5 facts about whiplash
Whiplash is one of the most common personal injuries people suffer, and subsequently the subject of a lot of compensation claims.
According to the ABI there are approximately 1,500 whiplash personal injury claims made every day in the UK, which costs the insurance industry about £2 billion per year and is estimated to add £90 onto our car insurance premiums.
Despite it being so common, though, whiplash is still a slightly misunderstood condition – so here are some facts about whiplash and the claims process…
1. Whiplash isn’t just caused by car accidents
Although whiplash is most commonly associated with front or rear impact car collisions – which causes the head to jerk backwards and/or forwards and damages the tendons and ligaments in the neck – whiplash can actually happen at any time.
For example, the same damage to the neck can occur from a fall from height, or from certain high-impact sports like skiing, snowboarding, football, gymnastics, rugby and football.
2. Whiplash doesn’t require a lot of force
It’s often a surprise after a relatively small bump in the car to wake up the next morning with the stiff neck that is a sure sign of whiplash. The truth is though that you don’t need to have a big accident to get whiplash – collisions at speeds of around 5 – 10mph can easily cause whiplash.
The unexpected jerking of the head is what causes whiplash, so getting hit at any speed can lead to whiplash. The severity of the injury often depends on how well you are restrained at the time of the car crash – which is why it is important to always wear a seatbelt.
3. Whiplash symptoms might not be apparent immediately
It’s quite common to walk away from a car accident thinking you’ve escaped any injury, only for a whiplash injury to materialise the next day.
It usually takes between 6 – 12 hours for whiplash symptoms to fully develop – which commonly include pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. Some sufferers may also experience nausea, blurred vision and lower back pain.
4. Whiplash can take a long time to fully heal
One of the reasons whiplash is such an expensive injury for the insurance industry is that it can take a long time for sufferers to return to their normal state.
Although most people with a mild case of whiplash will feel their symptoms ease after a few days, there are some who find that whiplash lasts for a long time. Chronic whiplash cases can last anywhere between a few weeks to several months.
5. Age can increase the risk and severity of whiplash injuries
Older people and those with pre-existing neck problems like arthritis are likely to suffer more chronic cases of whiplash than younger people.
As we get older our movement becomes more limited as our muscles gradually lose their strength and flexibility and our ligaments become less malleable. Therefore a sudden impact that jerks the neck can cause a lot more damage to older people.
What to do if you have whiplash…
If you think you have suffered a whiplash injury following an accident that wasn’t your fault, whether you were the driver or a passenger, then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
To find out how CL Legal can help you make a No Win No Fee compensation claim, get in touch today using the options below…