Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that can result from several different causes, the most common of which are road traffic accidents. Delayed whiplash injury is the same as whiplash injury, except that the symptoms are not immediately noticeable. The victim typically becomes aware that they are hurt only after a significant amount of time has passed since the accident.
The symptoms of delayed whiplash injury range from mild to very severe and may manifest immediately after the accident or a few days or even weeks later. If you suffer from delayed whiplash injuries in a no-fault road accident, you may be entitled to claim compensation whether the symptoms develop immediately after the accident or several days later.
What Is Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash occurs when your head jerks forward and then back suddenly with great force or when the neck rotates severely to the side. When these actions happen, the soft tendons, muscles and ligaments get damaged because they are forcefully stretched beyond their typical range of motion. In very severe cases the disc between the neck and bones get torn in the accident, causing severe pain in the area.
In a whiplash injury, the severity of the symptoms depends on several different factors including the speed at which the vehicles were travelling at the time of the crash, and the physical size of the driver or passenger who has suffered the injury.
It is important to know though that whiplash injury is not just limited to high-speed car crashes. You can sustain damage to your neck tendons, muscles and ligaments even in a low-speed road accident, depending on the direction of impact and the position of the driver or passenger inside the vehicle.
What Is Delayed Whiplash?
In some cases, whiplash victims may not feel the pain immediately after the accident. This is because the rush of adrenalin that follows such an event can mask the pain. It’s only when the shock starts to subside and the adrenalin levels recede that they realise that they are hurt and in pain. This is known as delayed whiplash.
Common Causes Of Delayed Whiplash
Delayed whiplash injuries are usually caused when the head moves backwards and forwards with substantial force as a consequence of:
- Road accidents involving any type of vehicle;
- Falls in which the head is jerked violently;
- Contact sports such as boxing, football and karate;
- Forceful forward, backward or sideway blows or punches to the head;
- Physical abuse;
- Horse riding;
- Blows to the head with a heavy item;
- Amusement park rides.
Common Symptoms Of Delayed Whiplash
The symptoms of delayed whiplash are the same as those experienced in a whiplash injury. The only difference is that a significant amount of time may lapse before the victim becomes aware of the symptoms.
If any of these symptoms manifest some time after the accident occurred, they may be an indication of delayed whiplash injuries:
- Pain and stiffness in the upper or lower back, neck, or shoulders;
- Numbness or weakness in the arms or legs;
- Severe headaches;
- Jaw pain;
- Blurred vision;
- Ringing in the ears;
- Constant weariness;
- Difficulty sleeping;
- Difficulty remembering or concentrating;
Can You Claim Compensation For Delayed Whiplash?
When you suffer delayed whiplash in an accident where somebody else’s negligence was the cause, whether it is a car accident, a workplace accident or an accident on an amusement park ride, you have a right to claim compensation.
Here are some things you can do to strengthen a delayed whiplash injury claim:
- Get photographs of the accident site, highlighting your injuries and the damage to any property around you.
- Get contact details of any witnesses who may have seen what happened.
- Depending on where the accident occurred, file a report at the nearest police station or the workplace accident book.
- Get medical help and keep a record of the diagnosis with details of the recommended short term and long term treatment.
How To Claim Compensation For Delayed Whiplash
If you want to claim compensation for your delayed whiplash injuries, the first thing to do is to get in contact with a personal injury solicitor who will represent you and fight your case in court should it go that far. Having an experienced solicitor fight your case for you can make all the difference between winning and losing a delayed whiplash compensation claim. You have to remember that you will be filing a compensation claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company and all insurance companies have highly experienced lawyers who fight claims such as these for a living. They know the ins and outs of the law and can put up a formidable defence. This is where an experienced personal injury solicitor on your side can help you.
Most personal injury solicitors represent their clients on the basis of a No Win No Fee agreement. This is a legal agreement that states that the solicitor will represent you without asking for any payment while the case is in progress. You only pay if the court returns a verdict in your favour and asks the other party to compensate you for your injuries. The amount that you pay the solicitor will be a percentage of the award. Both you and the solicitor should agree on the percentage before signing the No Win No Fee agreement.
How Much Compensation For Delayed Whiplash?
The exact amount of compensation somebody can claim for delayed whiplash may vary widely from claim to claim, mainly depending on the severity of the injury and its long term effects. In general, you will be able to claim for all out of pocket expenses related to your medical treatment, long term rehabilitation and other structural modifications that may be necessary for you to be able to live independently. Your solicitor will also claim compensation for your pain and suffering, loss of income if you are unable to go to work, and loss of work benefits and perks such as bonuses or promotions. Your solicitor will also seek additional compensation if your delayed whiplash injuries prevented you from pursuing your hobbies.
Getting an experienced personal injury solicitor to represent you gives you the best chance of getting the maximum compensation due to you for whiplash injuries caused by somebody else’s mistake or negligence.
If you have suffered delayed whiplash injury and want expert advice on making a claim for compensation please give us a call to discuss your delayed whiplash injury with a solicitor and what amount of compensation may be claimed for.