What is a whiplash?
Whiplash is a relatively common injury to a person's neck which results from a sudden whipping or jerking action of the head, most commonly from vehicle accidents. It describes the injury to both the bone structure and soft tissues of the neck. "Whiplash associated disorders" refers to a more severe and chronic condition. If you think that you have whiplash, and it's the fault of the third party, then you can make a whiplash compensation claim.
This condition is not typically life-threatening, but if left untreated may result to a prolonged period of partial disability. It may take up to 12 hours or more before you feel the effects. This is where it gets tricky because the symptoms can flare up a few days after the road traffic accident.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms can vary from person to person depending on the circumstance of the injury. The most common ones are neck pain, headaches, lower back pain, dizziness, swelling and numbness, sleeping problems, tiredness, jaw pain, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and blurred vision. The pain can last up to a several months.
More severe and chronic cases of "whiplash associated disorder" include symptoms like depression, anger, frustration, anxiety, stress, drug dependency, post-traumatic stress, and sleep disturbance.
What is the treatment for whiplash?
Despite the possible danger, whiplash in most cases only requires plenty of rest to allow the injury to heal naturally. It will also help the patient to recover faster if he or she keeps his or her neck mobile - simple neck exercises often can do the trick. However, as mentioned earlier, certain conditions require longer recovery time and serious ones can take more than six months to get better. You may also want to consult with a physical therapist to teach you home exercises to assist your healing. As for medication, a paracetamol a day is your best option; and you should take this regularly until you are fully recovered. For severe pains though, your doctor will prescribe stronger painkillers like codeine and ibuprofen.
Making a Whiplash Compensation Claim
Before bringing up your case for a whiplash compensation claim, you need to make sure first that the cause of your injury is the negligence of the other party. For example, another driver hit the rear of your vehicle while you were waiting at a junction, then it's obviously the driver's fault, therefore you can make your whiplash claim.
You also have to bear in mind that an honest statement about the condition of the whiplash is required. You cannot make a claim if it's mild and the symptoms go away after a couple of days. The court will require your medical records to back up your claims, so exaggerating your injuries will not really do you any good. To ensure the validity of your claim, and for your efforts not to go wasted, you may want to consult a personal injury solicitor for advice.
Average Amount for Whiplash Compensation
The whiplash compensation claim that you will file will be assessed in view of the pain and suffering you experience after the accident. Yes, there's a guideline that shows you example/indication on how much you will get for your injury. This is also another reason why it's best to consult with a personal injury solicitor to help you determine the award that you can expect, in view of the severity of your injury. You should also take note that you will only be compensated for the earnings you lost during the time when you were not able to work.
You can view our interactive compensation amount guide to give you rough estimations on what type of compensation you could be entitled to. Minor neck injury, where there is mild discomfort or headaches that can last a few weeks, can be settled on average for between 1,705 and 3,750 pounds. A severe case which includes incomplete paraplegia, limited mobility, or severe headaches can be compensated with around 119,900 pounds.
How to Process Your Whiplash Claim
The law entitles you to make a whiplash compensation claim because of the pain and suffering you experience due to whiplash or related injuries as a result of an accident.
At Compare Compensation Claims, you can compare solicitors from top UK personal injury lawyers. After you have chosen your solicitor, he will gather information regarding the details of the accident, the pain and suffering you experienced, and all the expenses you incurred. After that, your lawyer will assess your medical records and consult with a medical professional pertaining to your injury and the advice with regard to your condition.