When it comes to road traffic accidents and submitting a car crash claim, whiplash is the most common personal injury claim in the UK. Whiplash is claimed for in the UK at a rate that is more than twice the average of France, Spain and the Netherlands. At the peak of their ‘popularity,’ there were 2.7 claims for whiplash damages made for every car accident reported in the UK.
Eight in 10 personal injury claims were attributed to whiplash by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) – but total overall personal injury claims actually fell by 770,000 between 2013 and 2016.
Though whiplash claims are a controversial topic, claiming is more than justified. Whiplash is a painful, debilitating injury to sustain – especially when it is through no fault of your own. As the injured party, you have every right to submit a personal injury claim.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury that occurs when your head jerks violently forwards, backwards or sideways. This violent movement can occur in a road traffic accident, even at extremely low speeds, which can stretch and damage tendons and ligaments in your neck. This damage can cause headaches, pain, stiffness, tenderness and a reduction in your range of movement. Often, you will not feel the signs of whiplash until 6-12 hours after an accident.
Symptoms of whiplash
Symptoms of whiplash can take a while to develop, and include:
- Neck pain
- Upper and lower back pain
- Neurological issues such as headache and dizziness
- Numbness or weakness in the arms and legs
- Anxiety around driving
How long does whiplash last?
Whiplash can either be a short term or long term injury, persisting for anything from a few days or weeks through to a number of years. “After 18-24 months, almost all patients with moderate injury will have reached functional recovery” (Ameis, 1986). Another factor to whiplash may be a psychological element, whereby people who are prone to worry and frequent GP visits are more likely to have issues.
How to treat whiplash
Whiplash is first and foremost a muscular injury, which means it can be treated like one. If you suspect whiplash, wrap ice in a towel and place it on the affected area to help prevent inflammation. Consult your GP as soon as you think you have whiplash, as only a medical professional can place you on the right treatment plan. This often involves physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory painkillers to remove any swelling. Treatment plans can vary between a few sessions to years of treatment, depending on severity.
How much compensation can I claim for whiplash?
Compensation claims for whiplash are complicated, especially in light of the UK government’s recent crackdown on personal injury claimants. However, if you have developed whiplash in an accident that was not your fault, you deserve to be compensated. The actual payout you are entitled to depends on the severity of your injury, whether you have time off work and how long your pain symptoms last for.
At Beecham Peacock, our personal injury team are here to help fight your corner. If you have been injured and have sustained whiplash, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us on 01912323048 for a free consultation.