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Most changes to ICBC compensation do not take effect until April 2019.  To find out if your rights are impacted, call us at 604.464.3333.

What To Know About Injury Claims For Whiplash After A Collision

What to Know About Injury Claims for Whiplash After a Collision

Note: Following a collision it’s important to seek medical help, including if you suspect you have whiplash. Next, seek qualified legal help in when reporting a claim to ICBC.

While whiplash is a very common injury experienced following a motor vehicle accident, in order to make a successful injury claim with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) it’s still necessary to demonstrate evidence of a soft tissue injury.

Unfortunately, insurers often start from the position that you, as claimant, have exaggerated the extent of your injuries, and this is can be difficult for you to disprove. Insurers may also seek to discount your injury as a result of any pre-existing conditions you may have had.

However, whatever pre-existing conditions you may have had at the time of the collision may be aggravated by a collision, and should not extinguish your claim.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a sudden injury to the neck from a rapid stop in momentum. You’re at greatest risk of experiencing whiplash when your car is “rear-ended”, or sustains a rear impact.

In these types of accidents, the collision causes your neck to be whipped backward and then forward in a quick and violent manner. Usually it is the “soft tissues” — the muscles and the ligaments — that are injured.

Symptoms of whiplash can include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Weariness
  • Shoulder pain and stiffness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Jaw pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Back pain.

If you have been in a motor vehicle accident and are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have sustained a whiplash injury and should seek medical attention as soon as possible,

Whiplash as Defined by ICBC

In the parlance of ICBC, whiplash is considered a soft tissue injury. ICBC assesses whiplash injuries along a gradient of severity known as Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD). The WAD gradient ranges from WAD 0 to WAD 4, with 4 being the most severe, and has been adopted by ICBC.

ICBC relies on internal injury settlement guidelines to limit the amount of damages available. However, the courts in BC are not bound by the ICBC’s soft tissue injury settlement guidelines. Instead, the courts will assess the quantum of damage on a case-by-case basis, while also relying on the legal precedents for whiplash injuries.

Know Your Legal Rights

It is for this reason that you should know your legal rights. You do not need to feel pressured into accepting any settlement offer from ICBC, and you can speak with a personal injury lawyer in Coquitlam to determine the potential value of your claim for non-pecuniary damages.

What Whiplash Settlement Are You Entitled To?

If you have suffered a Grade 0 to 4 whiplash injury from a motor vehicle collision and you’re not at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. ICBC might offer you an amount in order to settle your claim, but they may also dispute the severity of your injury.

Rewards for Loss of Enjoyment of Life

ICBC relies on their WAD assessment, but also on certain non-pecuniary damages (for pain and suffering), which may also affect your life and for which you may receive compensation. Non-pecuniary damages can help to alleviate the pain and loss of enjoyment of life both now and in the future.

Ultimately, the courts determine the compensation to which you are entitled. The Supreme Court of Canada has held, in Lindal v. Lindal, that non-pecuniary damages must be fair and reasonable to both the claimant and to ICBC.

As well, this case held that the amount of damages depends on the seriousness of the injury, and also on the ability of the amount to ameliorate the condition of the injured party.

Factors in Whiplash Settlements in British Columbia

The BC Court of Appeal, in Boyd v. Harris, has held that the following factors must be considered:

  • Age of the plaintiff
  • Nature of the injury
  • Severity and duration of pain
  • Disability
  • Emotional suffering, and
  • Loss or impairment of life

Important note: the courts in BC have distinguished between soft tissue injuries that resolve fully in a matter of months, and those that persist with residual pain for an extended period of time (Gill v. Janzen).

When to Contact a Car Accident or ICBC Lawyer in Vancouver

We focus on insurance and personal injury law, including whiplash claims in Vancouver. We can effectively challenge ICBC soft tissue injury settlement tactics.

However, if you are involved in a motor vehicle collision, be sure to take these steps first:

Get medical treatment for your injuries, and make sure your treatment is well documented

A thorough documentation of your accident and your injuries is critical to the success of a future claim. A legal professional can facilitate this process for you or provide names of reputable treatment providers if needed.

Do not accept fault for an an accident, and have a lawyer speak for you

If there is some disagreement or issue about who was at fault for the accident, you should not accept any fault and have a lawyer speak for you. A personal injury lawyer can clarify what your legal options are and help by representing you in your claim.

Do not wait until it is too late to seek compensation

Our personal injury lawyers can discuss the time limits with you and discuss what options are available to you for compensation.

Contact Car Accident Lawyers Spraggs & Co. For Help

At Spraggs & Co., our car accident lawyers are experienced in dealing with ICBC claims in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Surrey, Burnaby, and the surrounding Lower Mainland Region.

If we feel that ICBC is not providing a fair measure of compensation for your injuries, we can challenge them through the civil litigation process. Expert evidence is often required and a thorough independent investigation, especially if ICBC attempts to challenge your credibility and injury severity.

We understand that your whiplash injury is painful

At Spraggs & Co., we understand that your whiplash injury is painful and may have caused a debilitating effect to your ability to function. In some cases, this can include permanent pain, financial loss or the inability to work and support yourself and your family. We take the time to understand the impact of your whiplash injuries to your unique circumstances, and seek compensation on your behalf.

Our car accident lawyers provide services to clients in Surrey, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Langley, and surrounding areas of the Lower Mainland Region. Contact a Spraggs & Co. lawyer today at 604-464-3333 or 1-866-939-3339 to arrange your free consultation.

Note: Following a collision it’s important to seek medical help, including if you suspect you have whiplash. Next, seek qualified legal help in when reporting a claim to ICBC.

While whiplash is a very common injury experienced following a motor vehicle accident, in order to make a successful injury claim with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) it’s still necessary to demonstrate evidence of a soft tissue injury.

Unfortunately, insurers often start from the position that you, as claimant, have exaggerated the extent of your injuries, and this is can be difficult for you to disprove. Insurers may also seek to discount your injury as a result of any pre-existing conditions you may have had.

However, whatever pre-existing conditions you may have had at the time of the collision may be aggravated by a collision, and should not extinguish your claim.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a sudden injury to the neck from a rapid stop in momentum. You’re at greatest risk of experiencing whiplash when your car is “rear-ended”, or sustains a rear impact.

In these types of accidents, the collision causes your neck to be whipped backward and then forward in a quick and violent manner. Usually it is the “soft tissues” — the muscles and the ligaments — that are injured.

Symptoms of whiplash can include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Weariness
  • Shoulder pain and stiffness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Jaw pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Back pain.

If you have been in a motor vehicle accident and are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have sustained a whiplash injury and should seek medical attention as soon as possible,

Whiplash as Defined by ICBC

In the parlance of ICBC, whiplash is considered a soft tissue injury. ICBC assesses whiplash injuries along a gradient of severity known as Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD). The WAD gradient ranges from WAD 0 to WAD 4, with 4 being the most severe, and has been adopted by ICBC.

ICBC relies on internal injury settlement guidelines to limit the amount of damages available. However, the courts in BC are not bound by the ICBC’s soft tissue injury settlement guidelines. Instead, the courts will assess the quantum of damage on a case-by-case basis, while also relying on the legal precedents for whiplash injuries.

Know Your Legal Rights

It is for this reason that you should know your legal rights. You do not need to feel pressured into accepting any settlement offer from ICBC, and you can speak with a personal injury lawyer in Coquitlam to determine the potential value of your claim for non-pecuniary damages.

What Whiplash Settlement Are You Entitled To?

If you have suffered a Grade 0 to 4 whiplash injury from a motor vehicle collision and you’re not at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. ICBC might offer you an amount in order to settle your claim, but they may also dispute the severity of your injury.

Rewards for Loss of Enjoyment of Life

ICBC relies on their WAD assessment, but also on certain non-pecuniary damages (for pain and suffering), which may also affect your life and for which you may receive compensation. Non-pecuniary damages can help to alleviate the pain and loss of enjoyment of life both now and in the future.

Ultimately, the courts determine the compensation to which you are entitled. The Supreme Court of Canada has held, in Lindal v. Lindal, that non-pecuniary damages must be fair and reasonable to both the claimant and to ICBC.

As well, this case held that the amount of damages depends on the seriousness of the injury, and also on the ability of the amount to ameliorate the condition of the injured party.

Factors in Whiplash Settlements in British Columbia

The BC Court of Appeal, in Boyd v. Harris, has held that the following factors must be considered:

  • Age of the plaintiff
  • Nature of the injury
  • Severity and duration of pain
  • Disability
  • Emotional suffering, and
  • Loss or impairment of life

Important note: the courts in BC have distinguished between soft tissue injuries that resolve fully in a matter of months, and those that persist with residual pain for an extended period of time (Gill v. Janzen).

When to Contact a Car Accident or ICBC Lawyer in Vancouver

We focus on insurance and personal injury law, including whiplash claims in Vancouver. We can effectively challenge ICBC soft tissue injury settlement tactics.

However, if you are involved in a motor vehicle collision, be sure to take these steps first:

Get medical treatment for your injuries, and make sure your treatment is well documented

A thorough documentation of your accident and your injuries is critical to the success of a future claim. A legal professional can facilitate this process for you or provide names of reputable treatment providers if needed.

Do not accept fault for an an accident, and have a lawyer speak for you

If there is some disagreement or issue about who was at fault for the accident, you should not accept any fault and have a lawyer speak for you. A personal injury lawyer can clarify what your legal options are and help by representing you in your claim.

Do not wait until it is too late to seek compensation

Our personal injury lawyers can discuss the time limits with you and discuss what options are available to you for compensation.

Contact Car Accident Lawyers Spraggs & Co. For Help

At Spraggs & Co., our car accident lawyers are experienced in dealing with ICBC claims in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Surrey, Burnaby, and the surrounding Lower Mainland Region.

If we feel that ICBC is not providing a fair measure of compensation for your injuries, we can challenge them through the civil litigation process. Expert evidence is often required and a thorough independent investigation, especially if ICBC attempts to challenge your credibility and injury severity.

We understand that your whiplash injury is painful

At Spraggs & Co., we understand that your whiplash injury is painful and may have caused a debilitating effect to your ability to function. In some cases, this can include permanent pain, financial loss or the inability to work and support yourself and your family. We take the time to understand the impact of your whiplash injuries to your unique circumstances, and seek compensation on your behalf.

Our car accident lawyers provide services to clients in Surrey, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Langley, and surrounding areas of the Lower Mainland Region. Contact a Spraggs & Co. lawyer today at 604-464-3333 or 1-866-939-3339 to arrange your free consultation.

Jessica Spraggs

Spraggs & Co. is a leading personal injury law firm based in Coquitlam, BC. If you or a loved one has been injured in any kind of accident, contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

We are Coquitlam’s oldest law firm with more
than 35 years of experience handling motor
vehicle accident cases. Contact us today.

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