Every year, thousands of people in the United Kingdom suffer from some form of whiplash injury, but what many people don’t realise is that they may be able to claim compensation to help to make up for their suffering, and to help them to recover any financial losses.
If you have had an accident which was not your fault, and that accident resulted in a whiplash injury, then read on because it’s probable that you may be able to make a claim.
What Is Whiplash?
First things first, whiplash is a popular term most commonly commonly used for a neck related injury which has been sustained due to a sudden movement of the head or neck. If the head is thrown suddenly forwards, sideways or backwards by any kind of accident, the ligaments and tendons in the neck may become stretched or damaged.
Whilst claiming compensation for whiplash injuries is most commonly associated with car accident claims, there are actually many other things which can cause this type of injury. For example, any slip, trip or fall which causes the head to be jerked suddenly in one direction can cause a whiplash injury.
What Are The Main Symptoms Of Whiplash?
Whiplash can affect different people in different ways, and you may not necessarily be suffering from all of the symptoms mentioned below. You may not notice the symptoms of whiplash immediately, because they normally take 6 – 12 hours to develop. In some cases, it takes much longer than that for people to notice any symptoms of a whiplash injury.
These symptoms may also gradually worsen for several days after the accident and may continue to affect the victim for several months after the accident which caused the initial injury. In very rare cases, the symptoms may become chronic and the condition can persist for much longer than six months.
There are many different symptoms associated with whiplash, including:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Reduced movement of the neck
- Swelling or tenderness of the neck muscles
- Pins and Needles
- Numbness or shooting pains in the arms or hands
- Muscle Spasms
- Blurred Vision
Chronic whiplash can also leave sufferers with psychological and emotional symptoms, such as anxiety or depression.
If you begin to experience any of these symptoms after a neck injury, you should contact your doctor for professional medical advice.
Are All Whiplash Claims The Same?
Every whiplash claim is different, due to the fact that whiplash affects people in many different ways. The extent of a whiplash victim’s injuries can affect how much the injury impacts on their quality of life, and therefore it affects how much your claim may be worth.
When you are making a claim, you will have to discuss your symptoms with a legal professional, describing any losses which you have incurred as a result of your accident and mentioning any additional problems which you might have encountered as a result of your whiplash injury. The amount of compensation which you receive may also depend on the circumstances which surround your accident.
Making The Claim
If you decide that you are interested in making a claim for compensation which is related to a whiplash injury, you should get in touch with a qualified legal professional to discuss your claim. Within the space of a short consultation session, they will be able to decide whether you have a valid and viable claim and whether it is worth it for you to go ahead with the claim or not.
Many claims companies are able to offer this initial consultation session for free, so that accident victims are able to find out whether they are able to make a claim without having to spend any money.
Some people are also able to pursue claims on a “no win, no fee” premise, meaning that they do not have to pay any professional fees unless they win the case. If you are offered this type of payment arrangement, always check that you fully understand the terms before signing up.
Your solicitor will be able to talk you through how your claim will work. Their knowledge and expertise should help you to be able to maximise your claim, whilst minimising the inconvenience that the claim causes for you. If you need any further evidence to support your claim, including an independent medical examination, your solicitor will be able to help you to arrange it, whilst offering any further support or advice which you may need.
Read our Whiplash Claim Calculator guide to find out what you claim could be worth.
Updated 29th January 2017.