Whiplash is a common neck injury regularly sustained during a road traffic accident. Some will recover within weeks without any treatment, while others will suffer further health complications that continue in the long-term. In this article we explore these possible complaints in more detail, explaining what you can do if this has happened to you.
Injuries caused by whiplash
Whiplash occurs when a sudden impact causes the head to snap back and forth quickly. This whipping action forces the neck to reach beyond its normal limits, stretching the muscles, tendons and ligaments. The damage to the soft-tissue will subsequently result in symptoms such as neck and shoulder pain, as well as reduced mobility. Other complaints can also include dizziness, nausea, headaches, poor concentration and fatigue.
Ordinarily, these symptoms will last several weeks or months. Applying ice to the affected area and performing gentle exercises can help speed up the recovery time. However, medical intervention is not usually considered necessary, as whiplash is classified as a ‘self-limiting condition’, meaning it should heal of its own accord. Nevertheless, if you have suffered a whiplash injury you should seek advice from a medical professional. This is because you may have sustained an additional injury of which you are unaware. These can include:-
- Ligament tears;
- Disc rupture;
- Fracture and disruption of facet joints;
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disease;
- Spinal cord damage;
- Spinal fracture.
Underlying injuries such as this are often of a serious nature and will most certainly require medical treatment and further monitoring. Many will take a number of months to heal completely, which can in turn cause psychological problems such as depression, irritability and a fear that a similar injury will happen again.
Claiming for injuries caused by whiplash
If you have suffered health suffered additional health complications as a result of a whiplash incident, you might want to consider making a claim for the damages you have experienced. To be able to do so, you must be able to establish that another party was at fault. This may be, for example, another driver who drove into the back of your vehicle. As long as you can prove that someone else is at fault, and that this caused you to suffer an injury, you will be entitled to make a claim. If successful, you will be awarded compensation, not only to recover your financial expense but also to recompense for the pain and suffering you have been caused. This could also help you pay for private medical treatment, should you need it.
If you would like to claim for the injuries you have wrongfully endured in a road traffic accident, you must contact a solicitor without delay. They will be happy to help you with your whiplash claim.