What is whiplash and how do whiplash injuries occur?
Whiplash is a specific type of neck injury that is most commonly caused by an unexpected, sudden jolt to your body. The whiplash injury is caused by very fast acceleration and deceleration in your body, often caused by a crash or collision of some kind. Whiplash injuries can happen in a number of different situations, including sports such as diving. But most commonly, whiplash happens as a result of road traffic accidents. The most common scenario is a traffic accident that happens at low speed, where your car is hit from the rear while your vehicle is stationary, particularly if you don’t see it coming.
Many people find this correlation with low speed impacts very hard to understand. But this correlation is because in a low speed accident your vehicle is less likely to sustain damage, causing you to suffer a ‘shunt’ rather than a ‘crumple’. This means that rather than the impact of the collision being absorbed by your car, the impact is absorbed by your body.
Some people disbelieve whiplash sufferers, partly because whiplash injuries can take hours or days to emerge and partly because the injuries are not visible and are hard to prove. The low speed impact can lead people to believe that a sufferer is simply using the crash as a chance to pursue a whiplash claim, as they appeared to simply walk away from a low speed accident and may not have even noticed an injury for a couple of days.
How common is it to make a whiplash claim?
In 2012, an estimated 600,000 people decided to make a whiplash claim in the UK. So it’s very common. Unfortunately, because whiplash injuries vary so wildly from one case to the next, a whiplash claim can draw criticism of suspicion from the other party. This means that a whiplash claim can involve a number of medical assessments and can require support from whiplash claim experts.
Some of the most common and mild symptoms of 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
You can see from these symptoms that in some cases, whiplash can be entirely debilitating. While the vast majority of people who experience whiplash experience discomfort for a short period of time and then recover very quickly, a small minority of people may still experience problems months or even years after their accident. For this reason, it’s very important that you make a whiplash claim.
Accident Advice Helpline has all of the expertise and resources you need to get the best result when you make a whiplash claim. Call us on 0800 689 0500 for a no obligation claim today.