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Making an Injury Claim for Whiplash After an Accident

Whiplash is a frequent result of motor vehicle accidents. It typically occurs when a person in a stationary vehicle is struck from behind by another car. 

Fortunately, it isn’t a life-threatening condition, and most people recover reasonably fast without any long-term or chronic symptoms. However, it may lead to an extended period of disability. 

Many people believe that this type of injury isn’t a real physiologic condition due to a wide variation in symptoms. Instead, they insist that it’s manufactured by bad actors for possible financial gain. Although there will always be those who attempt to game the system for personal advantage, whiplash is a real condition with genuine symptoms.

Nature of Whiplash Injuries

In most whiplash cases, the full extent of a patient’s physical damages isn’t readily apparent immediately following an accident. Injuries, most notably to the soft tissue in the cervical (neck) region, take time to settle in.

Whiplash occurs when an impact forces the victim’s neck and head into a hyperextended (backward) position as the seat pushes the torso forward. Following a short delay, the neck and head recover and get immediately thrown into a forward position. This sudden movement can damage the neck’s ligaments and muscles, leading to spinal cord injuries.

The full extent of the incurred trauma often takes up to a week to be recognized by both patients and legal professionals. In more severe cases, whiplash injuries may pose prolonged and immediate medical issues for victims.

The cervical region is vital to a person’s mobility and physical comfort. Any considerable alteration or damage to this region may cause potential lifelong complications that alter the victim’s physical ability and pain-free life.

Like other soft tissue injuries, whiplash doesn’t show up on x-rays or other diagnostic tools. That is one element that makes these cases particularly hard to document in medical records. Which, in turn, complicates the claims process even further.

Claiming Compensation for Whiplash Injury

Whiplash settlements aren’t limited to the injury itself. You may also be entitled to claim additional compensation for lost wages and treatment costs over and above the pain and suffering. 

If you were diagnosed with whiplash-associated disorder (WAD) variety one or two, you’re entitled to pursue a settlement. However, the amount you can request in Alberta was limited to just over $5,202 in 2019.

Maximizing Claims for Whiplash Injury

If you’re pursuing a settlement for damages incurred from whiplash during a car accident in Alberta, you should follow these steps:

  • Seek medical attention
  • Collect all relevant documentation
  • Speak with insurance companies
  • Follow through with any treatment plans
  • Obtain proof of lost wages

Risks factors, settlement guidelines, and time limits for filing your claim

Potential risk factors for prolonged recovery following a whiplash injury

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Type of collision
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Prior neck disability
  • Getting immediate medical attention
  • Attending a chiropractor or physiotherapist
  • Consulting a lawyer
  • Total cost 

Whiplash settlement guidelines

  • Mild to moderate cases of whiplash may result in claims between $2,500 and $10,000
  • More severe whiplash cases may result in claims of up to $30,000  
  • Seeking a pain and suffering settlement may increase the overall value of your claim 

Time limits on filing your whiplash injury claim

  • Whiplash claims typically have to be filed within three years of your accident
  • Should you be under the age of 18 at the time of the accident, you have until the day you turn 21 to file a claim 

Find a dedicated team of personal injury lawyers to work on your whiplash injury case in Alberta. Contact Diamond & Diamond Law for your free, no-risk case evaluation.

Did you know?

“If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s important to get medical treatment immediately.”

– Diamond & Diamond Alberta

How Can a Whiplash Lawyer Protect My Rights?

While you’re not legally obligated to hire a lawyer when filing a whiplash injury claim, it might be a costly mistake to go it alone. Enlisting a team of professionals that’ll work on your claim 24/7 will guarantee that it’s compelling and backed by the most robust possible evidence.

Contact Diamond and Diamond today!

Pro Tip

“If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s important to get medical treatment immediately.”

Making an Injury Claim for Whiplash After an Accident FAQs

How to recognize and prevent fake personal injury claims?

Honest people often pay the price for fraudulent injury claims. Here are some tips to ensure that you don’t become the victim of such a scam.

  • Immediately call 911 after a car accident, regardless of its severity
  • Be sure to record what’s said
  • Collect witness statements from independent onlookers
  • Take a video and photographs 
  • Immediately contact your insurance provider

Should I accept the first offer for whiplash?

It’s ill-advised to accept the first offer that comes across the table without consulting a personal injury lawyer to correctly assess your claim. 

Sustained whiplash injuries seldom get better overnight. In most cases, you’ll potentially need treatment, and if you’re incapable of working, you may find yourself without an income. These and several other aspects that you may have initially neglected to consider can make a significant difference in your settlement amount.

Do you need a doctor's note to claim for whiplash?

Obtaining medical evidence is crucial in pursuing compensation for whiplash injury. Health records and documentation will strengthen your case. Without it, your options become limited in terms of the settlement amount you could receive and the number of lawyers who may take on your case.

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