Whiplash is caused when a person sustains a sudden jolt to their head or body. This damages the muscles, ligaments, tendons or other soft tissues. It is most often caused by the sudden deceleration mechanism when a car brakes sharply. During a car accident a person’s neck is thrown forwards and then quickly jerked backwards, often passed their shoulders. Properly fitted head restraints can help to minimise such injuries. Whiplash can also be caused by vigorous movements and overstretches. While we have never had a case of whiplash caused by excessive drumming, it can also be caused by slips, falls, sports injuries, and assaults.
Whiplash causes pain, stiffness and restriction of movement in the neck area and can also cause headaches, muscle spasms and pain in the shoulders or arms of the injured person. In more serious cases of whiplash there can be swelling, back pain, pins and needles in the arms, hands or fingers, dizziness, lethargy and nausea. In most cases, the injured person will not develop symptoms of whiplash immediately after their accident. The symptoms of whiplash will develop a day or two afterwards and may get worse over a period of time before starting to get better.
Whiplash can be diagnosed by a GP after hearing a description of a person’s injuries. The GP may also examine the person’s neck for signs of muscle spasms and tenderness and assess the range of movement in their neck.
Whiplash can be treated in many different ways; however, injured people often find that it is just a case of waiting for their body to heal itself. Many people find Ice packs can help to reduce any swelling caused by the whiplash injury and painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are often helpful. The injured person should consult their GP regarding treatment.
Compensation for whiplash injuries ranges between £750 and £5,800 depending on the severity of the injury and the length of the recovery period. In cases where there is a more severe injury to the neck or back awards can be well in excess of this.