Can you receive compensation for whiplash injury? - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Can you receive compensation for whiplash injury?

#AskRichardChang

Whiplash is a common injury suffered by occupants of a vehicle struck with some force in the rear by another vehicle. Because it is classified as a soft-tissue injury and usually does not show up in diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, MRIs or CAT scans, insurance company representatives attempt to minimize the seriousness of the injury to prevent the injured party from recovering adequate compensation. However, experienced personal injury lawyers know how to present evidence to prove an accident victim is entitled to be compensated.

What is whiplash?

When a car is rear-ended, the force causes a person’s body to go through a whipping-type motion with the torso being thrust forward as the head and neck are forced backward and then forward. This stress of this violent motion may cause damage to cervical muscles, nerve roots, discs and ligaments.

Motor vehicle collisions are not the only causes of whiplash injuries. Other types of activities that may cause whiplash include:

  • Being hit during an assault
  • Skiing accidents
  • Riding on rollercoasters
  • Bungee jumping
  • Ice hockey
  • Other high-impact sports or activities

Someone suffering a whiplash injury might not show any symptoms right away. It could take a couple of days before one or more of the following symptoms appear:

  • Cervical pain and stiffness
  • Restricted range of motion of the head and neck
  • Lower back pain
  • Headache
  • Pain in the shoulder area
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired memory or ability to concentrate
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue

An accident victim might also experience numbness in the hands and arms. Some people have even reported blurred vision.

Because it can take time for symptoms to develop and the severity of the injury to be fully revealed, it is imperative that an accident victim refrain from making any statements at the scene of the accident. The best thing a person can do is seek medical attention immediately if the force of the impact was severe.

Effects of whiplash injury

The pain and disabling symptoms associated with whiplash usually result in an accident victim being unable to work. The pain, stiffness and impairments of whiplash may lessen over time, but they could last for years. It is not uncommon for people suffering whiplash injuries to develop chronic pain requiring pain management treatment.

Compensation for whiplash injuries

The difficulty with proving that someone is suffering from the effects of a whiplash injury is that it can be highly subjective. The pain experienced by an accident victim cannot be shown in the form of a test result or a diagnostic image to an insurance company or to a judge. Instead, lawyers representing injured parties rely upon the medical records documenting the examinations, tests, complaints of pain, treatment and medications, and other notes entered by the treating doctor.

The injured person can help by keeping a daily diary detailing everything related to the injuries beginning as soon after the accident as possible and continuing until the claim for compensation is resolved in his or her favor. Recorded in the diary should be medications taken each day, activities in which the person engaged, activities the person was unable to engage in because of the injury and treatments performed each day.

An accident victim should also let the personal injury lawyer handling the case know the names and contact information for anyone who could testify in court about the physical limitations and restrictions the witness observed in the injured party. Depending upon the circumstances of a particular case, the lawyer might engage the service of a medical expert to testify about the injured party’s condition.

Ontario whiplash injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims on behalf of individuals suffering whiplash injuries. Call their 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit their website to speak to someone now. They offer free consultations and case evaluations and represent accident victims throughout Ontario.

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