If you have had a car accident, there is a chance that you will have suffered whiplash damage. It is one of the most common accident injuries in the United Kingdom, and in serious cases, it can be debilitating. If you have had an accident which has left you suffering from the effects of whiplash, you may be able to claim compensation.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is the name given to a type of neck injury which is usually caused by a sudden, jolting movement of the head. In any incident where the head is thrown suddenly forwards, sideways or backwards, the ligaments as well as tendons in the neck can be stretched awkwardly, strained or otherwise damaged. This excessive movement can disrupt vertebrae in the spine and neck area, causing the accident victim lasting damage.
Although whiplash is primarily thought of as a neck injury, there are lots of different symptoms associated with the damage. It is possible that the pain and aching can spread across the whole neck and back area. Some people also experience sensory disturbances, such as pins and needles or other tingling or numbness. Other victims of whiplash have reported related symptoms, including headaches, increased irritability and other cognitive symptoms, whilst some suffer a serious reduction in mobility following whiplash incidents, which can seriously affect their quality of life
The symptoms of whiplash may not appear immediately after the accident. Many victims only begin to notice the symptoms a few days after their accident. However, once the symptoms of whiplash take hold, they can seriously damage your quality of life. It is thought that around 50% of people suffer lasting damage as a result of their whiplash injury. If you notice any of the symptoms of whiplash after an accident, it is best to seek medical attention, so that they can attempt to provide you with some form of treatment. There are different grades of whiplash, according to medical scales, and the type of whiplash which you suffer from can affect how much compensation you may be entitled to receive.
What causes whiplash?
The most common cause of whiplash is being involved in a car accident, and most of these whiplash incidences actually occur when one vehicle is hit from behind by another vehicle. Whilst the driver of the rear vehicle is usually responsible, the driver of the vehicle in front usually suffers more serious injuries. In fact, whiplash injuries can occur, even when there looks like there is little to no damage to the vehicle, and the collision occurred at low speed. Whiplash can also affect other passengers in the vehicle, who may also be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
Whiplash injuries are not always caused by car accidents. It is also possible to suffer whiplash in any slip, trip or fall where your head is jolted violently backwards or in any incident where you experience a sudden blow to the head which could place unnecessary strain on your neck. Some people have even reported experiencing whiplash after heavy periods of airplane turbulence.
What level of compensation is awarded in whiplash cases?
The amount of compensation that whiplash victims are awarded will vary from case to case, because all claims for compensation are completely unique. The amount of compensation which you will be awarded can depend on a number of different factors, including the seriousness of the injury which you sustained and whether you suffered a reduction in earning potential due to these injuries.
How to make a whiplash claim?
Once you decide that you want to make a claim for compensation relating to your whiplash injury, you should get in contact with a professional claims advisor or legal professional. In order for them to assess whether your claim is viable, you will need to be able to recount the story of how you sustained your injury. Your advisor will also be interested in the extent of your injuries and how these injuries are affecting your standard of living. It may help your claims advisor if you are able to provide them with medical records which give details about the effects of your whiplash. Many claims advisors are able to offer their services on a “No Win, No Fee” basis, so you will not have to pay a penny if your claim is unsuccessful.