A whiplash occurs in a car accident usually when your head swings back and forth very quickly after a collision. If you want to sue the at-fault driver for your personal injury then the person who you want to sue must have been careless by either rear-ending you or taking a left hand turn in front of you while you have the right of way, etc. In other words the accident where you suffered a whiplash personal injury must not have been your fault.
The severity of the damage
One of the first things to know is that the insurance company puts a lot of weight on the amount of damage to your vehicle as a result of the car accident. If there isn’t much damage, then insurance company knows that the personal jury you sustained is likely not very serious. They will not have a lot of sympathy for you and the payout may not be significant. If you claim that you have a life-altering injury from a car accident with little to no damage then you will face an uphill battle in trying to be compensated. On the other hand, if you have a lot of property damage and the car looks like it has been flattened, then your ability to prove your case will be easier. Furthermore, if your car rolls over in the accident then the jury, and the insurance company, will likely give you more money for your whiplash injury because those accidents tend to be more violent in appearance.
Do not wait to report your injury
Another thing to keep in mind is the sooner you complain about your whiplash injury from the car accident the better. If you wait too long to see the doctors then the insurance company will think that something else might have happened to cause you to have whiplash, not the car accident. If the car accident was the reason for your whiplash then you would have received medical attention right away. A good way to indicate this is to take the ambulance to the hospital as you complain of neck pain. This is the first and most immediate indicator to the insurance company.
Are your injuries permanent?
In Ontario, to get compensated for your pain and suffering your whiplash is going to have to be “serious and permanent”. If you can get a doctor or medical expert to say that your injuries from the car accident are permanent then you will have an easier time getting compensated. This is a tough standard. The judge is going to be asked if the claimant suffered a serious and permanent impairment of an important physical mental or psychological function. This is called the tort threshold. Getting your doctor’s support is the key to success in your case.
Be prepared to prove your injuries
Keep in mind that insurance company is allowed to hire a doctor to examine you. These doctors often say that you are not injured and have no issues as a result of the accident. You will have to fight this doctor and the insurance company to prove that your injuries warrant compensation by hiring your own doctors and medical experts.
Another thing to keep in mind is the more doctors you see about your whiplash injury the better. This will indicate to the insurance company that you are seriously injured. If you were to hypothetically get no treatment then the insurance company will take the position that you don’t need it because you are not injured.
Has the injury resulted in an absence from work?
If you are off work then the insurance company will also take this as a signal that you are seriously injured. If the doctors and medical professionals are saying that you should be off work and you actually stop working, then the compensation you receive will likely be higher because you are not only getting pain and suffering compensation, but also income loss compensation.