Spinal Injuries after a Motor Vehicle Accident
Spinal Injuries after a Motor Vehicle Accident:
Spinal Injuries after a Motor Vehicle Accident are the most common injury sustained after an accident. Some patients experience immediate pain and other can take a few days to week to develop. It is extremely important to see your GP as soon as possible after an accident.
Whiplash injuries under the Motor Accident Guidelines is defined as a “threshold injury”, previously known as a minor injury. Injured persons suffering from threshold injuries are only entitled to weekly benefits for 52 weeks from the date of the accident. It is important to note that the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 (NSW) has protections in place to protect injured persons who develop symptoms of spinal radiculopathy even after the 52-week period has elapsed.
CTP Claim Entitlements:
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident and have a CTP claim, injured persons have the following statutory entitlements:
- Payment of weekly wages;
- Payment of reasonable and necessary medical and travel expenses; and
- Payment of reasonable and necessary domestic assistance.
If an injured person is not wholly at fault for the motor vehicle accident, and they have a above threshold injury (previously known as non minor claim), then further entitlements under common law exist. Those entitlements include:
- Damages for pain and suffering (non-economic loss); and
- Damages for past and future wage loss (economic loss).
If an injured person was wholly at fault, at the 52 week mark from the date of the accident, the injured person’s CTP claim ends and they will not receive payment of weekly benefits after this point in time.
Radiculopathy after the expiration of the Statutory period
Spinal Injuries after a Motor Vehicle Accident can result in radiculopathy. Radiculopathy is when symptoms develop due to the compression of neural structures. The law accepts that if an injured person develops radiculopathy after the expiration of the Statutory period, then their entitlement to Statutory Benefits and a Common Law Damages claim remain. This means that even after the injured person has been barred from the CTP scheme for any period, if radiculopathy arises, their entitlements are reinstated.
Radiculopathy is defined as: “dysfunction of a spinal nerve root or nerve roots. To conclude that a radiculopathy is present, two or more of the following signs should be found:
- loss or asymmetry of reflexes (see the definitions of clinical findings in Table 6.8 in these Guidelines)
- positive sciatic nerve root tension signs (see the definitions of clinical findings in Table 6.8 in these Guidelines)
- muscle atrophy and/or decreased limb circumference (see the definitions of clinical findings in Table 6.8 in these Guidelines)
- muscle weakness that is anatomically localised to an appropriate spinal nerve root distribution
- reproducible sensory loss that is anatomically localised to an appropriate spinal nerve root distribution.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident where you suffered injuries to your spine and now believe that your condition is worsening, please do not hesitate to contact us for a private discussion with our experienced team of Physiotherapists in Parramatta.
Do you need assistance with your Physiotherapy treatment? Experienced team of Physiotherapists with essential knowledge. You can call us anytime to have a confidential discussion with our expert Physiotherapists. For more information on how we can further assist you, please call our clinic number on 0479 080 800 or send us an email on [email protected] for further details. Our Physiotherapists are Medicare, NDIS, and Work Cover approved, specialising in injury management and rehabilitation to get you back on track.