What is Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash is a sudden or violent forward and back motion of the head. It’s also known as Cervical Acceleration-Deceleration (CAD). The abrupt acceleration-deceleration jerking motion of the head can stretch and strain the muscles in the neck, causing pain and even fractures, potentially leaving you to miss out on work and activities you love.
Your health should be your number one priority. If you sustain a whiplash injury, see a doctor immediately. When you’re ready, you may be able to take legal action to receive fair compensation for any damages and losses you incurred. That’s where the David Hollingsworth team comes in. Reach out to us today.
What Causes Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries related to car accidents, and people can sustain this kind of injury even when walking away seemingly unharmed from a minor accident. However, whiplash doesn’t only occur on the road — the force from any vehicle, sports collision, or blow to the head or body can result in the snapping motion of the neck and stretching of the spine and result in injury.
Effects of Whiplash Injury
While the effects of whiplash are often felt in the neck area, the ensuing damage and pain can carry throughout your body to your shoulders, legs, and arms. This may not fully be realized until well after the initial trauma.
Whiplash injuries can be debilitating and can significantly change the course of your life. People suffering from a whiplash injury can experience anything from mild pain for a few days to severe disability, including restricted head and spine movement. Some symptoms and experiences can include the following:
- Neck, back, and shoulder pain
- Headaches and dizziness
- Blurred vision
- Forgetfulness or difficulties concentrating
As personal injury lawyers, we can’t diagnose or predict what kind of symptoms you will feel, but we can work to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries so you can get the best rehabilitation therapy and recover some of your financial losses.
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What to Do if You Have Whiplash
If you or a loved one sustains a whiplash injury, here’s what you can do:
- Seek medical attention: See a doctor no matter how big or small the incident. Sometimes, whiplash symptoms don’t appear right away, so it’s best to speak with a medical professional to avoid future complications.
- Track your damages: Track medical and rehabilitative expenses and wages you lose from missing work, and document all non-quantifiable damages, like loss of enjoyment in life and mental distress. Read more about the types of damages below.
- Reach out to a personal injury lawyer: Whiplash injuries can cause considerable pain and lead to measurable financial loss. Speaking with a professional team like ours for legal advice can help you navigate the space of accident and injury law, so you can get the fair compensation you deserve.
Whiplash Classification and Taking Legal Action
If your accident benefits insurer has deemed you in the Minor Injury Guideline (MIG), you can receive $3,500 in medical rehabilitation benefits, even if you have purchased upgraded accident benefits.
Unless you suffer neurological symptoms from your injury, whiplash falls under the Minor Injury Guidelines. This designation is detrimental to many people who are genuinely suffering from a whiplash injury and need more compensation than what the MIG provides.
If your whiplash injury falls into this category, it is best that you speak with our experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyers, as you may be entitled to an increase in your medical rehabilitation compensation, depending on your whiplash-associated disorder (WAD) class.
Healthcare professionals categorize whiplash injury into four grades: WAD 1, 2, 3, or 4. Let’s look at these categories in more detail:
- WAD 1: You may feel pain, strain, or stiffness in the neck muscles and ligaments, but you still exhibit normal strength, range of motion, and reflexes.
- WAD 2: Neck and musculoskeletal pain will be present and is typically combined with the experience of decreased range of motion.
- WAD 3: You may suffer from neck and musculoskeletal pain and neurological indicators, like numbness or tingling in the arm.
- WAD 4: The most severe grade classifies neck and musculoskeletal pain with a fracture or dislocation.
If you classify as a WAD 1 or 2, insurance companies may view your injuries as a “minor” and tell you that your claim amount is capped. However, this may not always be the case, so working with a lawyer can help you understand and protect your rights. You may also be entitled to more compensation if you are diagnosed with a WAD grade 3 or 4.
No matter the grade of your whiplash injury, speak to our experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyers to better understand your legal rights and entitled compensation. We can file an application for mediation with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) on your behalf.
How Our Injury Lawyers Can Help
Often, people who suffer from a whiplash injury think its effects will simply go away over time. In most cases, this causes further damage. We’re here to get you the support and fair compensation you need.
Get the Medical and Rehabilitative Support You Need
Whiplash injuries can be challenging to diagnose with scans and imaging. Because of this, our lawyers work with the best medical professionals who have industry-leading experience recognizing and reporting physical debilitations and the causes behind them. This ensures you can get the most accurate diagnoses and recovery plans.
While whiplash treatment has evolved over the years, its goals generally remain the same: to control pain, restore range of motion, and get you back to your daily activities. Rehabilitation and recovery methods can include a combination of any of the following, depending on the extent of your injury:
- At-home rest
- Heat or cold compresses
- Massage therapy
- Foam collars
Regardless of the type of treatment you need, it will take time and money to ensure you fully recover. We understand how difficult this journey can be, and that’s why we’re here to support you throughout this journey.
Help with Insurance Claims
If you don’t know how to file an insurance claim or are unsure about the next steps, that’s okay. Insurance company policies can vary, which is why we’ll help you work through your Ontario accident benefits insurance claim. That way, you can focus on your recovery while we work with your best interest at heart to secure the fair compensation you deserve to return to living your life as you once did.
Receive Fair Compensation
Different factors can determine how much you receive in your whiplash injury settlement, like the extent of your injuries and the expected timeline of your recovery. Here are some examples of what you may be entitled to receive compensation for:
- Special Damages: This includes compensation for things that are tangible and quantifiable, including but not limited to medical bills, cost of care, personal property loss, and missed work wages.
- General Damages: This is compensation for intangible, non-quantifiable losses. General damages include physical or emotional pain and suffering, mental health decline, loss of independence, reduced enjoyment of life, and the inability to engage in the activities you love.
Keep in mind that it’s essential to keep detailed records and accounts of all the damages you want to recover. This recordkeeping will help us build your case.
Why David Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers?
Having an experienced personal injury team by your side can help you get the fair compensation you deserve for your whiplash injury. As mentioned above, we can help facilitate getting you the treatment you need and the compensation to which you are entitled.
We understand how traumatic whiplash injuries can be and how they can impact your daily life. We care about you. Here’s what else our firm offers when you choose to work with us for your legal claim:
- You don’t pay until you get paid. We make access to personal injury lawyers accessible by waiving fees until you collect your compensation.
- We pay close attention to detail. Whiplash injury cases can be tricky to navigate without the right expertise. That’s why we know the ins and outs and all the angles to approach your settlement so that you can be fairly compensated for general, special, and punitive damages (if applicable).
- We have a multilingual team. Language barriers can also impact access to lawyers. We believe that everyone deserves a chance to get fair compensation. That’s why we have a team of bilingual and multilingual attorneys and translators to support you.
Leave all the heavy lifting to us. Our trusted lawyers can do the following:
- File your claim
- Handle documentation and paperwork for you
- Speak with insurance representatives on your behalf
- Build a strong claim backed by evidence
- Negotiate better settlements
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Facing a whiplash injury can be challenging, especially if it interferes with your daily life. Contact us for free, so we can listen to your experience, hear your case, and discuss how we can help you get the fair compensation and care you need to return to better health, well-being, and overall quality of life.
We’re a leading, established team of Ottawa personal injury lawyers who understand and care. We’re always here to help.
See What Our Personal Injury Clients Are Saying:
Just a note to say thank you for your time, effort, and, most importantly, your support with regard to my case over the past five years. I am particularly grateful for your unwavering belief in my case when mine was wavering. When I was considering accepting the other side’s less-than-generous offer to settle for zero and to absolve us of any financial obligation as far as their expenses, you said that it was my call but that you had always believed in my case. It was those words that came to mind when you informed me of the judge’s decision with your note that simply said, “We won.” That was truly a wonderful moment; to know that they were, in fact, to be held responsible for my pain and suffering. I had always felt like my injury could have easily been prevented with a simple warning or a tap on the shoulder; the decision of the judge proved that that was the case. Once again, thank you so much for everything. We are both so thankful that we were represented by you during this process. Kindly pass along our gratitude to your office staff for their help & support as well. We hope that you and your family are enjoying a safe and happy summer.