It has been estimated that as many as 20% of the people involved in road traffic accidents suffer from a type of injury known as whiplash. It affects the soft tissue of the neck, and is caused when the head is jerked backwards and forwards rapidly, as happens in cases of sudden deceleration or an impact such as that caused by a shunt from behind.
This sudden jerking can stretch the nerves, tendons, muscles and sinews of the neck in a violent manner, often leading to long term pain and suffering. Although commonly the result of a road traffic accident, whiplash can also be caused by incidents such as accidents on fairground rides or any violent blow to the head.
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What are the symptoms of whiplash?
Whiplash is often thought of as being a fairly minor injury but, in truth, it can actually have severe and long term ramifications. It should be borne in mind that the symptoms of whiplash don't always make themselves apparent in the immediate aftermath of an accident; they may take hours or even days to appear. For this reason, it is vital to seek medical attention at the earliest possible opportunity.
The symptoms of whiplash may include any of the following:
- Temporary memory loss
- Muscle spasms and nausea
- Pain in the neck, shoulders and arms
- Tingling in the arms
I think I've got a whiplash injury. Can I claim?
If you feel you have a whiplash injury and the incident that caused it resulted from the negligence of another party then contact using the form at the top or by calling free on 0808 115 0700. We'll take the details of your case and advise as to whether you're in a position to pursue a claim. Put simply, if it wasn't your fault and you've suffered ongoing injury or illness then you have every right to receive compensation, and our expert lawyers will build a case designed to ensure that this is exactly what happens.
Will I have to pay to make a claim?
No. We pursue cases on a no win no fee basis. This means that you don't have to pay anything up front, since, if you win, any legal fees or costs will be paid by the other party in the case, with a small percentage taken from your compensation. Even if you should be unlucky and lose your case, all costs will still be covered by insurance. If you feel you have been the victim of another's negligence, financial considerations shouldn't interfere in any way with you pursuing the justice you deserve.
How much whiplash compensation will I get?
The exact amount of compensation you should receive after suffering from whiplash is difficult to predict in advance. The figure will be calculated on the basis of several different factors.
In the first instance, you will be compensated for any expenses arising directly as a result of the accident. These may include travel expenses, medical fees and prescription charges and for this reason it is vital that you keep all receipts in order to prove exactly how much the injury has cost you.
Other expenses may take the form of wages lost through time off work or, in the case of severe and long standing injury, a figure which is worked out on the basis of a predicted ongoing drop in earning power. These money awarded to cover any financial impact of the whiplash injury are known as "special damages".
On top of this, you will be awarded a sum based entirely upon the type and severity of whiplash injury you've suffered, called "general damages". This figure is easier to predict, as there are guideline amounts provided to judges, which are calculated based on the severity of the personal injury. For example, for minor whiplash which fully heals within a year, the maximum amount of general damages awarded will be around £3,500. However, for severe whiplash that has a long-lasting effect, general damages can reach over £20,000.