At best, whiplash is an inconvenience that can lead to a few days off work. At worst, the condition can cause long-term injuries that may have an effect on your ability to perform everyday tasks. Moreover, whiplash is one of the most common ailments that people report following motor accidents.
A 2007 Institute of Actuaries of Australia study revealed the condition was responsible for one-quarter of all money paid out in compensation for car accidents claims. The Motor Accidents Authority states that 46 per cent of claimants report whiplash-associated disorders among their injuries.
Therefore, if you've recently been involved in an accident and suffered the symptoms of whiplash – which include pain and stiffness in the neck, headaches and limited mobility – you could be entitled to compensation. One of the first steps in proceeding with a claim should be to talk to a car accident compensation lawyer.
Pursuing a claim
Ideally, you will have visited the hospital or your local GP soon after your accident occurred so that a medical practitioner can officially diagnose your symptoms. This evidence is often crucial when seeking compensation.
It is also important to remember that claims must be passed on to the relevant compulsory third-party insurance provider within six months of the date of the accident. Once you have done this, you have three years in which to lodge a claim with the District Court of New South Wales.
However, lawyers often advise pursuing your case as quickly as possible due to the fact that witnesses' memories of the event can fade over time. This can create inconsistencies in the evidence, particularly if the claim doesn't reach the courts for a number of years.
How much compensation will I receive?
Every car accident compensation case is unique, with judges having to take into account various factors that could affect the settlement. For example, the severity of your whiplash will be taken into consideration, as well as any potential contributory negligence on your part.
In other words, if you were partly to blame for the accident, you may find your compensation is reduced as a result. Nevertheless, your payout could cover a range of economic and non-economic losses that you experienced after the accident.
Lost wages and superannuation, medical expenses, treatment costs and any money you need to invest in home modifications or equipment to facilitate your recovery are all commonly included in compensation rulings.
Would you like to know more about car accident compensation? Please get in touch with Gerard Malouf & Partners today for a free consultation.