What is A Whiplash Injury?

If you have been involved in a car accident and are suffering from a sore neck, you may well have come across the term ‘whiplash’.

What exactly is whiplash and what effect will it have on you? How long will the pain last and can you claim compensation as a result of your injury?

What is Whiplash?

A whiplash injury usually occurs when you are stationary in a vehicle which is then hit from behind by another car or lorry. Your car is shunted forward and in the process your body moves forward with the car seat. However, your neck does not normally start moving forward until it connects with the headrest, sometime after the rest of your body has already moved. By this point your body is restrained by the seatbelt and your neck snaps forward as your body starts to come backwards. It is then stretched beyond it’s normal comfort zone before bouncing back off your chest. This leads to the whiplash injury.

What whiplash pain is likely to be experienced?

The obvious pain is neck pain, but whiplash can also take many different forms. It can cause headaches, dizziness, giddiness and shoulder or upper back pain. Usually the pain does not last more than a few weeks or months but on some occasions it can be permanent. This is not the normal case and if you are reading this having just sustained a whiplash injury, you are likely to find that you will make a fully recovery.

What treatment is available for whiplash?

If you have been involved in a car accident and suffered whiplash, you should attend your General Practitioner or Accident and Emergency Department at your local hospital to assess the extent of your injury. You will be examined by a General Practitioner or nursing staff who may carry out an X-ray or MRI scan.

If no serious injury is diagnosed you will normally be provided with painkillers and told to visit your General Practitioner if the pain continues. Neck collars used to be the normal prescription for whiplash injuries but that is no longer the case. As with back injuries, the medical profession consider movement of the neck to be necessary to improve or to lead to a quick recovery.

If pain continues, you may be referred for physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment. If you are pursuing a claim with a qualified Accident Claims Solicitor, they will usually be able to ensure that you can recover the cost of this treatment from the other party’s insurance company.

What should you do if you have suffered a whiplash injury?

If you believe that you have suffered a whiplash injury as a result of someone else crashing into your vehicle, you should immediately seek legal advice. Look for a specialist Accident Claims Solicitor with proven expertise in this area of law. They should offer you a free initial enquiry service with a guaranteed no cost and full retention of all of your compensation.