Traffic accident whiplash injuries
Traffic accident whiplash injuries are often portrayed in the media as exaggerated or as an excuse for fictitious compensation claims.
Unfortunately, the broad range of whiplash symptoms combined with media hype means that genuine sufferers of accident whiplash have become less willing to claim for the serious injury and pain that whiplash can cause.
So what is whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury caused often by a sudden, violent jolt. Its most common form is road traffic accident whiplash, where your neck suffers a very fast acceleration and deceleration force, as caused by road crashes.
A traffic accident where you are hit from the rear while stationary is the most likely type of scenario to result in whiplash. It can also be caused during some strenuous physical pursuits, though, such as diving.
Whiplash is fortunately not usually a life-threatening injury, but it can lead to long term suffering, inability to work and partial disability.
The majority of people who experience accident whiplash recover very quickly, but a minority still experience symptoms years after their accident.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
The most common symptoms related to whiplash include:
- neck pain and neck stiffness
- shoulder pain or stiffness in the shoulder area
- pain in the jaw
- arm pain or weakness
- problems with eyesight or ringing in the ears
- back pain
More severe and chronic cases can display further symptoms including:
- drug dependency
- post-traumatic stress syndrome
- sleep disturbance or insomnia
- social isolation
So why are some cases thought to be not genuine?
Not only are the symptoms of accident whiplash wide-ranging, they are often not immediately obvious, sometimes taking between 12 hours and two days or more to become apparent.
This means that a person involved in a road traffic accident could seem healthy at the scene of a crash but hours or days later may find they have a serious injury.
One of the common misconceptions about whiplash injury following a traffic accident is that if your vehicle is hit from behind at low speed then you don’t suffer whiplash. But what actually happens in a low speed impact is that the lack of impact on the car, in terms of crushed metal and bumper, means that the force is not absorbed as it would be in a higher speed crash.
Instead, the force is transferred to the occupants of the car, causing a higher likelihood of sustaining a whiplash injury.
What do I do if I have an accident and receive whiplash?
If you have suffered an accident and believe you may have whiplash, you need to seek medical attention. This should be your first priority.
But once you’re recovering at home, if you would like to talk about your options for pursuing an accident whiplash compensation claim, give us a call for a no obligation assessment of your circumstances and the level of compensation you may be entitled to. Then sit back and recover while we take care of your claim!
So for expert legal advice about a possible claim call Accident Advice Helpline today on: 0800 689 0500 from a landline or: 0333 500 0993 from a mobile.
Date Published: 2nd December 2012
Author: David Brown