Car accidents are an unfortunate yet frequent reality in Australia. For this reason, Western Australia makes use of a compulsory third party (CTP) insurance scheme known as the Insurance Commission of Western Australia. One of the primary goals of this statutory corporation is to provide injury insurance to WA motorists.
Simply put, if you suffer personal injury in a car accident caused by a driver that has Western Australian registration plates, you can claim for personal damages through the Insurance Commission of Western Australia. In this article, we explain how to go about claiming for whiplash compensation and how it can benefit you and your loved ones.
A Whiplash Injury
A whiplash injury is normally sustained due to a violent jolt of the head that injures the neck muscles. During a car accident, your seatbelt secures your body during sudden deceleration and acceleration. However, one’s neck if often left unsupported during sudden impact which is why whiplash injuries occur so often.
The severity of your whiplash symptoms is dependent on a host of factors like the force of the impact, the space between your head and the seat, as well as your body’s orientation in the car.
It is also important to understand that symptoms can be experienced immediately or latently. For this reason, it is highly recommended to get a medical evaluation after an accident, even if you consider the crash to be minor.
More often than not, inordinate amounts of adrenaline are released in the body during a car crash which can prevent you from feeling any pain at the time.
The most common whiplash symptoms include:
- A stiff or tender neck
- Nausea, fatigue and general dizziness
- Headaches that spread to the jaw region
- Pain that travels down your spine
- Shoulder and back pain
Steps to Take When Claiming For Whiplash Compensation
Get a Medical Evaluation at a General Practitioner
By visiting your general practitioner right after your accident, you create a paper trail which can come in handy if you want to claim for personal injuries later on through the Insurance Commission WA.
Even if you are not experiencing immediate neck pain, giving an account of what happened during the accident can help your doctor to evaluate your physical state and prevent unforeseen complications.
In the unfortunate event that you need to file a whiplash injury claim, you will have to send all your original medical receipts to the Insurance Commission of Western Australia. However, be sure to keep copies of the medical documentation you send over.
Once your personal injury claim has been accepted you will be reimbursed for all of the medical expenses pertaining to your whiplash injury.
Report the Accident
Report the car accident to the Insurance Commission WA and inform them that you want to claim compensation for personal injury. They will then launch an investigation into your injury compensation claim by taking witness accounts and medical reports into consideration.
It is important to note that there are time limits to consider when wanting to claim for whiplash compensation. As a result, you may be legally prohibited from pursuing compensation if you have not lodged a claim within three years from the date you first became aware of your injury.
Who Can Claim?
If you suffered a whiplash injury or are financially dependent on an individual who suffered one due to a motor vehicle accident, you will be able to claim. It is not only drivers who are eligible to claim but passengers too. This is because passengers have less structural support in a vehicle, making it more likely for them to suffer injuries in minor collisions.
Claiming for personal injury when the fault lies entirely with the other driver will translate into the highest possible compensation. However, you can still claim if you were partly at fault for the crash or for the injuries you sustained.
Why Should You Claim?
Time taken off from work for medical or physiotherapy appointments can take its toll on your financial income and professional capacity.
In addition to substantial financial burdens, you may also have a lower quality of life if you are constantly trying to manage chronic neck pain. As a result, the accumulation of all these stressors can put a strain on close relationships and your overall mental health.
Claiming for whiplash compensation will free up your time so you can focus on your health and provide you with some much-needed financial relief. Moreover, it will provide you with peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of.
What Can You Claim?
When issuing a claim for whiplash injury compensation, your lawyer should consider all physical and psychological injuries and losses. Although every case is different when it comes to payouts, it is safe to presume that your whiplash compensation will be heavily dependent on the extent of your injuries.
Variables that should be considered during personal claim negotiations include:
- Lost earnings due to time taken off work
- Loss of future earnings due to changes in your ability to work
- All past and ongoing medical expenses
- Travel and accommodation reimbursement
- Any expenses directly related to your injury
- Care and support costs
- Pain and suffering
What is the Average Payout You Can Expect?
According to data provided by the Insurance Commission WA, the average compensation given for a spine and neck injury claim ranges from $36,000 – $37,000. This compensation amount covers all costs to the Insurance Commission WA which may be paid before the compensation payout settlement.
When looking at the average payout regarding CTP compensation in WA for all types of car accident injuries, it normally ranges around $50,000 per claim. Keep in mind, there are a range of factors that can influence what you will be compensated on and how much your overall payout will be.
Issuing a personal injury claim to get the whiplash compensation you and your family deserve can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Give Motorlegal a call if you are in need of quality, free advice from professionals that specialize in motor vehicle accident and insurance claims.