The most common type of Motor Vehicle Accident in Alberta is the rear-end collision. In Calgary, approximately 34% of all car accidents are rear-end accidents, while in Edmonton the percentage is closer to 35%. Most rear-end accidents take place at intersections. These collisions can be the result of a driver following too closely to the vehicle in front, and occur even more frequently when roads are icy, the sun is low in the sky causing glare or reduced visibility, or at high speeds when reaction times are reduced. This common accident often leads to one of the most common and well-known injuries: whiplash.
Calgary, Alberta Whiplash Lawyers
When a car is struck from behind, the pelvis, torso, and head of the occupants are accelerated forward, in that order. Inertia causes the head to seemingly snap backward (in reality it remains stationary while the car is pushed forward), and then, as the car comes to a stop again, snap forward like the crack of a whip – this is whiplash. There are many factors that determine the severity of the injuries suffered by the occupants of the car that has been rear-ended, including:
- Location inside the vehicle
- Headrest position
- Position of limbs, including hands on the steering wheel or feet on the pedals
- Whether the body or head were facing forward or turned
- Secondary impacts (being pushed into another car or object)
- Expecting or not expecting the accident (body tenseness)
- Movement of the body inside the car (hitting one’s head or banging one’s knee)
- Age, gender, fitness, and psychological state of the injured person
Whiplash injuries in rear-end accidents in Alberta are governed by the Minor Injury Regulation. This law limits the amount of general damages (money) that can be claimed for sprains, strains, and whiplash injuries, provided that they are “minor”. The limit is $4000 adjusted each year for inflation; this is known as the “cap” on minor injury damages. Treatment for those injuries is prescribed by the Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols Regulation. If you have been injured in a rear-end accident in Alberta, the insurance company may tell you that the compensation you can receive for your injuries is “capped” under the law, or that the amount of treatment you can receive is limited by the regulations. If a whiplash injury is more severe, the damages can be many times the amount of the cap. We can help you navigate the uncertainty in the law and make sure you get the treatment you need.
Our lawyers are extremely well versed in all the relevant rear-end accident and whiplash-related legislation. Our firm has many years and thousands of cases worth of experience in dealing with rear-end car accidents. We will tell you if your injuries are truly capped, and we can get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.