Whiplash Compensation Claims

Have you recently had a car accident or a workplace accident? Have you sustained a whiplash injury due to an accident? You may have a case to claim compensation for your injuries. Read our guide to find out if you're eligible to make a whiplash claim.
Serious Whiplash Injury Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a serious whiplash injury can happen instantly or may develop within days of the injury, common symptoms include:

• Neck pain and stiffness
• Headaches, specifically at the base of the skull
• Dizziness
• Blurred vision
• Constant weariness

Less common symptoms can include:

• Problems with concentration and memory
• Ringing in the ears
• Inability to sleep well
• Irritability
• Chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, or head.

It’s important to note that the symptoms of serious whiplash can last for a long time after an accident, especially if you don’t receive the right medical treatment.

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Common Causes of a Whiplash Injury

Whiplash can occur due to many different circumstances and reasons. Whiplash occurs when a person’s head is forcibly pushed backwards and then forwards suddenly. The sudden motion causes the neck to strain, stretch and tear ligaments and tendons.

Some people will have instant pain after suffering a whiplash injury or the pain may develop over time. Some people will also experience chronic pain or headaches for years after sustaining a whiplash injury.

The most common accidents that can cause whiplash include:
• Motor vehicle accident, in particular rear-end car accident
• Neck sprain or strain at work
• Sports accident
• Slip, trip or fall incidents.

No matter how you sustain a whiplash injury, it is important to get yourself checked out by a doctor, even if you think you have suffered a minor injury, and follow all medical advice you are given.

Rear-End Car Accident
If you are involved in a car accident there is a high probability you will obtain a whiplash injury, particularly if you have been involved in a rear-end car accident. This is because due to the involuntary jerk of the head and neck during a rear-end car accident. You may suffer other injuries during a motor vehicle accident which may also form part of your claim.

Whiplash injuries after a car accident may worsen overtime, it’s important not to ignore your pain and seek medical treatment. Some people develop chronic neck pain and suffer from long-term complications after a motor vehicle accident.

Talk with an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer for more information.
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Neck Sprain or Strain at Work
Workplace injuries are unfortunately commonplace and you may suffer a neck sprain or strain during the course of your employment. There are slight differences between neck strains and sprains ultimately though, they can be sustained in the same way and are both treated exactly the same way.

Common causes of neck sprains and strains in the workplace can include:

• Poor posture or holding an awkward position. The neck’s muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues can become overstretched when the head is held too far forward or tilted at an angle for too long. For example, being hunched over a computer for several hours or holding the phone between the ear and shoulder whilst you are working.
• Lifting something too heavy. You may overdo it and strain your neck when lifting something that requires a lot of effort and energy to lift by hand.
• Collision or fall. A sudden impact can jar the head and cervical spine to move too quickly for the muscles, which may lead to whiplash or other types of neck strain injuries. For example, falling over something in the workplace or colliding with an object or person.
• Performing a new work task. Putting any muscle through a new type of activity that is somewhat strenuous makes it more susceptible to neck strains. Accidents of this nature can occur due to inadequate training.
• Repetitive motions. After time even motions and loads that neck muscles could handle, doing too many repetitions can eventually strain the muscles.

Talk with an experienced workers compensation lawyer to learn more.
Sports Accidents
Accidents on sporting fields are becoming more frequent and can result in serious injury. There are certain sports which are more physical than others including Rugby League and Union, AFL, hockey, boxing and wrestling. If you are involved in a clash while playing sports your neck may suddenly snap backwards, forwards or sideways and this movement can cause whiplash, potentially damaging the spinal cord, ligaments, or neck muscles.

Sporting clubs and associations all have a duty of care to ensure the sporting activity is safe for participants. If this duty is breached, and you have suffered a whiplash injury, you may be entitled to an injury claim and be compensated.
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Slip, Trip or Fall
Slip, trip or falls can come out of the blue and the sudden jolt to your body can cause neck strains or sprains. Even if you land on your back or your arms, the impact can be strong enough for your neck to jerk causing whiplash. A bad slip, trip or fall can cause damage to discs or joints, can irritate the roots of nerves or even the spinal cord.

At times when you fall it is possible to catch yourself, or for someone else to catch you – before you hit the ground. The force of either scenario can also cause a neck injury, especially if you fall from a height or were stopped very abruptly.
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Can I Make a Whiplash Injury Claim?
If you’ve had an accident and have suffered whiplash, lodging a personal injury law claim can enable you to receive financial support as needed for any ongoing medical costs and time off from work. There may also be ongoing treatments required, such as physiotherapy and possibly counselling if the accident causes you ongoing trauma.

There are some important steps you need take when you make a whiplash injury compensation claim. Our team of experienced lawyers understand the whiplash claims process and will ensure your legal rights are protected.
What Evidence is Required to Prove Whiplash Injuries?
When you seek medical treatment for your whiplash injury you must ensure to let your doctor know how you sustained your injuries. Any notes your doctor makes can be used to assist with your whiplash claim.

As a part of the legal process, we will have a legal medical expert examine you and provide guidance on the following; whether you have suffered a whiplash injury and what are the long-term consequences for you. The legal medical expert will also:
- Review your medical notes
- Examine your cervical spine
- Check if there is decreased range of movement and tenderness.

The laws surrounding whiplash injuries can be confusing and hard to understand without any prior legal knowledge. It’s important to seek expert legal advice to ensure you get the right advice for your situation and make sure your rights are protected.
Is There a Time Limit For Making a Whiplash Injury Compensation Claim?
All personal injury law claims have time limits, whiplash claims are no different and have strict time limits for making a claim. You generally have three years from the date of your accident to make a claim. We strongly suggest seeking legal advice if you sustain a whiplash injury after an accident.
How Long Do Whiplash Injury Claims Take?
The length of time it may take to settle your claim is dependent on many factors. Sometimes the full extent of your whiplash injuries takes time to develop, this may stretch out the time it takes to settle your claim. Our compensation lawyers will ensure they work quickly and efficiently to get you the compensation you need to get you back to better health and back to work.
How Much Does it Cost to Lodge a Whiplash Injury Compensation Claim?
At Smith's Lawyers, you are protected by Queensland's first risk-free compensation promise: No Win, No Fee, No Catch®. In the unlikely event that your case goes to court, and you are unsuccessful, we'll cover the costs - so you won't pay a cent to us or anyone else.
What Are The Average Whiplash Injury Payout Amounts?
The amount of whiplash compensation you receive is dependent on a number of circumstances. Every case is different when it comes to payouts, without a full review of your whiplash claim there is no way to fairly estimate your compensation. Once we have looked into your claim our experienced personal injury lawyers will be able to give you guidance on the likely whiplash compensation average payout and will clearly explain your next steps. Your payout will mostly be dependent on the extent of your injuries and if there are any long-term complications from your accident.

Our compensation lawyers will assess your claim and take into consideration the following factors:

• Lost earnings due to time off work
• Loss of future earnings due to changes in your ability to work
• All past and ongoing medical expenses to treat your whiplash injuries
• Travel and accommodation expenditure
• Any other expenses directly related to your injury
• Care and support costs
• Pain and suffering
Can I Represent Myself When Making a Whiplash Injury Claim?
You can certainly represent yourself legally when making a whiplash compensation claim. Obtaining a successful whiplash claim will most likely require you to have a thorough understanding of the law, your legal rights and entitlements, and the time and commitment to actively pursue and resolve the personal injury claim.

If you engage one of our experienced personal injury lawyers you will be afforded the knowledge and experience required to make successful whiplash compensation claims.
Lodge A "No Win No Fee" Claim
If you suffer injuries while at work, you don't have to worry about the whole process of making your claim or the legal fees involved. Here at Smith's Lawyers, we offer free consultation services for injured workers looking to kickstart their claims. As mentioned before, we also have a no-win no fee, no catch policy.
Get in touch with us to give yourself the best opportunity to receive the maximum compensation possible for your claim.
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