Whiplash accident claims – the good, the bad and the media
Whiplash accident claims have been in the limelight for some time now, portrayed as a made-up excuse for claiming compensation. But is that the reality, or is whiplash a condition that genuinely requires compensation and recompense?
Whiplash can be a serious injury, often sustained in seemingly minor traffic incidents, which can have a huge impact on the victim’s life for a matter of months or occasionally years. For these people, whiplash is most certainly an injury that entitles them to compensation. Are there cases where people try and submit whiplash accident claims when they have not sustained an injury? Unfortunately in any system, there are always people who try and take advantage – the compensation system is no exception. Do whiplash accident claims deserve all of the negative media and government hype and attention? Well, that’s debatable.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury that is most often caused by an abrupt, fierce jolt. In a traffic accident where your vehicle is hit from behind, your neck suffers a very fast acceleration and deceleration force. The most serious whiplash injuries can be caused when your vehicle is stationary and hit from behind, particularly if you didn’t see the accident coming, such as is common if you were a passenger. A low speed crash can be, surprisingly, more harmful than a higher speed impact. This is because in a high speed crash, your vehicle is designed to absorb the impact, in terms of crushed and compacted metal and bumpers, etc. In a low speed crash, the vehicle maintains its integrity, meaning that the force of the impact is absorbed by your body instead.
So why do whiplash accident claims get such a bad press?
Part of the reason whiplash accident claims get so much attention is because they can be caused in accidents that look very minor. But in addition to this symptoms of whiplash are incredibly wide ranging and have been misunderstood or misinterpreted in the past. While many people will recover from whiplash in a few weeks, some people will suffer from long term, life-changing symptoms such as depression, anxiety or insomnia.
As well as the symptoms of whiplash being very diverse and sometimes hard to connect to the accident, they are often not immediately apparent, sometimes taking between 12 hours and two days or more for the victim to realise that they have been injured. So a person involved in an accident can walk away unhurt and then appear to “change their tune” a couple of days later, once they realise that they have symptoms. This can seem inconsistent to other people and cause suspicion that the symptoms are not genuine.
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
Can you help with whiplash accident claims?
Yes, we can help you. If you think you are suffering from whiplash, you need to seek medical attention and get the right treatment – early treatment of whiplash can prevent many longer-term problems. When you’re ready, give us a call and we will help you pursue your claim for compensation.