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In the eyes of the media, whiplash has not a good reputation. But those who’ve been through whiplash know it can be a crippling injury that results in you having to put your life on hold.
Whiplash generally refers to a specific type of neck injury that’s caused by a sudden jolt or jerk, bring about the tissues in the neck to move quickly and beyond their natural range of motion.
Mostly, whiplash and neck injuries occur as a result of a road accident or an accident at work.
It’s natural for symptoms of whiplash to appear a couple of days after the accident that caused the injuries. Actually, the time it takes for the injury to affect can vary from 12 hrs to a couple of days after.
Because whiplash is mostly a soft tissue injury affecting the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the neck, the pain can get highly worse.
It’s not unusual for whiplash injuries to result in more than a sprain. For instance, your accident may have caused a fracture in your neck or caused injury to your spine.
Fractures and spinal damages can be particularly serious and can even lead to lifelong pain, so if you’re concerned you should seek medical treatment as soon as symptoms appear.
Normal symptoms of whiplash and neck injuries include:
Pain and stiffness in the neck or lower back
Bruising or swelling
Numbness or pins and needles in your arms or hands
Dizziness, blurred vision, or tiredness
Headaches or tinnitus (ringing in your ears)
Have you been in an accident that has brought about your whiplash? Call a legal expert on 0203 603 7712 for free advice.
Claiming may not be the initial thing somebody thinks about when suffering whiplash, but compensation can really support you get back to where you were before your injury.
For instance, it’s quite likely that you’ve had to take time off work. This may be the reason for being unable to work due to restricted movement or because you’re normally in too much pain, but anyway you will likely have received less pay.
If you want to start a claim, the first step is rather straightforward – just use one of the secure online forms on this page or call a legal expert free on 0203 603 7712.
From that point, you’ll speak to an expert about your accident and resulting injuries. They will advise you whether you have a claim and can pass you on to a personal injury lawyer to handle your case.
Your accident might be the result of a car, motorcycle, or bicycle accident. Each of these can lead to an immediate and serious jolt to your neck – causing lasting pain.
Bing in the pain of an accident while on the road can also leave you without transport to and from the doctors or hospital. You may have been leaving out of pocket due to the costs of alternative travel, such as public transport or cabs.
Claiming for whiplash can take back compensation to reimburse you for the costs of being injured, and can support you with additional funds to get the medical treatment you need to help you fully recover.
If you were in an accident as a passenger, again on public transport or in a private vehicle, then you can still make a claim.
Your claim will be against whoever was answerable for your injury and accident, which may be the person who was driving at the time. This can make you feel hesitant about recouping the costs of their injury. Still, road traffic accident claims are usually made against the insurance company of the person answerable, meaning the driver isn’t left out of pocket.
Every case is different, so it’s hard to say exactly how much you’ll receive if you win.
Yet, there are guideline amounts that judges use to decide how much compensation to grant for pain and suffering.
These figures do not include compensation for lost earnings, medical expenses, etc. The instance amounts below are taken from the fifteenth edition of the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases.
In case if you’re partially to blame for your whiplash injury (for instance, you weren’t wearing a seatbelt), then it’s possible you can still make a compensation claim as long as someone else was partly to blame as well.
Yet, the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced depending on how much the judge thinks your damage was your fault.
For instance, if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt when the crash happened and the judge consider you would have received the same injuries even if you were wearing a seatbelt, you would get your full compensation.
Still, if your injuries would have been reduced if you had worn a seat belt, then your compensation will be less.
Although whiplash injuries are normally associated with car crashes, they can also be caused in other ways, being a heavy object falling on you, a slip, trip or fall, or colliding into something or someone.
If you tolerate your whiplash injury at work and this was due to your employer’s negligence, a specialist personal injury lawyer can help you claim compensation against them.
According to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, every employer has a responsibility of care to take steps to minimize the risk of workers being injured. This involves giving you the training, equipment, and watch over you need to do your job safely. They must also carry out regular risk assessments to make sure the right precautions are being taken.
You might be anxious that your employer will punish you or go out of business if you claim them. But you don’t need to bother – it’s illegal for you to be dismissed or treated differently because of your claim. Also, your compensation will be reward by employers’ liability insurance, not by them personally.
In most cases, you have 3 years from when you first realized you were injured to make a whiplash claim. This is set off in the Limitation Act 1980.
Most whiplash damages appear quickly after the accident, so it’s best to get in touch with someone as soon as possible while the details are still fresh in your mind.
You cannot go back and ask for more money if your case is closed, so your lawyer will usually wait until you have a better idea of how your injury is probable to affect you in the future before they start your claim. This is to make sure you get all the compensation you need to cover the costs and effects of injury your injury moving on.
If you decide to start your claim, your injury lawyer will be able to do most of the hard work on your behalf.
But if possible, it can be useful to gather some notes and evidence at the scene of the accident and in the weeks following to support strengthen your case. For instance:
Note down the phone number of any witnesses
Take photographs or videos of the scene of the accident, any damages to you, and any damage to property
Try to obtain access to CCTV footage of the accident
Seek medical attention
Retain a written record of the accident itself and any problems that you subsequently face in day to day life
Write down the details of any costs caused by your accident, as well as keeping receipts
If you feel that you’re ready to claim for your whiplash injury, you can get in touch with a legal expert by calling free on 0203 603 7712 or submitting the online claim form.
Insurance companies will honestly try and get away with paying the minimum amount of compensation – that’s where your lawyer can help.
Specialist personal injury lawyers have years of experience at putting together the strongest possible cases and successfully negotiating better settlements for their clients.
And if your lawyer doesn’t feel the settlement amount offered is sufficient, they will help you take your case to court to win you the amount you deserve.
If you are claiming compensation between £1000 and £25,000, your claim will be shared out through a pre-action protocol known as the Pre-Action Protocol for Low-Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents or the Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims.