Why Whiplash is a Serious Injury
Whiplash is a serious injury which can leave long lasting damage, read more about why and learn how much compensation you could receive for whiplash.
Whiplash is a common injury that happens to a person’s neck following a sudden jolt that forces the head backwards, forwards or sideways, pushing the neck
tendons and ligaments out of their normal range of motion. It most usually happens in road traffic accidents, generally rear end shunts. The term whiplash
was first used in 1928 when it replaced the saying railway spine. This was a similar injury more common to people in railway accidents before the invention
Whiplash itself, is not a life threatening condition, but whiplash associated disorders can be severe and chronic illnesses. Neck injuries of any type can
be serious because the neck is such a critical part of the body – all of the neural messages and nutrient giving blood cells travel to the brain, and the
rest of the body, through the neck. This is why whiplash is a serious injury.
The symptoms of mild whiplash
Mild whiplash will cause you some pain and stiffness in the neck area, but not much more. A few weeks rest will clear this up. Painkillers and icepacks may
help at first, but always remember never to put ice directly onto you skin. Wrap it in something first, like a tea towel. A bag of frozen peas is ideal, as
they will mold to the shape of your neck.
Severe whiplash has many more symptoms such as:
- Backache and stiffness
- Pins and needles in the arms and legs
- Aches in the arms and legs
- Shoulder pains
- Blurred vision
- Trouble sleeping
- Anxiety and depression
- Ringing in the ears
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention and hopefully the medical practitioner you see will explain why whiplash
is a serious injury. The doctor will be able to give you medication to treat some of the symptoms, and particularly if your sight is affected or your start
to get depressed; you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
Maria’s case is a prime example
In June 2013, the Telegraph published an article by Maria Fitzpatrick, who represents a clear case of chronic whiplash.
Five years before, she stopped at a zebra crossing for someone to cross the road; another car went into the back of her and pushed her car to the other
side of the road. She sustained a whiplash injury and has been in pain every day since. She says when she wakes up in the morning she feels like she has
been hit by a truck, and she never knows what each day will bring, how bad the stabbing pain will be, or how bad the burning nerve sensations will be.
The prognosis for Maria is grim – the whiplash developed into complex chronic pain disorder, which amounts to irreversible damage to the central nervous
system, which is now hypersensitive. For Maria, the pain will never go away, she has to learn to live with it. This is a perfect example of why whiplash is
a serious injury.
One of the worst things Maria encountered was the attitude of the insurance companies who treated her with distain.
From the insurance companies point of view
It is understandable to some extent, why insurance companies do not react well to whiplash claims, but that is unfair on the genuine cases. However,
according to the Association of British Insurers, 78% of all personal injury claims submitted to insurance companies are for whiplash. They are of the
opinion that one in two cases are:
They say that this large scale fraud adds £90 a year to every motorist’s insurance premium, and that now insurance companies are agreeing to out of court
pay outs just to have a quick settlement and avoid court costs. This can only increase the insurance premiums even more.
How the severity affects your claim
If your whiplash was caused in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to make a personal injury compensation claim. The severity of your
injury will affect how much compensation you are awarded, the milder it is, the less you will receive. It is nothing unusual for claimants to wait a while
to see how the condition develops, before they start the processes of making a personal injury compensation claim.
You should speak to a good law firm and find out if you have a valid claim. They will discuss all aspects of the accident, the injury and the effects it
has had on your life. Apart from compensation for your injuries, it is possible to claim other out of pocket expenses, providing they were a direct result
of the accident. Things such as:
- Loss of earnings – accounting for future losses if you are unable to work again
- Travel costs – to and from medical appointments if you can’t drive
- Medical costs – extra prescriptions and private medical treatment if needed
- Care costs – if you need help doing every day tasks for a while
- Anxiety and stress caused by the injuries
You will know when you have found the right law firm for you, you will trust them and feel comfortable using their services. Make sure they operate on a No
Win, No Fee basis; you don’t need and don’t want to be paying large amounts of money upfront to start your claim. The scheme also means if your case is
unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any money at all.
Hopefully, the law firm you use, will be experts in the field of injury claims and will be able to handle your cases in a quick and efficient way. They
should keep all dealings between you and them confidential and treat your claim with the respect it deserves.
So now you know why whiplash is a serious injury, if yours was caused through the fault or neglect of someone else, you need to consider
making a personal injury compensation claim so that you receive a generous whiplash compensation amount for the injuries they have caused you. If you are
looking for exactly how much compensation for whiplash you could claim,
visit the Accident Advice Helpline claim form and find out just how much you could claim.