Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when the head is jerked forward, sideways or backwards. The sudden, and usually painful movement of the neck causes its muscles to extend, which can lead to serious soft tissue injuries.
Whiplash is usually associated with car accidents, especially when the vehicle you are driving is bumped from the rear by another one. Unfortunately, in these kinds of situation the seatbelt not only can't offer much help, but it often serves to help worsen the situation. Since your head and neck are not secured by the seatbelt, the sudden collision causes your head to “whip” forward and this leads to unforeseen neck movements.
Although drivers are the most susceptible to a whiplash injury, any blow to the head, a collision or a fall can lead to it.
The neck movement during a car collision can be very violent and the seriousness of the injury a person suffers depends on several factors, such as the size of the vehicle that hit you and the speed with which it was going.
However, it should be mentioned that for a whiplash injury to be caused, the speed of the impact doesn't need to be very high. What also matters is the distance between the victim’s head and the head-rest of the car seat.
Depending on one whiplash victim to another, some people may immediately feel the adverse effects of the accident (such as neck pain), while others will only start to feel the symptoms after a few days.
The most common symptoms of a whiplash are the following:
In the more drastic cases, whiplash symptoms may also include:
If you were in a car accident and you start to feel any of the symptoms above, contact your general practitioner and let him do a scan of your neck. If he confirms that you have indeed sustained a whiplash injury you should start an immediate treatment. Also, don't forget to bring your doctor's medical records if you decide to make a whiplash compensation claim to prove that you have a whiplash injury.
Now for the really important question that we get asked the most here at Dunsford Claims: how much can I make on a whiplash claim? This is a personal injury claim, so the compensation you will be granted depends on how severe is the injury you suffered and how heavy are the losses you incurred. Our partners at www.whiplashadvisors.co.uk can give you further advice in determining your whiplash claims eligibility.
Since whiplash can have a different effect depending on a person involved, with some people suffering only minor neck injury, others experiencing severe neck pain and stiffness for days or weeks, and some suffering chronic neck and back pain coupled by a reduced range of motion in the neck and muscle spasms, the best way to get an estimate on how much you can get for a whiplash claim, is to use the interactive claim calculator provided on the Dunsford Claims website.