Whiplash Compensation Claims
Whiplash is one of the most common traffic accident injuries and accounts for many compensation claims each year. It can occur to car drivers and passengers as well as those travelling in buses or coaches. It is most commonly associated with rear-end collisions although any sudden braking can strain the neck. Symptoms either appear immediately or in the days and weeks after the accident and although most cases clear up quickly a minority will take much longer to resolve.
Whiplash is usually caused by a sudden extension (backward movement of the neck) and flexion (forward movement of the neck) resulting from an impact or sudden braking. It is also called neck sprain or strain and in mild cases only injures the soft tissues of the neck. Severe whiplash can damage the actual spine and nerves and take much longer to resolve. A tiny minority of people who suffer whiplash injuries go on to develop chronic conditions that result in constant pain and/or disability.
The symptoms of whiplash are various but usually include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, pain in or between the shoulder blades and low back pain. You may also experience dizziness, ringing in the ears and pain or numbness in the arm and hand, as well as difficulty sleeping and fatigue. Most of these injuries will not be visible on X-rays and your doctor may use specialized testing equipment such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose the condition.
Normally a combination or rest, ice and painkillers will improve matters but Physiotherapy may be necessary and sometimes chiropractors or osteopaths can relieve the severity of symptoms. For 75% of patients the situation resolves itself within a few months but others may need surgery and further help. Whiplash Compensation claims awarded will vary; for mild whiplash sums of up to £2000 are normal whilst severe cases may receive up to £250,000 for fractures of the vertebrae.
If you have had an accident and believe that you may be suffering from whiplash it is important to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. As this is an extremely common injury associated with road traffic accidents diagnosis is normally swift and relief available.