How Much Does a Whiplash Claim pay?
The amount of money you will be paid, will depend on the severity of your whiplash. For a mild case payments can start at £100 and be as much as £34575. For a moderate case they can be up to £14500 and severe cases can be up to £86500.
Many people have car accidents and whiplash is one of the most common injures to be sustained from one. Although it is often thought to be a minor injury, it can actually be painful and debilitating and take months to recover from. It is something which occurs when a car is hit from behind.
It is an injury which cannot be seen and so people tend to think of it as not serious. However, it is serious and should always be treated by a medical professional and if the accident was not the injured persons fault, they are also within their rights to claim compensation.
A whiplash injury can vary a lot. This is because it all depends on how badly injured the mescles and ligaments in the neck are. It can cause a small amount of discomfort or it can cause neck fractures or spinal damage which are obviously a lot more painful. It is therefore important to take this injury very seriously.
Sometimes a whiplash injury will take time to be noticed. They can also seem less severe than they are and it is therefore advisable never to report to your insurance company that you are in good health until you have seen a doctor. They will be able to ensure that there are no hidden problems.
Doctors and insurance companies can still dismiss whiplash as an injury that is not that serious though. So if you have been effected, make sure that you speak up and get heard. Make a compensation claim and make sure that people are aware hat you have had a serious injury and that it deserves compensation.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury to the neck which is caused by a s sudden movement of the head in any direction. This is normally a cause of damage to tendons and ligaments in the neck. These are connective tissues between muscles and bones and bones and joints and when they are overstretched they can be strained. However, things van be more serious and cause more than just pain.
How Does Whiplash Happen?
The main cause of whiplash tends to be when a car is stopped and another goes in to the back of it. The sudden movement means that the body tries to move forward, but the seat belt breaks that movement and causes a jolt to the head. Often the head rest and air bag do not provide enough protection to be able to prevent this sort of injury, although they do prevent the head being hit on the dashboard or steering wheel and the person being flung form the windscreen, so some injuries are reduced. Some new cars are now fitted with a different type of headrest which minimises the whiplash risk.
Any jolt to the head can cause whiplash though and although car accidents are the most common cause, there are others as well. These include things like sports accidents and horse riding falls.
How Can Whiplash Effect You?
A whiplash injury can vary in severity and of course this will determine what effect it has on you. There are a selection of grades of whiplash. Grade 0 is where there are no physical signs at all. Grade 1 is where there is some pain and stiffness but no physical signs. Grade 2 is where there is decreased movement in the neck and tenderness in some areas. Grade 3 is where there are sensory problems and weakness. Grade 4 is where the neck is fractured or dislocated or the spinal cord is damaged.
This means that whiplash could have a variety of effects. It could have none whatsoever or more serious one, although grade 4 is very rare. Even low grade problems can lead to future conditions which can be more long lasting but generally they are only short term.
What are the Long Term Effects?
Most whiplash cases get better within a month. With rest, medication and physiotherapy a full recovery can quickly be gained. However, some will be more serious and they could lead to problems for six months or even longer. This can then have an impact on the life of the injured person as they will not be able to drive safely and they may not be able to work. They could even get psychological problems as a result of the injury and the way that it has effected their life.
Is There a Cure For Whiplash?
In most cases of whiplash health does improve quite quickly. By placing an ice pack on the injured area inflammation can be reduced and pain lessened quite soon. Anti-inflammataries can also be taken which will not only reduce the pain but help to reduce any swelling in the neck area, but as with all drugs, even over the counter ones, caution should be taken and instructions should always be read first. If in doubt talk to the pharmacist or your GP, especially if you are already on medication or have a medical condition.
Wearing a neck brace can help some sufferers as well. Exercise may need to be avoided and rest taken and a doctor will be able to give advice about this. It may be best to do some exercise to help keep muscles loose, so it is best to seek medical advise as to what to do and how often. You may be given a specific exercise plan or have to see a physiotherapist.
How to Avoid Whiplash
It is not always easy to avoid injury as you cannot predict that an accident is going to happen. However, if you do want to avoid whiplash, the best way is to get a car which has components in it to help prevent it. The Toyota IQ has been voted the best car for anti-whiplash but there were other cars in the European car safety Organisations list which came up fairly well as well, so this list could be worth looking at.
How Much Compensation Can be Claimed?
It can be difficult to guess what might be awarded. Obviously the more serious the injury, the more money will be awarded. The figures range from 31,000 to £86.500. There are a number of factors which will effect how much money will be paid and it will be up to the judge to decide.
What Information is Needed to make a claim?
Whiplash is the same as other injuries that are caused by negligence and therefore require the same information. However, it can sometimes take time for symptoms to appear and so medical help may not be sought immediately/ Things like hairline fractures may take years to show up, but it is understood by medical practitioners and by judges that this can be the case and so exceptions can be made for cases like this.
It is best to provide as much evidence of the accident as possible. Photographic evidence can be really good and statements in writing from anyone who observed the accident. It is also a good idea to speak to a solicitor before your insurance company, in the case of a road traffic accident.
So if you have suffered from a whiplash injury within the last three years, it could be possible for you to claim compensation and is therefore worth you contacting a solicitor for help.