Whiplash.  Debunking The Myth About Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claims.

It is a common term that seems to be at the tip of everybody’s tongue in this day and age. Everybody seems to have a view about it.  People range in their view from ‘it is your right to claim injury compensation if you have been injured as a result of the negligence of another,; to the traditional stiff British upper lip, and often media or image conscious driven view of ‘it is wrong to claim.’

In fact, it is very easy to say that, until the unthinkable happens to you.  We are all but one second from an accident and injury that was not our fault.  How would you cope if it happened to you?  How would you pay your bills if you were forced to be absent from work, and received no pay in your absence?

Why Do People Think It’s Wrong To Claim Personal Injury Compensation?

Certainly, the media and insurance companies have worked hard at this, and have made it their business to place a stigma against the injury, and the making of an injury claim.  Sadly, that message is getting out there, and seems to be working, as statistically, less than 4 in 10 of people who are injured in an accident that was not their fault, then go on to claim injury compensation.  

The simple truth is that anybody who has suffered with the personal injury colloquially termed ‘whiplash’ knows how painful, debilitating and long-lasting this condition can be.  Those who criticise both the physical injury, and the making of a claim for compensation for whiplash – have clearly been lucky enough never to have suffered the injury.  Yet.

What Is Whiplash?

Firstly, it is essential to advise you that whiplash is not a medical term at all, and is not an accurate description of the injury.

Whiplash has become a non-medical term commonly used to describe a physical injury sustained to the neck, usually following a road traffic accident, although that is not of course the only way in which this injury can be sustained.

In actual fact, the injury suffered to the neck is one of acceleration and deceleration in rapid related movements. These fast and unexpected movements of the neck and head, (which is heavy upon the muscles of the neck) stretches the soft tissues and vertebrae of the neck beyond their normal comfortable range of movement and expected activity. This causes sudden and unexpected strain to muscles, bones and nerves in the neck.

Therefore if for example you were to decide tomorrow to run a marathon that you had undertaken no training for, and you had no experience of running a marathon, you would naturally expect that many of your muscles, but obviously your legs and back in particular would suffer from muscle ache for a period of time after the marathon.

The injury is effectively similar to that type of strained muscle with which we are all familiar. However, due to the normally restricted range of movement and motion of the neck, the heavy weight of the head on the neck, and the very fast and unexpected nature of the movement of the neck and spine in the accident, the injury is debilitating and very painful.

Therefore the constant demand upon the neck muscles and vertebrae to remain upright, to stabilise the heavy head, and to be able to turn left, right, and to look up and down and motions in between, the area is then constantly strained after injury and causes further and significant pain.

How Bad Can Whiplash Be?

This injury often then causes pain to extend into the back, the shoulders and can often cause disturbance to the hands, causing pins and needles, and can extend further down into the legs, due to nerve damage being caused. The symptoms of the injury can often appear directly after a road traffic accident for example, but can also take a few days to be felt fully.

What is often misunderstood and missed by many people is that the brain is thrown about the inside of your head during such an impact, – and the brain can be forced through the cerebral fluid, scratching upon the surface of the inside of your skull, which is not smooth, and brain cells can actually be shaved off. This is why, many people are forgetful, and some people suffer a change of character after a road traffic accident. This is not commonly known or understood by some in the industry, and explains why some people have different characters, or suffer more seriously than others, including minor brain damage.

What is a commonly misunderstood, even downplayed injury – can actually have significant and lifelong effects. Brain injuries can occur as an unexpected secondary effect.

Why can It Be So Bad?

The thing is, the rapid-fire backwards, forwards and then backwards once again manoeuvres, often referred to as the ‘S curve’ places strain upon not only the neck, but also the lumbar spine and the muscles at the base of the back, but it can also impact upon the brain too, causing nerve damage, and altered personality. Hardly minor!

Medics have different views on the condition. The prevailing view by some is that it is not a serious injury, or is not an injury of long-lasting consequence, but that view is not agreed with by many who have had the misfortune to suffer the whiplash condition, or many scientific studies and published papers. There are actually, very many medics who believe that one’s neck is permanently weakened after such an accident and the suffering of whiplash.

Whilst it is belittled, played down and often demonised in the media, the condition commonly known as whiplash following a road traffic accident is a very real – and very painful phenomenon. Anyone seeking to downplay the condition is fortunate enough not to have suffered it.

I’ve Suffered Whiplash. What Do I Do Now?

The best advice for anyone who has suffered a neck injury in a road traffic accident ‘whiplash,’ is to get treatment for it as quickly as possible. Physiotherapy, is usually a great help – if obtained within a short period of time after the accident itself.

In this ever evolving area of personal injury law, it is essential that you have an injury lawyer on your side who is experienced and skilled at dealing with such claims to ensure that you receive compensation that you deserve.

Claim Your Compensation NOW

Do not be put off into thinking that you are imagining your pain or that it is wrong to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation. It is not, and it is your legal right to claim compensation when you have been injured through the negligence and fault of another.

Don’t delay, claim today. Richardsons & Co Solicitors are experienced injury solicitors, where only a fully qualified and experienced personal injury solicitor will deal with your claim for whiplash compensation. Simply complete the simple claim form to start your claim now. Alternatively, telephone 01270 747154

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