After being the victim of an accident, many people aren’t sure of the best course of action. Particularly in cases involving whiplash injuries, people without experience in the legal process could unknowingly harm their case by not taking the correct steps in the immediate aftermath of the incident. The wrong choices can threaten future compensation.
To make sure you get the compensation you deserve, hiring an experienced whiplash lawyer is the single most important thing you can do. By working with a lawyer who is experienced and understands how to handle your whiplash case, you can be sure that all the necessary documentation will be filed properly, and that communications with your insurance company will lead to the result you want, without adding any unnecessary stress to your life.
If you have been the victim of a whiplash injury, contact us for a free consultation as soon as possible. We can advise you of your rights and find the experts who can accurately determine the cause, potential liability and the extent of your claim.
Have you suffered a whiplash injury? If so, you could be entitled to compensation for damages. Contact Us for a free consultation
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues in the neck that usually results from a jarring impact. When someone experiences a sudden acceleration, the forces generated by the head’s movement can force the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the neck beyond their natural range of motion, which creates more strain than they can handle and results in a whiplash injury.
Whiplash injuries can lead to long-term pain and physical limitations for many people. And while some people experience minor symptoms and recover quickly, in many cases, the extent of whiplash injuries don’t become totally apparent until much later on.
How do Whiplash Injuries Occur?
Whiplash symptoms most often result from car accidents where one vehicle collides with the rear end of a stationary vehicle.
It can take some time for whiplash symptoms to become apparent, especially in the case of auto accidents, so it’s important to seek medical attention if you were involved in any sort of car accident, even if it didn’t feel like a major impact. Why? A medical paper trail is a crucial element of any legal strategy. If you don’t take steps to seek medical help, it can be used against you in court later on.
Other common causes of whiplash injuries include:
- Sports accidents
- Contact sport collisions
- Cycling accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Physical abuse
- Fender benders
Symptoms of Whiplash & Possible Complications
Although symptoms usually manifest fairly quickly, they may only develop after several days in some cases. Depending on the severity of the case and treatment plan, symptoms tend to remain for several weeks.
The most common whiplash symptoms include pain and stiffness in the neck muscles and headaches, but they can also show similar symptoms to a traumatic brain injury, like dizziness, blurred vision and fatigue.
Less common symptoms of whiplash include cognitive difficulties (i.e. problems with concentration or memory), tinnitus (i.e. persistent ringing in the ears), insomnia, irritability and chronic neck pain, back pain or shoulder pain. This kind of pain can be debilitating, and its important that you hire a Hamilton whiplash lawyer that can protect you and strengthen your ability to be properly compensated.
Whiplash-Associated Disorder Grade System
In the past, whiplash injury claims were often rejected by insurance companies because soft tissue injuries are impossible to document through x-ray technology alone. Now that computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and ultrasounds have become more accessible, whiplash neck injuries are more easily documented. This has helped countless whiplash victims receive compensation from insurance companies.
How Are Whiplash Injuries Graded?
The severity of whiplash injuries is graded according to a scale that was developed by a Quebec task force cohort study under the direction of the SAAQ (Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec) in the 1990s, and is still in use around the country to this day.
The amount of compensation people can get from a whiplash injury claim depends on where their symptoms lie on this grading system.
- Grade 1: Neck pain (inhibited neck movement or tenderness only). No physical signs of neck injuries.
- Grade 2: Neck pain with accompanying musculoskeletal signs, such as decreased range of motion and tenderness.
- Grade 3: Neck pain and neurological signs, including decreased deep tendon reflexes, weakness and sensory deficits.
- Grade 4: Neck pain along with a fracture or dislocation, or a spinal cord injury.
Do You Have a Whiplash Claim?
Your Wynperle Law whiplash lawyer will work with you to review your case and determine if it is strong enough to seek compensation. In order to make your case for a whiplash injury claim, three essential elements must be determined.
That Negligence Occurred
In order to hold other parties accountable, it must be shown that the other parties engaged in reckless or negligent activity.
The Connection Between the Negligence and the Whiplash Injury
Demonstrating that the whiplash injury you suffered resulted from the reckless or negligent actions of another party is essential to your case.
That the Injury Resulted in Damages
In order to receive compensation, it must be demonstrated that you suffered financial damages related to your injury, in the form of medical records, and proof of medical expenses and lost income.
If a whiplash injury has caused you to suffer financial damages, contact Wynperle Law for a free consultation.
What to do if you Experience Whiplash Symptoms After a Car Accident
If you are involved in any type of incident that could cause a whiplash injury, like a car accident, a slip-and-fall, or a sporting accident, and you are suffering from neck pain and limited range of motion as a result, seek medical attention and contact a whiplash lawyer to start building your case for damages or an insurance claim.
Seeking Medical Attention
Insurance companies don’t compensate accident victims without proof of the injuries suffered. Consulting a doctor immediately after an accident is the first step in the process of collecting the medical evidence you will need for your personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim.
Contacting a Wynperle Whiplash Lawyer
You should contact the Wynperle Law legal team as soon as possible after a whiplash accident for guidance on how to make your claim and protect your right to compensation.
There are time limitations that apply to personal injury claims, so it is in your best interests to contact a lawyer in short order to make sure that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to make your case for damages.
Insurance companies are profit-seeking enterprises, and as such, have their bottom line in mind – not your best interests. This is why they often try to limit how much compensation you are awarded. For this reason, people involved in whiplash cases frequently have difficulty with their insurance company, as insurers will look for any possible reason to deny whiplash injury claims.
Following an accident, insurance companies could potentially use any statements you make against you. Particularly with soft tissue injuries to the head and neck, victims sometimes don’t experience much pain immediately following the collision, due to stress and shock, which leads them to make statements that end up being used against them later on.
For example, responding to a question from an onlooker with a response, such as “I’m okay,” could be considered an admission on your part, one that an insurance company could use to argue against your injury claim. If you are involved in a car accident, or similar incident, and want to protect your right to compensation, avoid making statements until you’ve spoken to your lawyer.
When you choose Wynperle Law to help make your insurance claim, our experienced lawyers will defend your rights and interests while fighting to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will speak with your doctor and review your medical care to determine the severity of your injury, while also taking into consideration the professional opinion of your healthcare provider regarding recovery time and possible complications.
Determining the appropriate amount of compensation involves reviewing all the details of your case, the extent of your injuries, and the losses you have suffered as a result.
Depending on the severity of the whiplash injury, it could be considered a catastrophic injury, which opens up a new category of compensation. In Ontario, catastrophic injuries are those where the resulting damage is severe and leads to long-term pain, suffering and limitations.
These injuries can result directly from the traumatic event, or indirectly as a result of complications that stem from the original injury. Most often, catastrophic injuries result from severe damage to the brain, skull or spinal column.
Although there is no precise formula to calculate the amount of compensation you can expect to receive for either a minor or non-catastrophic injury, your lawyer will be able to tell you what you can reasonably expect in your case.
Ultimately, your compensation depends on four factors:
- Expenses incurred
- Loss of income
- Physical inabilities or limitations
- Pain and suffering
Wynperle Law – The Leading Whiplash Lawyers in Hamilton
In many types of liability cases, you will be up against an insurance company or law firm representing the people or company against whom you are making your claim. These claims & liabilities are most often settled through mediation and negotiation, so it’s critically important that your law firm has solid experience in these processes.
Our experienced legal team will fight hard for you in all negotiations and/or court proceedings to make sure that your claim is settled in the fairest and most beneficial way possible.