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Claim compensation for whiplash

whiplash claims advice

Whiplash is a term used to describe a neck injury caused by an impact causing the head to quickly move forwards and backwards or even sideways.

This sudden impact damages the ligaments and tendons in the neck which is usually called a 'neck sprain' because the ligaments are usually overstretched during the 'jolting' of your head/neck.

Symptoms of whiplash:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Loss of movement
  • Headaches
  • Muscle spasms

When an impact is severe, causing a more severe injury, symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Sickness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain in shoulders, arms and back
  • Tingling in the fingers (known as paresthesia)

Cause of whiplash:

The most common cause of a whiplash injury is a motor vehicle accident, when another vehicle collides with yours, you will more than likely be jolted in your seat from the impact. Usually, because you are secured in your chair by your seatbelt, the most movement will take place in your neck. A road traffic accident is the most common but not the only cause of whiplash; you may also incur a whiplash type injury during contact sports such as rugby and even a blow to the head or a fall. Basically any incident which involves the head being jolted can cause whiplash (even bobbing your head).

Preventing the injury:

As you can appreciate, this is a very difficult thing to prevent; you may not be able to anticipate say an unexpected fall. However, when travelling in your car, you should ensure that you headrests are set up correctly; this will stop your head from moving backwards should you be unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident - it is still difficult to prevent your head moving sideways and so in some occasions, you will inevitably incur a whiplash type injury.

Making the link:

In all cases, it is vital to make a link between the injury, all of your other losses (such as loss of earnings) and the accident that caused the injury. For example, if someone ran over your foot, there would be no link between that accident and a neck injury!

In order to make the link, we will obtain a medical report on your behalf. The report is compiled by an independent medical consultant who will give a diagnosis, a prognosis and also his professional opinion as to whether he feels the injury is as a result of the accident.

What is a diagnosis?

Diagnosis is the name given to show the identification of an illness/injury. So, following your medical appointment with the consultant he will be able to say whether you have sustained whiplash (and any other injuries following the accident).

What is a prognosis?

The prognosis is basically the consultant's professional opinion as to when he feels you will have made a full recovery from your injuries.

So you may still be suffering at the time you are examined, and neither you or your Lawyer will have any idea as to how long your symptoms will persist. The consultant will look at a range of things including the progression of your injuries so far, whether you had any previous symptoms before the accident etc. Based on the information and using his experience he will be able to say, how many more months you will be suffering for.

The period you will suffer for is vital for us to value you whiplash injury claim: This is because your claim is predominantly valued on what injuries you have sustained, and in particular how severe they are and most importantly how long they will last. So for example a 2 month injury will be worth a lot less than 9 month injury.

The consultant's opinion:

For your claim to succeed, it is vital that your injuries have been caused by or made worse by the accident and also that the consultant feels your financial losses are proportionate to the accident. So again, for example he will be able to comment on whether your 'leg pains' have been caused by the accident and are part of your whiplash injury. Another important aspect to look at is your loss of earnings claim. If you have had 10 weeks off work for example following the accident because of your injuries, the consultant must comment that he feels this was a reasonable time to be off work with the type of injury you sustained in order for you to make a loss of earnings claim for the full 10 weeks.

Making a whiplash claim

Usually with a whiplash type injury you will get worse before you start to get better and a lot of the time, you may not start to see symptoms until a few days after the accident. It is important that you contact us as soon as you are aware of any injury you have sustained, however minor it may be, there is specific advice we will be able to give such as how long you have to make a claim etc.

If you have been involved in a car accident for example and the other side are clearly at fault for the accident - their insurance company may try to contact you directly and make offers of compensation for your injuries before you have obtained medical evidence. This is because it is in their best interest to settle the claim for as little as possible and so they aim to put forward premature offers to save the costs if you were to be represented, i.e. - your medical report fees, treatment fees and also our costs which they will be liable to pay.

We strongly advise against settling your claim in this way because at such an early stage, without any medical evidence in support of your claim, your injuries cannot possibly be valued, so what may seem to be a good offer (for example £1700.00) could well be very unreasonable and substantially lower than what you would be entitled to.

What you need to do:

If you have sustained an injury following an accident and you believe it may be a whiplash injury. If the accident was not your fault, contact The Injury Lawyers immediately for totally free no obligation advice. If we are happy to take on your claim, not only will we seek medical evidence to ensure your claim is correctly valued; we can arrange private treatment if needed/recommended by the consultant and there are many other items which can be included in your claim which you may not know about and also, which the other side probably won't offer you if you chose to settle your claim directly with them.

These include:

  • Care and assistance claim - you may have to rely on a friend or family member to help with house chores and even personal care which you could have done yourself before the accident, we can claim a rate for their assistance
  • Loss of use - you may not be able to drive because of your injuries or even the damage to your vehicle. We know that you will still be paying tax and insurance and can therefore claim a rate for each day you are unable to use your vehicle
  • Loss of earnings - you may not be able to work because of your injuries and we can claim for the amount of income you are losing out on.
  • Miscellaneous - because running the claim may cost you a few phone bills and maybe some stamps, we can claim a nominal 'miscellaneous' amount to take this into consideration
  • Any loss caused by the accident/ your injuries - for example you may not be able to attend the gym but will still be paying for gym membership - we can claim this any many more as part of your claim.

Need one of our expert whiplash claims team to call you back about your injury? Then please enter your name, the telephone number you would like us to call you back on, the accident type and when you would like us to contact you in the form below.

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