After suffering a car accident, one may face a situation where the symptoms produced by it are not apparent to the naked eye. However, injuries can come to light after a few days of the accident, and one of them affecting many is whiplash or cervical sprain. Whiplash can have serious consequences that may persist in the long term
Indeed, whiplash or neck injury has become one of the claims in which a professional whiplash injury claim lawyer is essential to make the process easy. For this reason, this blog explains what whiplash is, its symptoms, and possible consequences. The blog also explains cases where you can request compensation for whiplash after a traffic accident.
What is Whiplash? How Does a Cervical Sprain Occur?
The basic clinical definition of chronic whiplash is a pain syndrome after a cervical spine injury; acceleration-deceleration with a stiff neck; and a myofascial dysfunction, usually after a car accident to what we call cervical sprain. Whiplash is also defined as a mechanism of energy transfer to the neck by acceleration/deceleration that can result from a rear or side-impact, especially from motor vehicle accidents. The transfer of energy can cause bone injuries or soft tissue injuries (cervical sprain), which in turn can involve a wide variety of clinical manifestations that are disorders associated with a cervical sprain.
Cervical whiplash or cervical sprain consists of an injury caused by sudden neck hyperextension followed by flexion. It usually affects the muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons in the neck.
This injury occurs because the movement that our spine makes in an accident is like that of a whip. After suffering the impact from behind, the body moves forward, but the head remains behind, and just after, the opposite movement. It is one of the most common injuries in traffic accidents, leading victims to hire whiplash claims solicitors for compensation.
The Main Symptoms of Whiplash
The sprain or whiplash can produce various symptoms. You may feel discomfort in your neck after the accident. Other prominent symptoms are as follows:
- Muscle contracture
- Headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears, or blurred vision
- Vascular injuries
- Post-concussion syndrome
- Muscle fibre breakdown
- Neck’s limited mobility
- Post-traumatic stress syndrome
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Low back pain
Recovery Time in Cervical Hyperextension
There is no estimated healing time in an injury of this type. As we have seen, the symptoms can be many, so it will depend on what symptoms are present in a patient. Even so, it can be estimated that if the injury is minor, one or two months may be the estimated time, and if it is severe, six or more.
It is important to remember that insurers may at times compensate you without having completed the recovery. Thus, it is impossible to perform a detailed study of the consequences to get fair whiplash injury compensation. Therefore, it becomes difficult to calculate the total valuation of the compensation.
Although Paracetamol and Ibuprofen are administered to treat whiplash, the most common treatments for discomfort and pain are not through drugs. They are:
- Cold treatment is more common by applying ice to the affected area within 48 hours of the accident.
- Heat treatment is also very common, applied after the first 48 hours. This treatment can be carried out with electric blankets, water bags, or infrared in the injured area for around 20 minutes.
- Relative rest.
- Regular diet without irritants.
- Postural treatment educates the whiplash patient about the most appropriate postures in daily activities.
- Treatment through physical exercises for neck, shoulders, and arms.
The use of a neck brace is among the common treatments. However, this treatment is recommended not to extend for more than 5 days. Remember that excessive use of a neck brace would hinder the patient’s recovery.
The fact is that after whiplash, a patient is frequently unable to return to their normal lives. Indeed, engaging in daily activities becomes difficult. Even work performance becomes an insurmountable obstacle.
Starting the treatment as early as possible is the best way to avoid or limit this type of sequelae. Nevertheless, one of the main characteristics of these injuries is the permanence of symptoms.
Cervical Whiplash Due To Car Accident: Consequences
It is essential to check the degrees of cervical mobility to determine the sequelae in the patient after the healing time estimated by the doctors. This way, the doctor can find whether they conform to normality or not, and once verified, the following consequences can occur:
- Post-traumatic pain (occurs following the healing of injuries from physical trauma)
- Hernia or disc protrusion operated or without surgery with symptoms
- Post-traumatic osteoarthritis (joints’ inflammation forming after you’ve experienced a physical trauma)
- Neck pain
- Aggravation of osteoarthritis experienced in past
- Limited mobility in the spine.
- Post-traumatic cervical syndrome (PTCS)
- Post-traumatic vertebral osteitis without spinal cord involvement.
Shocks: Main Cause of Whiplash
Most whiplash injuries result from a car accident, with its subsequent sudden acceleration and deceleration. Many whiplash injuries occur from substantial impacts from behind in traffic accidents or on account of a sports injury.
That is to say, during a clash between cars, the driver and their companions receive a blow to the vehicle. Consequently, their neck muscles suffer a compression on one side and yet a stretch on the opposite side. Subsequently, muscles return to their initial position.
Far from being pathology, as many people think, whiplash is nothing more than a mechanism, but the neck tends to be injured almost automatically when it occurs.
Being a sprain or strain of the muscles or soft parts of the body, it will cause stiffness and pain when turning the head or neck. As a result, it causes radiation to the shoulder. On the other hand, it will most likely be accompanied by muscle contracture, painful limitation, and reduced mobility. And it may be accompanied by dizziness or a feeling of unsteadiness.
Go To the Doctor If You Have a Cervical Sprain
If the pain or other symptoms persist for more than two days or increase, you must immediately contact the doctor. The doctor will do an exhaustive examination to rule out more severe pathologies, such as ligament injuries or bone injuries. Remember that if you ignore your injury and contact the doctor after 72 hours of the accident, the injuries will be considered not to be caused by the accident. For this very reason, we advise you to attend as soon as you have suffered the accident, so you can avoid greater health and economic risks. Economic risks ate in the sense that you cannot submit the whiplash car accident claim for compensation.
Avoiding this injury usually occurring after a traffic accident is difficult. However, the proper use of head restraints during driving reduces the chances of whiplash and its severe impacts. They must be well adjusted according to the height of the occupant. In this way, the amplitude of the neck’s extension can be limited, and the tension of the head and neck is minimised.
Whiplash Injury Compensation Amount
Under the Civil Liability Act 2018, the amount for compensation for severe whiplash is up to £139,210. Injuries related to whiplash can rely on the duration of the injury, how severe the injury is, and the long-term prognosis.
If your injuries related to whiplash last no more than three months, you may have the right to claim for a compensation amount of £2,300 (for minor injuries). Nevertheless, you may submit the claim for neck injuries for up to £139, 240 in case of injury related to incomplete paraplegia or permanent spastic quadriparesis.
However, the aspects of severity levels and duration do matter, meaning that compensation amounts are based on the injury severity, duration, and whether you suffered psychological injuries.
Reasons for Hiring an Experienced Whiplash Claims Solicitor
Insurance companies are profit-making firms, and they always try to generate more revenue and save a lot. And, it is absolutely natural, but it is not necessary that all insurers do it. Therefore, they may try to pay as little as possible to compensate a car accident victim suffering whiplash or neck injury. They may try to underestimate your whiplash car accident claim settlement. They can do it by pressing you to accept a check for an amount of money that may seem impressive, but that is far lower than the amount you have spent on your injuries.
Remember that if you try to handle your whiplash car accident and injury settlement on your own, you may face many hurdles. You need to have a strong grip on your case, and it is only possible when you will thoroughly understand the full consequences of your injury. As a result, you can recover your medical care cost. Otherwise, trying yourself without any preparation will cost you even hundreds of thousands of Pounds. The fact is, no one who has been injured in a traffic accident should try to claim compensation by taking on an insurance company on their own. Nor should anyone try to take on an insurer without having an obvious understanding of their legal options.
Indeed, the compensation claiming process involves many pitfalls, and even a layperson cannot deal with the insurers for fair compensation. So, you can avoid all pitfalls if you consult with an expert, competent and experienced whiplash car accident claim solicitor in the UK.
In a nutshell, after a traffic accident, the first step is to hire a compensation claim expert, a whiplash claims solicitor. Why? The answer is straightforward; in this way, you can learn more about options to recover the expenses you have spent caring for your neck injuries. A reliable and professional solicitor can help you go in the right direction to ensure that you receive reasonable compensation for your neck injury. Remember that an experienced solicitor always guides you without charging you, suggesting that you will not need to pay them unless they recover the good compensation you deserve.
Do You Need Legal Advice For Submitting A Claim For Whiplash Injury Compensation?
Hamilton Douglas Legal has the best solicitors who are aware of various questions that whiplash victims may have after suffering a car accident: Can I claim for compensation? Is the insurance firm offering me the compensation money that corresponds to me? What to do if the vehicle is declared a total loss? We have mentioned a few here.
If you have any questions in your mind, come to us to get immediate answers. With our solicitors, you can protect your rights by submitting a whiplash injury claim on time. Leave your compensation claim case in our experts’ hands, whether you are a driver or an occupant of a damaged vehicle.
At Hamilton Douglas Legal, we have a team of highly experienced lawyers who will solve all your legal doubts regarding your claim. Our expert lawyers will offer you personalised expert legal advice with our accident video consultation service by thoroughly examining your case. So, do not waste time and hesitate if you want to know what your rights are if you have suffered a traffic accident and got injured.