Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Whiplash Injury Back Problems

Whiplash What Is the Meaning?

This is a very interesting question that many people from the medical profession, the legal profession, the insurance industry and people like you and I are asking. Why is this the case? The answer is because it is so difficult to pin it down accurately.

Most dictionaries describe whiplash as “injury caused by a severe jerk to the head, typically in a car accident.” From that dictionary description we can add two more questions which are firstly, if the jerk is to the head why are people talking about “back” injuries and secondly are we talking about all car accidents or just certain car accidents?

Let us examine firstly what is a whiplash injury. As the dictionary says it is a jerk to the head and in a car accident your seat belt will stop your body from being propelled forward but your head is not in a harness, so it stretches the muscles in the neck causing damage to them in many cases. Now the argument comes when some people who have suffered whiplash injuries complain of back pain. Did this back pain come from a neck injury? To the pot you must add the simple fact that most adults suffer, long before any Whiplash injury, from back problems and injuries. So, to what extent has any Whiplash injury contributed to a worsening of the existing back injury or indeed has it contributed at all? Sometimes if the person has been treated by a Medical professional before the Whiplash injury then in some small way it is possible to be a little more accurate, but only a little bit more accurate about quantifying a diagnosis of the Whiplash injury. You can now see that the evaluation of a Whiplash injury is extremely problematic and the Insurance companies for example are very suspicious when it comes to evaluating Whiplash injuries. Indeed, they trot out on a regular basis that increases in car insurance premiums are to a large extent due to the many Whiplash injuries.

Although car accidents are responsible for Whiplash injuries they can occur when there is a sudden shock to the body from behind, such as a push or a very sudden deceleration. This gives you the clue to where car accidents happen to cause Whiplash injuries. They are almost all caused by the car being hit from behind causing as explained above the body to be propelled forward your seat belt will stop your body from being continually propelled forward but your head is not in a harness, so it stretches the muscles in the neck causing damage.

But not all people that are in a car that has been hit from behind suffer Whiplash injuries. I know a couple who were hit from behind by a Volvo estate. They were stationary, and the police estimated the Volvo was doing 80kph. The couple were in a BMW 3 and the seat belt stopped them going through the windscreen and pulled them backwards so that they both demolished the front seats and found themselves horizontal to the ground. One had a Whiplash injury the other did not.

Can you explain that?

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Whiplash Injury Claim Amount

Whiplash claims average pay out in Ireland

This has been an interesting time for the road traffic accident side of Personal Injury claims in Ireland. Everyone seems to have had their say as to why the cost of car insurance is so high in Ireland. The Insurance industry points the finger at Whiplash claims as the major reason. The medical profession say that it is seemingly impossible to judge impartially the state of one’s neck or back for a whiplash claim after a car accident or indeed before the car accident. As a large percentage of people have back problems before a car accident how much more did the Whiplash make it worse? Every December the insurance companies go flat out to cram as many claim settlements through the books before the end of the year as possible so that they cannot be accused of making too much profit! Even doubtful claims are settled. The motorist points the figure at the insurance companies and says that they do not do enough to weed out fake and incorrect claims.

Escalating insurance costs

The Irish Government some time ago set up a commission to examine personal injury compensations awards for victims of road traffic accidents amid concerns about escalating insurance costs. Between 70 and 80 per cent of all car insurance claims are for whiplash-related injuries, with the Insurance Ireland estimating the average pay-out to be about €15,000.

Recently it has been claimed that by curbing the cost of whiplash claims could save the Irish motorist up to €150 on their car insurance policies every year, the head of one of Ireland’s largest car rental companies has said.

Europcar Ireland’s chief executive Colm Menton has said that two of the Ireland’s largest motor insurers have communicated to him in writing that they would be prepared to reduce significantly the cost of car insurance premiums if the compensation awarded for whiplash claims in Ireland was capped.

His recent comments came in a submission to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance as consumer’s battle all the time with the rapidly rising cost of car insurance, a development, surprise surprise that the Insurance companies have blamed the cause to a sharp rise in awards relating to whiplash injuries.

If whiplash claims awards were capped at a maximum of €5,000 the Insurance companies have said that the average premiums would drop from €700 to between €550 and €590 for most insured people, he pointed out in his submission.

One thing is for certain if the Insurance companies have indicated a reduction in car premiums of between €150 and €110 then they will certainly be able to do better than that!

Who is right and who is wrong here? For certain it is not just one thing that is causing all the financial grief here for the average motorist. It is a combination of all the various factors mentioned above but I will leave you with one practical idea that everyone that suffers from back pain should be regularly assessed by a medical professional for an accurate assessment to be made after suffering whiplash.

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Whiplash Claims Process

Whiplash claim how long to resolve?

All Personal injury claims, including Whiplash claims must be submitted in Ireland to the Injuries Board (PIAB) for assessment.

The Injuries Board (PIAB) states on its Irish website that once a claim is submitted the assessment on average can take up to seven months to be completed. But wait for as it is easy to confuse this timetable with how long whiplash injury compensation takes to come through as clearly, they are not the same. Experience shows that the Injuries Board (PIAB) can take much longer than that.

You should be aware that the claim assessment is only one step in the claim process, and additional time must be allowed for the case to be prepared, either by yourself or with the help of a Personal injury solicitor and for the negligent third party to both consent to a claim assessment and also to accept or reject any the assessment of the Injuries Board (PIAB) once the assessment has been issued to the two parties. Personal injury claims must be accurately prepared,and a body of evidence collected to establish the negligence of a third party. Documents must be collected as proof of injury and proof of an accident and claims forms must be accurately completed and medical assessments arranged and duly documented.

The time taken for the process to be completed will also be increased if liability for the accident is denied or if the Injuries Board (PIAB) assessment is rejected by both or either party.

When an application is finally received by the Injuries Board (PIAB), the negligent third party against whom the claim is made will be sent a ‘Formal Notice’ that a personal injury claim has been filed. The third party must then notify his or her insurance company, and 90 days must be allowed for consent to be provided to the Injuries Board (PIAB) to proceed with the case assessment.

If and only if the Injuries Board (PIAB) is granted authorisation by the third parties insurance company to proceed with the case assessment, once the amount of compensation is assessed, both parties are then notified. Twenty-one days are allowed for the third party and yourself to agree to the assessment or reject it. If accepted, the Injuries Board (PIAB) issues an order to pay. The total time taken therefore for compensation to be paid in Ireland is therefore unlikely to be less than nine months, and you can realistically expect to have to wait at least year or more to receive a settlement.

If one of the two parties reject the assessment from the Injuries board (PIAB) then your Personal Injury solicitor will attempt to negotiate a settlement directly with the Insurance Company and that could take a number of months to come to a resolution. If there is no resolution, then both parties will end up in Court which again could prolong the affair for a number of months.

For certain there is no quick fix to a Personal injury claim.

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Car Accident Claims Procedures

What to do after a car accident not your fault in Ireland?

The quality of our roads is slowly improving and generally the quality of driving also is slowly getting better, but car accidents still do happen and, in those circumstances we have to ask ourselves the pertinent question “What to do after a car accident not your fault in Ireland?”

Here are some important DON’T’s and DO’s


Don’t lose it

Keep calm and respectful even when the others at the accident scene ARE losing it. Listen and note everything that is said. It may help you later if there is a dispute over the car accident.

Don’t just take the other party’s word for it

In view of the above there are some situations where the other driver or passengers may admit their liability and tell this to you verbally. But don’t take their word for it. Get them to put it in writing, and get them, if you can to sign it. It’s so easy, afterwards, to deny something they said, but if you have it signed and in writing to back it up, then things become harder to deny.

Don’t force the other driver to give their Insurance details

Although it is normal procedure to exchange insurance details you cannot force someone to do so. If they refuse,try and get a witness to the event and note down these details;

  1. The registration number of the vehicle
  2. The maker of car
  3. Its colour
  4. Any other feature that will enable the Gardaí to track the vehicle

Then inform the Gardaí of the refusal and give them the details in order from them to track down the driver.

Don’t ever admit anything

Don’t ever admit that the car accident is your fault or even partially your fault. And don’t even apologize before you know the true cause of the car accident. Saying “sorry”, unfortunately, is almost an admission of your guilt, and the other driver’s insurance company who want to get as much money from your insurance company will use this to their advantage when liability is settled, and you lose your no claims bonuses.

Here are some DO’s

Never ever leave the scene of the accident unless medically you have to

Don’t leave the scene unless you really need to go to hospital. Otherwise, you may end up in trouble with the Gardaí.

Call the Gardaí

They may or may not come depending on their availability and the seriousness of the car accident but call them you must.

Exchange details;

  1. Name, address, and phone number of the driver
  2. Insurance company, policy number, end date of policy
  3. License plate number
  4. Name and number of the Gardaí attending

You should get photos of the car accident scene from the camera in your mobile phone.

DO contact your insurance company immediately, even if you were not at fault.

DO take on an experienced and successful Personal Injury Solicitor if you have been injured in the car accident.

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Car Accident Tissue Damage

Soft tissue injury calculator

Soft tissue as we all know relates to muscle, ligament and cartilage damage. The Injuries Board (PIAB) in Ireland publishes what is called the “Book of Quantum” which lists the various possible injuries and a recommendation for compensation for the injury suffered. Included in this list are soft tissue injuries. It is, after all, only a recommendation from the Injuries Board (PIAB) and is not binding on the parties involved and can be rejected by one or all the parties. Of course, the “Book of Quantum” does not, because it cannot evaluate either the seriousness of the Injury or the pain and suffering endured by the person injured. In soft tissue injuries, it is very difficult to evaluate either the seriousness of the Injury or the pain and suffering endured by the person injured.

As we can see with so many possible variables, it is easy to understand why no two soft tissue injury claims for personal injury compensation are the same. It could be possible that the perception of how much a claim for compensation for a soft tissue injury someone should be entitled to is based upon what the Injuries Board (PIAB) has in its “Book of Quantum” but, unless one undergoes a medical evaluation of the soft tissue injury and its consequences under the supervision of an experienced and expert soft tissue injury claims solicitor, it is unlikely that one will ever be certain that any assessment made by the Injuries Board (PIAB) reflects the true and full extent of one’s soft tissue injury or represents adequate soft tissue injury compensation.

However, if one has suffered any form of negative effect on one’s emotional well-being due to how ones work soft tissue injury occurred or during recovery, one may also be able to include this element of one’s accident in a soft tissue injury claim for compensation. Victims of a soft tissue injury can also and often develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder if the soft tissue injury occurred in a particularly violent accident, or the injured party become anxious and depressed during their recovery from damaged tissues. Furthermore, if these emotional traumas manifested after the medical examination of one’s soft tissue injury had taken place, the trauma of Post-Traumatic                                                                                                                         Stress Disorder could have been omitted from the information communicated to the Injuries Board (PIAB) and left out of the Injuries Board´s assessment of one’s claim for soft tissue injury compensation.

The Injuries Board (PIAB) and their “Book of Quantum” has come into much criticism and rightly so for the low values that they have put on Soft tissue injuries.

As this article is very vague about the significance and the worth of a Soft tissue injury it is only by going to the Injuries Board (PIAB) with an experienced and successful soft tissue solicitor that any idea of how much the soft tissue injury is worth will any handle be got on a Soft tissue injury calculator.

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Whiplash Injuries Claims

Whiplash and other injury claims


Personal Injury and car accident injuries

If you have been injured, hurt, or harmed in a car accident that was not your fault then you may be entitled to claim compensation from the party that caused the accident.

Medical Negligence

Everyone in the Medical profession in Ireland has what is known as a “Duty of Care” to the people that they treat, or they look after. If you are harmed or hurt when a third party fails to treat or look after you according to a “Duty of Care” then you may be entitled to claim compensation for Medical Negligence from the same third party.

Personal Injury Solicitors Dublin

What we do

If you have suffered Personal Injury like whiplash or medical Negligence, then you may need the help of a Personal Injury Solicitor to help you make a personal injury claim for compensation.

This where we come in as there are two distant systems for making the claims for compensation.

For personal Injury claims they must all be sent to the Injuries Board (formerly the PIAB) for assessment and you do not need a Personal Injury Solicitor Dublin to do so. But there are major reasons why it is advisable to have us on board.

  1. Any mistake in the filling in of the assessment forms may invalidate your claim
  2. The recommendation of the Injuries Board is just that a recommendation and is neither binding on you or the third party, so you will need us to either negotiate a settlement or take it further to court. If we were not there from the start, then evidence may not be available as the Injuries Board process can take many months

The Medical Negligence way is to obtain a medical opinion from a qualified third party and to then start proceedings against the party that did not adhere to the “Duty of Care”.

Whether it is Personal Injury such as whiplash or Medical Negligence Personal Injury solicitors is here for you.

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Car Injuries Claims

Car accident solicitors Dublin

 Car accidents are around the rise across the country daily. Tourists, bad winter weather and distracted and reckless drivers can all cause you to be involved in a car accident. Though quite a few accidents are minor, some are serious and require comprehensive health-related remedy. When the car accident was not your fault then off course you have the possibility of making a car accident claim for any injuries that you might have suffered. For those who or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, they need to speak to car accident solicitors for an evaluation of their case to make a Personal Injury claim for compensation.

As usual the activity of Car accident solicitors in Dublin is always changing its profile with two major firms announcing both a new office and the takeover of another.

Gibson and Associates has just announced the takeover of Dublin based Barron Morris Solicitors and Johnson Solicitors have recently announced an increase in staff numbers. A decade ago law firms would specialise in Personal Injury and Medical Negligence cases and then five years ago most firms went to Personal Injury business and a few took the Medical negligence root. Now those who took the Personal Injury business are either specialising in Road traffic claims or Slips falls and trips or Work Injury and accidents. Soon will they be subdividing Road traffic accidents into car accidents, truck accidents motor cycle accidents? Most commentators think that will happen sooner than later. It is already clear that in the Google organic lists and in the Adwords Google groupings that some solicitors are aiming their site at specific targets like Car accident claims and not general keywords like Personal Injury Solicitors.

One of the most significant and critical factors in taking on a Car accident solicitor is that they know the law. An experienced Car accident solicitor for example should know that the statute of limitations may perhaps have an influence on your car accident claim.

As you know all car accident claims in Ireland must be submitted to the Injuries Board (PIAB); however, their recommendation is neither binding on you nor the opposing insurance company so Car accident solicitors have plenty of experience and expertise negotiating with insurance companies following a car accident. Car accident solicitors Dublin can get you significant amounts of compensation as they can by providing you the highest possible settlement for the injuries that you have suffered. A Car accident solicitor Dublin will fight for you to obtain you the compensation you deserve.

Getting a car accident solicitor Dublin can take the anxiety and frustration out of a car accident injury case. Without professional advice going through the legal procedures just after a car accident is certainly not easy at all. A Car accident solicitor Dublin can do the niceties for you, allowing you to focus totally on your recovery.

You know that it makes total sense to hire an experienced and successful Car Accident Solicitor Dublin!

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