Why Whiplash Injuries and the Compensation Process Should Be Taken More Seriously

by allan46 on December 23, 2010

Whiplash injuries are a recognized medical condition and they are often caused by a forceful movement or jolt (typically in Road Traffic Accidents) resulting in strain on the ligaments and soft tissues of the neck and back.
 
Due to the increasing number of fraudulent whiplash claims, when an individual complains of having sustained whiplash injuries, the usual response received from many people, is not very sympathetic. The general opinion is, that such injuries are minor, not very painful and expected recovery time is believed to be at maximum, a couple of weeks.
 
The truth of the situation is however very different to this misguided judgment, as whiplash injuries can often be very serious and sometimes permanent.
 
Whiplash is of course like any other medical condition and it can vary in degree of severity, with minor injuries recovering in a very short period of time (usually within 6 months) with little or no substantial impact on the victim. Other cases may see the injured party suffering from chronic whiplash syndrome, where they are left with constant pain, stiffness and a permanent disability, with no recovery from their symptoms.
 
An example of a more serious case saw the victim receiving compensation to the value of £25,000 for her whiplash injuries. The accident caused her to suffer from pain and stiffness to her neck, muscle spasms, loss of power and paraesthesia in the upper limbs, headaches and nausea. The claimant underwent courses of physiotherapy, acupuncture and hydrotherapy, but gained no relief from her symptoms. She had to leave her employment and she was unable to partake in her usual sporting activities. It was ruled that the victim suffered from chronic whiplash syndrome and there was no evidence that she would ever make a recovery from her symptoms, therefore, her life had been permanently altered due to the accident, which had only been a low speed impact.
 
Another case saw a victim compensated to the value of £76,900 for soft tissue whiplash injuries to his neck and lower back. Although he had a pre-existing back condition, it was found that the accident had aggravated his state. His condition forced him to leave his employment and despite being an accomplished saxophone and clarinet player, he had to give up playing his instruments. These personal losses were taken into consideration when calculating the level of damages that he received for his injuries.
 
Although the above awards appear to be very high, it must be stressed that they are unusual cases. It must also be highlighted that although they have received monetary compensation for their injuries, the victim’s lives were severely impacted by their whiplash injuries and they are likely to require assistance in every day tasks for the rest of their lives.
 
If you are involved in a road traffic accident and sustain whiplash injuries, do not be tempted to accept offers of compensation from insurance companies without legal representation. As evidenced above, whiplash injuries may be serious, so you should not simply assume that they will go away in a short period of time. It is best to consult a whiplash injury compensation claim solicitor if you have suffered any form of personal injury, despite how minor it may appear and they will assist you in recovering the maximum amount of compensation based on your injuries and any other losses arising from the accident.

This article has been written by Sarah Nandhra who is a trainee solicitor working for Winston Solicitors, based in Leeds, West Yorks UK. Website; The Claims Connection
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