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Whiplash Injury Claims

Compensation claims for whiplash injuries are probably the most prevalent type of personal injury claim. Whiplash injuries are commonly sustained in road traffic injuries by drivers, pedestrians and passengers. However, these types of injuries may be sustained by people in many different circumstances whenever a person's head may be suddenly forced forwards or backwards.

What is a whiplash injury?

Whiplash is the effect of very sudden acceleration or deceleration.
In road traffic accidents, when cars travelling forwards crash, the driver and any passengers are thrown forwards. If wearing seatbelts, they will be restrained from the shoulder. Since the head is not restrained, it will continue to move forward at the same speed that the car was travelling before it crashed. As a human head can weigh up to a stone, one can imagine the huge strain the head puts on the muscles, bones and sinews of the neck when it is suddenly accelerated at the moment of impact and then almost immediately decelerated. In high speed accidents, the muscles and sinews are momentarily stretched as the head is forced forward before immediately contracting and pulling the head violently back to it's original position. The effect is like an elastic band being stretched and released but, since the neck does not possess the same elasticity, serious and painful injury almost always results. The overall effect in such accidents is similar although sometimes not as pronounced as when a stationery car is struck form behind.

Whiplash injury - higher risk and more serious injury

It is illegal to ride a motorcycle in this country without wearing a helmet. Although it is not compulsory, it is obviously wise to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. The head and face are extremely vulnerable and injuries to both can be catastrophic. Ironically, however, a Road user wearing any kind of head protection can be at risk of more serious whiplash injuries in accidents. This is simply because the weight of the protective headgear increases the effective weight of the head and, therefore, the force which the neck muscles have to manage in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, they can be stretched and contracted even more violently.

What are the symptoms of whiplash injury

Symptoms of this type of personal injury include, initial pains in the neck and the upper part of the spine at the base of the neck. Dizziness and headaches following accidents are not uncommon. Sometimes the initial symptoms subside very quickly and it appears that there is no significant injury at all but then some of the other effects of this type of personal injury start to appear. Usually, there is stiffness in the neck and upper spine combined with restricted movement and loss of flexibility. There may also be pain and damage to the muscles of the mouth and throat as they stretched and twisted at extremes of movement. Headaches and dizziness are also common personal injury features following accidents of these types.

Treatment for whiplash injury

The most common forms of treatment are painkillers and anti inflammatory drugs. Physiotherapy is sometimes helpful. Unfortunately in the more severe cases, it can take several months for the pain to subside but the injuries do in most instances settle and the neck and back return to their normal state. It is important that medical assistance is sought as soon as possible after the accident.

Not sure about whiplash injury?

So how do you know you have suffered whiplash injury after being involved in an accident ? Well, in a sense, it does not matter since so long as you have a personal injury after an accident in which someone else was to blame, you are entitled to claim compensation for it. There are large numbers of personal injury claims for whiplash injuries. It does not matter that an injury does not fit into a convenient category of accidents or personal injury. You may have a number of different types of personal injury. However, since this type of personal injury is very common and the symptoms fairly predictable, any general practitioner would be able to diagnose the injury after an examination and straightforward consultation.

Making a claim for whiplash injury

If you are injured in a non-fault accident and you wish to make a claim for whiplash injury compensation, you will get compensation for your injury. The level of compensation will depend upon the seriousness of the initial injury and the time expected to take for complete recovery. If your quality of life is significantly affected, your compensation award in will be higher taking such matters into consideration. For example, you may be prevented from playing for your local pub football team or from playing in your local squash league. Sometimes, the effect on your quality of life may not be as clear as that. If, for example, you become depressed because of the severity of your personal injury or the length of time it is taking to resolve or you become anxious in certain situations or your confidence is affected your award will be higher. You will also be able to claim for what are known as ‘special damages’. These are all of the financial consequences of your injury. If your injury prevents you from working, even temporarily, you will be able to make a claim for loss of earnings. You will also be able to claim for out-of-pocket expenses such as the cost of prescriptions for the cost of travelling to and from hospitals and GP appointments. In a straightforward case, where liability is accepted by the other driver it should not take longer than around 3 -6 months to settle claims for personal injury compensation after an accident and for you to receive your award free from any deductions at all.

To claim compensation for whiplash injuries, call Accident Aid on 0800 180 4780 or forward your query without any obligation to Accident Aid by email and you will be contacted by an accident injury lawyer who will advise as to whether you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injury and any other losses you may have sustained.

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