WHiplash Injury Claim

by : Ankit Maheshwari

A whiplash injury claim is probably the most common action for compensation that solicitors have to deal with and accounts for thousands of claims across the UK every week. This injury is caused by a sudden acceleration or deceleration of the head and neck often as a result of a rear end shunt in a vehicle accident and is also known as acceleration/deceleration syndrome.

In its mild form it is referred to as a neck sprain and is characterised by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck usually as a result of a sudden change in motion affecting the discs, muscles, nerves or tendons of the neck. The damage is caused when head is violently thrown back, forwards or sideways followed by reflex contraction in the opposite direction. Swelling and inflammation occur following damage caused by rapid movements, which leads to pressure being placed on the nerves resulting in subsequent pain and discomfort.

To pursue a whiplash injury claim it is very important to make urgent arrangements after an accident to be medically examined either by your general practitioner or at the local hospital Accident and Emergency (A&E) department. The GP or hospital record will be used by your solicitor in due course to prove the extent of the immediate post accident medical condition and without this medical evidence it is extremely difficult to sustain a claim for damages.

Severe whiplash can cause serious damage to the spine and nervous system and this may often be resolved only over a long period of convalescence. In a minority of cases a chronic conditions may develop, which results in constant pain and disability, with little hope of resolution of the discomfort. Damage to the bones in the neck rarely occurs however on those occasions when it becomes a problem it may be necessary to surgically repair the bone or cartilage occasionally involving fusion of the vertebrae.

Symptoms of injury include dizziness, blurred vision, headache, nausea or vomiting, balance problems, pain or stiffness and loss of feeling or prickling in an arm or hand. It may also cause memory loss, concentration impairment, nervousness, irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue and depression

If you are involved in a motor accident that is not your fault and you suffer personal injury you may be entitled to compensation. The amount of awards will vary dependent on the severity of the illness and the overall recovery period and whether or not there are any long term symptoms or disabilities. Damages vary from ?2,000 for mild neck strain up to ?250,000 for serious long term injury requiring surgery. Further compensation is also payable for financial losses caused as a result of the accident including loss of past and future wages, loss of advantage on the open labour market, a detrimental change in lifestyle as a result if the injury, damage to personal property and all reasonable general expenses and losses sustained as a direct result of the accident.

If you have had an accident and believe that you may be suffering from any personal injury you should seek proper medical advice as soon as possible. Diagnosis is normally swift, as this is a common injury associated with road traffic accidents. Diagnosis depends on various factors including the medical history, observation of symptoms and a physical and neurological examination. X-rays are done to remove any possibility of a fracture. A CAT Scan, MRI and other imaging tests may be required depending on the severity of the patient's symptoms.

Treatment is usually by way of pain medication, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and physical therapy. Severe injury may be treated with a surgical collar, cervical traction and heat therapy. Surgery is not common. Sometimes though there can be a tear in an inter-vertebral disc which may have to be removed followed by fusion of the neck vertebrae.

Legal Claim UK is a national network of personal injury solicitors. Our lawyers are all members the Law Society panel of personal injury experts? and will deal with a whiplash injury claim using the no win no fee scheme. Compensation is paid in full? and win or lose there is no charge. You will receive a complete professional service from lawyers who specialise in claiming compensation for personal injury caused as a result of an accident.