Whiplash is an injury to the ligaments and tendons of the neck which is caused by a sudden movement of the head forwards, backwards or sideways. It is an injury very frequently sustained in car crashes, as the head is violently snapped in one direction and then the opposite due to the impact of the crash. The seatbelt restrains the body but the head is free to move, causing the snapping motion. Whiplash symptoms can be worsened further if the headrest is not correctly positioned.
Whiplash injuries are not caused exclusively by car crashes; they can also arise from a blow to the head, such as in some contact sports, or a slip or fall which causes the head to be violently jolted.
How can I recognise whiplash injury symptoms?
Whiplash injury symptoms often take some hours to develop and may worsen over a period of weeks. In a small number of cases they may have very long-lasting effects; this is known as chronic whiplash. Common whiplash injury symptoms include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Tenderness of the neck muscles
- Restricted and painful neck movements
Less common whiplash injury symptoms may include:
- Muscle spasms
- Pain in the arms or shoulders
- Pins and needles in the arms and hands
- Lower back pain
- Blurred vision
In a few extreme cases, whiplash can also cause memory loss, poor concentration and irritability.
Chronic whiplash may require on-going treatment such as painkillers, anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy and exercises to improve the mobility of the neck. Some of the symptoms of long‑term whiplash, in addition to those already mentioned, include:
- Persistent headache
- Anxiety and depression
You should see a doctor if you are involved in any sort or accident, or at the onset or worsening of any of the symptoms described.
If you have suffered whiplash injury symptoms because of an accident in the last three years which was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation.
A financial settlement can offer some recompense for your pain and suffering. It can also help you with any costs arising as a direct result of your accident, for example the cost of painkillers, medical care, or help with travel costs if you have been left unable to drive for any period of time.
Get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline, one of the UK’s leading advice and compensation providers. We’ve been in business since 2000 and have helped literally thousands of whiplash victims claim compensation for their injuries and financial losses.
Our friendly, professional advisors will talk through the specifics of your case with you during your initial consultation. If they agree that you have a valid claim, your case will be referred to one of our many independent specialist personal injury solicitors, all of whom work on a no win no fee basis.
Try our 30 second test to see how much you could claim or call us on 0800 689 0500 and one of our team will be pleased to advise you.
Date Published: 10th February 2013
Author: David Brown