 days to either accept or reject.
- Legal proceedings – If you move to this stage, your solicitor will move immediately to issue proceedings. It is likely that your case will settle before having to step foot into a courtroom, but the time it takes to get a settlement meeting will depend on factors such as availability of barristers and the other side to attend.
Whiplash Compensation Estimator *
While the value of your whiplash injury * will depend on various factors, such as severity of your injuries and lost earnings/costs incurred. According to the Book of Quantum, the Injuries Board estimate whiplash injuries as follows:
- Minor – substantially recovered – up to €15,700
- Minor – expected full recovery – up to €19,400
- Moderate – €20,400 – €30,200
- Moderately Severe €34,400 – €52,200
- Severe and Permanent – €44,600 – €77,900
How long do I have to Make a Whiplash Injury Claim *?
The typical rule for all personal injury cases * is that the victim has two years to bring forward legal proceedings from the date of when the accident occurred. The exceptions to this rule are if the person lacks the capability to make a claim themselves, a family member can then bring proceedings forward. The second exception is if a child suffers a serious injury *. The child then has two years to make a whiplash claim amount from their eighteenth birthday. All personal injury claims * must first be assessed by the Injuries Board to see who was liable for the accident. Some personal injury * cases may proceed to court while in some cases the party who was at fault will offer a settlement.
Contact a solicitor *
If you have suffered from a whiplash injury *, our team of local personal injury solicitors * in Dublin are available to answer any queries you may have. For a confidential discussion, please call Tracey Solicitors on 01 649 9900 or email email@example.com and to tell us about your case.
With 30 years’ experience as specialist personal injury solicitors *, Tracey Solicitors, ensure not to overwhelm you with legal jargon and can provide you with legal advice and guidance with your best interest at heart, in a language that you can understand.