If you have been involved in a car accident, you may be wondering if you are entitled to make a compensation claim for a whiplash injury. On this page you will find some general guidance relating to whiplash injuries and Irish law.
Instigating a Whiplash Injury Compensation Claim
In the Irish system currently the typical award for general damages for whiplash injuries tends to be in the region of €10,000 to €20,000 if fully recovered within 12 to 18 months. Obviously the cost of any physiotherapy, acupuncture, GP visits required to treat the injury in the meantime will form part of the claim for special damages separately from the claim for general damages.
The evidence required to support a typical claim for whiplash injury would be a report from a GP, in which they will document the nature of the symptoms, treatment, progress and prognosis etc. If the injury is ongoing or problematic, MRI scans and x-rays may be required and it may be necessary to consult with orthopaedic experts. Obviously, the primary concern is to treat the medical condition in accordance with the best medical advice, the evidence required to support the claim will just be recording and demonstrating this in order to enable the claim to be assessed accurately.
Generally speaking there does not tend to be any surgical intervention in whiplash. Headaches can be a big problem, and it may be necessary to be seen by a neurologist if these persist.
Book of Quantum
You may find Section 2, Page 27 of the Personal Injury Assessment Board’s Book of Quantum, useful as a guide to Whiplash definitions and compensation amounts. In particular, you may find the following information regarding compensation claim amounts of interest.
Minor Injuries – substantially recovered or a full recovery expected
Claims of up to up to €19,400.
These injuries are minor soft tissue, whiplash injuries. Whilst the duration of symptoms will be of importance, there are also other factors that need to be considered when calculating the assessment. Such factors would include the nature of the neck injury, the intensity of the pain and extent of the symptoms, the presence of additional symptoms in the back or shoulder areas, the impact of the injuries on the persons ability to work and/or the extent of the treatment.
Claims of €20,400 to €30,200.
These injuries would be moderate soft tissue injuries where the period of recovery has been protracted and where there remains an increased vulnerability to further trauma. Also within this bracket would be injuries which may have accelerated or exacerbated a pre-existing condition over a period of time, usually no more than five years.
Moderately Severe Injuries
Claims of €34,400 to €52,200.
These injuries involve the soft tissue or wrenching type injury of the more severe type resulting in serious limitation of movement, recurring pain, stiffness and discomfort and the possible need for surgery or increased vulnerability to further trauma. This would also include injuries which may have accelerated and/or exacerbated a pre-existing condition over a prolonged period of time, usually more than five years resulting in ongoing pain and stiffness.
Severe and Permanent Injuries
Claims of €44,600 to €77,900.
The most severe category. These injuries will have also affected the structure of the neck and the discs, resulting in serious limitation of movement and the requirement for surgery. Little or no movement regained on a permanent basis resulting in ongoing pain and stiffness with the necessity to wear a collar for long periods in the day.
Average payouts for whiplash injuries are around the €20,000 mark, according to a recent report by The Irish Times.
About McCarthy + Co
With more than 30 years of experience in dealing with personal injury claims *, McCarthy + Co. has expertise in a wide variety of fields including workplace and road traffic accidents. We are a family-run business, who pride ourselves on offering honest, impartial and helpful advice.
Our offices are based in Dublin and Cork but we have worked with clients throughout Ireland in locations ranging from Galway to Waterford. You can count on us for legal advice, guidance and assistance on any form of personal injury *.
Get in contact with our experienced solicitors today to start a whiplash injury claim * or to gather more information regarding your desire to do so. Call us on 1800 390 555 and an experienced member of staff will discuss your situation and potential next steps. You can also email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.