Whiplash is the non-specific umbrella term often attributed to all sorts of neck and spinal injuries incurred in low and high impact accidents.
It is synonymous with car accidents and the associated compensation claims, with some people thinking it is little more than a case of mild neck pain.
However, whiplash, or rather the hyperextension and hyperflexion of high level bones in the neck and the spinal cord, can be extremely serious.
At Thompsons Solicitors we understand there is much more to whiplash injury than just making a claim – there can be hours of pain and suffering, difficult periods of rehabilitation and, in some cases, the realisation that pre-accident functionality will never return.
So, you have been involved in a car accident; a relatively minor accident in which no-one was seriously hurt, but there was damage to your vehicle and you have suffered a serious jolt.
Your doctor says you have suffered soft tissue damage to your cervical spine. In other words, you are in quite a bit of pain and you are finding it hard to move your neck and shoulders. You have suffered a whiplash injury.
You have phoned your insurer and explained the circumstances of the incident. The insurance claim for damage to your car is underway.
But what about the time you will have to take off work? What about the cost of taxis to help you get about because you can't drive at the moment? The car accident wasn't your fault, the other driver drove into the back of your car…
This is where Thompsons' personal injury solicitors in Scotland can help.
Follow these steps to make a whiplash injury compensation claim
- Always go to see a doctor as soon as you are aware of the symptoms of whiplash
- Call Thompsons whiplash compensation solicitors in Scotland to discuss making a claim
- Keep a note of your on-going pain and symptoms
- Rest and relax, knowing your claim is in hand and Thompsons are working to help you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries
- Keep a note of the days you are off work and any expenses you incur as a direct result of your whiplash injury
- Thompsons may contact you or visit you at home to discuss the accident and your recovery. We will keep you informed of the progress of your claim
- In most cases, you won't have to do anything else - just get better
- Thompsons will make sure you receive your compensation once the claim has been settled with the other driver's insurers
- You can receive the treatment you need to help you get well and you won't be out of pocket for any expenses you have incurred
Do you want to speak to a solicitor about making a claim?
We understand that after a minor car accident, some individuals struggle to file a claim due to media portrayal associating whiplash claims with a negative compensation culture.
At Thompsons, we acknowledge the distress and hardship caused by neck injuries from road accidents. We firmly believe that if you've endured harm due to someone else's negligence, you're entitled to fair compensation for your losses—plain and simple.
Call Thompsons Scotland today or use the contact buttons of this page to get your whiplash injury compensation claim underway.
Whiplash Medical Information
The first thing you should do if you believe you are suffering from a whiplash injury is visit a GP or an Accident and Emergency department at a local hospital.
The impact of even a relatively low-speed car accident can cause your neck and cervical spine to move in such a way that ligaments and tendons, as well as muscle tissue, are damaged.
How does a whiplash injury happen?
Cervical neck injury following impact has become known as whiplash injury due to the ‘whipping' movement of the head back and forth as the body responds to the forces exerted upon it.
In most car accidents, an impact causes the body to be pushed either forward, backwards or sideways and this results in a rapid, unexpected movement of the head. The neck is forcefully extended or flexed beyond its normal limits and this hyperextension and hyperflexion can cause damage to neck tissue.
In most cases, whiplash injury is medically described as an acute sprain which will heal well within a few weeks or months. But if ligaments and tendons tear or break, the symptoms can be far more severe.
Symptoms of whiplash
NHS UK lists the following as symptoms of whiplash:
Rarer symptoms include:
- pins and needles;
- some cognitive disruption
Don't try to self-diagnose following an accident, always go to see a medical practitioner who will be able to diagnose your condition fully and advise you on the best course of treatment.
Plus, in the event that symptoms develop and you wish to make a claim for compensation your medical notes could form an important part of the case.
Less common symptoms
Always see your doctor if any of the following symptoms persist after an accident:
- lower back pain
- numbness and paraesthesia (pins and needles) in the hands and arms
- muscle spasms
- vertigo – a spinning sensation while sitting/standing still
- amnesia (memory loss)
- poor concentration
Persistent headaches and emotional symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, along with pain, dizziness and paraesthesia could be an indication that you are suffering from chronic, or long-term, whiplash. Seek advice from your doctor about the best way to get help with your condition.
How long does whiplash last?
NHS UK says that recovery time for whiplash is difficult to predict.In most cases symptoms will resolve within a matter of weeks or months. In the most severe cases they may last for longer than a year.
Treatment of whiplash
In most cases whiplash neck injuries are self-limiting – they will get better on their own. However, you might need to take a few days off work to rest and to keep hospital appointments in the future. For some people, especially those in very active or physical jobs, you may be unable to return to normal duties for some months.
Health practitioners suggest the following treatment for mild to moderate whiplash:
Always visit a health practitioner if you are suffering pain and discomfort after an accident.
If you want to speak to a solicitor about how your whiplash neck injury has affected your life and your ability to work, contact us today using the buttons at the right-hand side of this page.
Whiplash Compensation Amounts
The whiplash settlement you are likely to receive will be dependent on a number of factors. The Judicial Studies Board provides guidelines to personal injury solicitors, courts and insurers for specific injuries, but the amount of award will also be affected by actual losses (e.g. loss of income) following an injury.
Factors affecting the amount of damages include:
- liability (whether you were adjudged to be in any way at fault)
- health and lifestyle prior to and following the incident (if the injury stops you from carrying out an activity you used to do prior to the accident, you may be compensated)
- length of time to full recovery
- pain and suffering
- psychiatric effects following the accident
What is the average payout for whiplash injury?
Average settlements for whiplash vary depending on the severity of injury. Minor whiplash is payable with sums of between several hundred pounds and up to £1,860. More serious whiplash injuries can receive in excess of £10,000. Every whiplash claim is different so it is not always helpful to think in terms of averages.
How much do you get for whiplash injury
The amount of money you get for whiplash depends on the severity of your injury and whether you might be deemed partially liable for your injury. Milder injuries typically receive £2,000 - £3,000 compensation and more severe injuries as much as £30,000.
Soft tissue damage – whiplash injury
The national guidelines regarding compensation for soft tissue damage are as follows:
- Minor neck injury (iii) – where full recovery occurs within three months – compensation amount: a few hundred pounds up to £1,860
- Minor neck injury(ii) – where full recovery occurs between three months and a year – compensation amount: from £1,860 up to £3,300
- Minor neck injury(I) – where full recovery occurs between a period of approximately one to two years – compensation amount: around £3,300 up to £6,000
- Moderate neck injury (iii) – where soft tissue injuries have healed within several months/years, but the injury remains vulnerable to further trauma and the healing has been protracted. Exacerbation of previous injury over a shorter length of time typically less than five years – compensation amount: around £6,000 to £10,450
- Moderate neck injury (ii) – where soft tissue damage or wrenching-type injuries have occurred; also disc lesions causing cervical spondylosis, limitation of movement, pain and stiffness. Also exacerbation of previous injury (as before) – compensation amount: around £10,450 to £19,000
- Moderate neck injury (I) – where fractures and dislocations within the neck and cervical spine result in immediate symptoms which may require treatment such as spinal fusion. Includes soft tissue damage which permanently limits function or renders the patient vulnerable to further trauma – compensation amount: around £19,000 to £29,250
If you have suffered severe neck/spinal injury, or additional injuries, such as chest and back damage or broken bones, each of these injuries will be assessed using specific guidelines. However, further injuries will generally mean greater compensation amounts, particularly if pain and suffering continues after any soft tissue damage has healed.
To chat with an advisor call 0800 0891 331 or to fill in an online claim form, please use the green buttons located on the right of this page and our expert compensation lawyers will help get your whiplash injury claim started.
Types of Accident and the Whiplash Injuries they Cause
Whiplash is the ‘whipping' movement of the head when a body suffers an impact. We generally think of whiplash injury as occurring in a rear-end shunt car accident, but there are a variety of circumstances in which a person can suffer the hyperextension and hyperflexion of the neck and cervical spine which leads to damage of the intervertebral discs, tendons and ligaments commonly known as whiplash injury.
The severity of the injury will largely depend on the type of accident that caused it, and health professionals now have a better idea of the effects a whiplash injury can have on the victim thanks to medical research.
These are the type of incidents in which whiplash injuries most commonly occur. When a car travelling at relatively slow to moderate speed - 15 mph or above - hits a stationary vehicle from behind, there is potential for soft tissue damage to occur in occupants of the stationary vehicle. Studies show that when there is little or no damage to the vehicles involved the likelihood of injury to occupants is low.
In a collision, an occupant of a stationary or slow moving vehicle will have unexpected forces exerted on their bodies and this will cause their head to be thrown backwards. This is quickly followed by the head being thrown forwards, often the chin connects with the chest and then the head returns to normal position. These violent and forceful movements are typically beyond the normal experience for most individuals and the soft tissues of the neck and cervical spine are damaged.
A head-on crash typically occurs when one car leaves its carriageway, either in an overtaking manoeuvre or as a result of swerving to avoid an obstacle. Such accidents generally occur at greater speeds than in rear-end shunt type accidents and often result in injuries more serious than mere soft-tissue damage.
Any head-on impact at low speed may cause a similar injury to a rear-end impact, but the neck is hyperflexed (forward movement) first and then hyperextended (backward movement). Similar damage may occur in a head-on crash to that which is suffered in a rear-end crash, but is often more severe and especially so if the vehicles were travelling at high speed.
Any degree of hyperflexion following impact may cause the intervertebral discs of the cervical spine to be pushed back and bulge. Central and lateral disc bulges, and subsequent herniation of the discs, may press on the spinal cord and/or spinal nerves causing pain numbness and/or weakness in one or both of the accident victim's arms.
Side swipe incidents will once again cause a certain amount of abnormal movement in the cervical spine. The level of soft tissue damage will be dependent on the speeds involved in the collision.
Single vehicle crashes
Single vehicle crashes, where one vehicle collides with another road user or street furniture, have the potential to cause whiplash injury. However, the likelihood of being able to make a claim lessens if there is no third party liability involved.
Falls – trips and slips
Whiplash injuries can occur in a slipping or tripping accident, such as in a public building or retail outlet. When a person slips or trips their impact with another object can result in similar soft tissue damage to tendons and ligaments as experienced in a car accident. The movement of the head and neck is similar and the pain and discomfort comparable.
The acceleration/deceleration forces associated with whiplash from a car accident can also be experienced in many sporting scenarios, particularly in contact sports such as rugby and American football.
If the injury was caused as result of another party's negligence or recklessness, then it may be possible to make a claim for whiplash compensation from whichever sporting body is responsible for maintaining safe play. However, within competitive sports, a certain amount of impact and exertion of forces is foreseeable and making a successful claim can be difficult.
Many health professionals agree that whiplash is hard to diagnose and, in certain cases, it has been suggested that many car accident victims make up their injuries purely so they can make a claim for compensation.
However, studies carried out in the name of car accident research have plainly revealed the toll that even a low speed impact can have on a human body and this is why medical practitioners must take the whiplash phenomenon seriously.
The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (USA), the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health (USA) have published, via the Pain Research and Management journal, a whiplash injury study entitled "Chronic neck pain and whiplash: A case-control study of the relationship between acute whiplash injuries and chronic neck pain". It concludes that injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents contribute significantly to the number of people in the US who suffer from chronic spine pain. The authors felt their study helped to clarify several ambiguities regarding whiplash and could lead to a better understanding of the epidemiology of the condition. The researchers concluded that more research is required.
In an article published in 2002 in the British Columbia Medical Journal, Gunter P Siegmund, PHD, PEng discussed "The biomechanics of whiplash injury". Dr Siegmund concluded that whiplash injury has proved to be a difficult injury to study because of the general poor understanding of its pathoanatomy (nature of the injury - its causes, processes, development, and consequences). He states that while facet joints have now been identified as a site of chronic pain for many whiplash injury patients, and kinematic and kinetic response data has been collected regarding a possible mechanical explanation for whiplash injury, more testing is required to better understand the etiology (set of causes or manner of causation) of whiplash injury so that better medical care can be provided.
What medical researchers agree upon
Many doctors and healthcare professionals agree that whiplash injury requires more research before we can fully understand why a seemingly minor injury type can cause long term chronic pain in some accident victims.
What we are sure of, as personal injury solicitors, is that if you have been injured in a car accident and are suffering from pain and loss of income through no fault of your own then you are entitled to make a claim for whiplash injury compensation.
And to find out how much compensation you might receive, please click here.
Who will be dealing with your whiplash injury claim?
Sometimes it's the little things that are important and when you pick up the phone or receive an email response to an enquiry it's nice to be able to put a face to person you are conversing with.
Here at Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland we have a dedicated team of professionals who work with victims of road traffic accidents to ensure they receive the best possible and most appropriate care and compensation package.
From those with the most serious injuries to whiplash injury victims, our team offers the same level of dedication and commitment to each case and each client.
Whiplash Claims in Scotland
We are one of the leading personal injury firms in Scotland, win more than 90% of the cases we take on and each week secure around £1 million in compensation for our clients every week.
Whiplash Claims in Dundee
Address: 4 Whitehall Crescent, Dundee, DD1 4AU, UK
Tel: 0800 0891 331
Looking for whiplash claim solicitors in Dundee? Thompsons whiplash claim solicitors in Dundee understand the full and sometimes debilitating impact a whiplash injury can have.
If you are looking to make a whiplash claim in Dundee, it may be reassuring for you to know that you are not alone. Here at Thompsons we understand just how distressing and debilitating a whiplash injury can be. Our team in Dundee makes securing the full compensation for your injury our absolute priority while also remaining committed to helping you secure the best medical advice and rehabilitation therapies whenever appropriate.
If you would like to speak with a specialist solicitor about how your whiplash neck injury has affected your life and your ability to work, contact us today.
Whiplash Claims in Edinburgh
Address: 16 - 20 Castle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3AT, UK
Tel: 0800 0891 331
Looking for whiplash claim solicitors in Edinburgh? At Thompsons Solicitors, we can help you make a whiplash claim in Edinburgh on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you do not have to pay a single penny towards funding the cost of your claim unless you win your case – no exceptions, no small print, guaranteed.
At Thompsons Solicitors we have many years of experience representing whiplash claimants in Edinburgh and elsewhere in the country, ensuring full compensation for parties who have suffered whiplash injury as a result of the negligent actions of other road users.
Whiplash Claims in Glasgow
Address: 285 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HQ, UK
Tel: 0800 0891 331
Looking for whiplash claims in Glasgow? Thompsons whiplash claim solicitors in Glasgow have many years of experience in helping clients secure compensation for their injuries and may be able to help you secure compensation for your pain, suffering and losses – all on a No Win No Fee basis.
Our whiplash claim specialists in Glasgow put your interests first as a matter of priority. This means that not only are we committed to ensuring you receive full compensation but that also, wherever possible, we help you find the very best in medical advice and rehabilitative therapies.
Whiplash Claims in the Borders
Looking for Borders whiplash claims? Thompsons offers whiplash claims services in the borders. Our Borders whiplash claims office is here to help you through the entire process. If you have sustained a whiplash injury in an accident in the Scottish Borders and believe that the incident was at least in part attributable to the actions of another party, Thompsons Solicitors can help you claim compensation for your pain, suffering, losses and expenses.
Whiplash Claims in Dumfries
Address: 43 Buccleuch Street, Dumfries, DG1 2AB, UK
Tel: 0800 0891 331
Dealing with a whiplash injury in Dumfries? Thompsons Solicitors Scotland is a trusted advisor for all your whiplash claims. Our experienced team of solicitors in Dumfries are dedicated to securing you with full compensation for your pain, suffering and losses.
Thomspon’s is proud to have a proven track record of success, and we operate on a No Win No Fee basis. This approach ensures that you pay no fee unless your case wins. The Thompson’s team prioritises your compensation while also connecting you with high quality medical advice and top-tier rehabilitation.
If you have suffered whiplash in Dumfries, contact Thompson’s today.
Whiplash Injury Compensation Claims Made Easy
At Thompsons in Scotland we only ever work for claimants, so we know your worries inside and out. Call us today to discuss your circumstances and we will be able to explain our services and how we can help you. You will be under no obligation to proceed and the call is free from most phones.
Do you want to speak to a solicitor about making a claim?
We know that some people find making a claim following a minor car accident difficult because they have read in the press that whiplash injury claimants are part of the compensation culture and it's a bad thing.
Here at Thompsons we know that neck injury following a road traffic accident can be distressing and debilitating. We believe wholeheartedly that if you have suffered as a result of someone else's negligence or recklessness then you deserve to be compensated for your losses. It's as simple as that.
Call Thompsons Scotland today or use the contact buttons of this page to get your whiplash injury compensation claim underway.
If you want to make a claim for whiplash injury compensation you have come to the right place. Use our online form to contact us, or start an online chat.
But if you want more information on various aspects relating to whiplash, Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland has gathered together a directory of useful resources to help you find out more.
Whiplash Helpful Resources
Our list of links can help you find help when recovering from a cervical spine injury, whether it has occurred as a result of a road traffic accident, work accident or sports injury.
Scottish Chiropractic association - https://www.sca-chiropractic.org/
The British Medical Acupuncture Society - https://www.medical-acupuncture.co.uk/Default.aspx?tabid=78
Scottish Massage Therapists Organisation - https://www.scotmass.co.uk/
Physiotherapists in Scotland - https://www.local-physio.co.uk/region/scotland/
Whiplash Prevention Research
Thatcham Research - https://news.thatcham.org/
Toyota Motor Corporation research paper - Click here
University of Coventry MSc research paper - https://docplayer.net/7932201-Title-reduce-prevent-whiplash-injuries-in-car-accidents.html
Proposing new research into whiplash - https://www.monash.edu/muarc/archive/our-publications/papers/whiplash
RoSPA (Cars in the future: Head restraints and whiplash) - https://www.rospa.com/en/Road-Safety/Advice/Vehicles
RoSPA (How to adjust your head restraint) - http://www.rospa.com/road-safety/advice/vehicles/head-restraints-and-whiplash/adjust/
WHIPS Whiplash Protection System - http://support.volvocars.com/uk/cars/Pages/owners-manual.aspx?mc=v526&my=2016&sw=15w46&article=f8c31acf8970b2d8c0a801513d87fc35
From finding out where your cervical spine is located to understanding WADs, the Thompsons Solicitors' Whiplash Glossary is a comprehensive guide to the terms used in relation to whiplash.
Acute pain - sudden, severe pain which comes on quickly, but lasts a relatively short period of time.
Acceleration/deceleration injury - injury caused due to impact forces, typically where the body is thrust forward and then backwards in quick succession.
Anterior - to the front.
Cervical spine - the uppermost section of the spine, supports the skull and protects the spinal cord in the neck.
Chronic pain - persistent pain which lasts over a prolonged period of time and is often resistant to pain relief and medical treatment.
CT or CAT scan - specialised X-ray tests to give clear pictures of the inside of the body; particularly useful for diagnosing soft tissue damage as this is not visible on ordinary X-rays.
Disc - see intervertebral disc.
Hyperextension - extension of a joint beyond the normal range of motion; in whiplash injury hyperextension of the neck occurs when the head is thrown back following impact.
Hyperflexion - movement of a joint beyond the normal range of motion; in rear-end shunt whiplash injury hyperflexion is caused when the head is thrown forward, typically following hyperextension.
Intervertebral disc - the soft pad between each vertebra of the spine. They act as shock absorbers and aid movement of the spine.
Lateral - to the side.
Ligament - fibrous connective tissue attaching bone to bone, serving to hold structures together and maintain stability.
MRI scan - magnetic resonance imaging using strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of internal structures inside the body.
Nerve - fibre or bundles of fibre as part of a complex system to convey impulses of sensation, movement, etc., between the brain, spinal cord and throughout the body.
Pain relief - alleviation of pain, typically through use of medication or application of physical therapies.
Physical trauma - damage or physical injury to biological organisms typically by physical means. Major trauma such as severe impact, gunshot wounds or knife wounds typically result in life-threatening injuries.
Posterior - to the rear, behind.
Prognosis - prediction of likely course and probable outcome following disease or injury.
Range of motion - the full potential movement range of a joint; the degree of flexion and extension.
Rear-end shunt - when a moving vehicle collides with the back of a stationary or slow moving vehicle; typical cause of whiplash injury.
Soft tissue damage/soft tissue injury (STI) - injury to muscles, ligaments and tendons anywhere in the body.
Spinal column - backbone, vertebral column or spine; the major skeletal supporting structure in the human body, made up of individual bones (vertebrae), allowing movement and offering protection to the spinal cord within the spinal canal.
Spinal cord - long, thin bundle of nerve tissue and support cells extending from the brainstem at the base of the skull to the lumbar region of the spinal column. Damage to the spinal column may cause pain, loss of feeling and paralysis.
Spinal disc herniation - in which a tear to an intervertebral disc causes the soft central part of the disc to bulge out. Typically caused by physical trauma and ageing, if the bulge presses on nerves or the spinal cord it can cause pain, tingling and weakness in associated parts of the body.
Sprain - also known as a torn ligament, occurs when a ligament is stretched torn or twisted, usually as a result of high forces or impact.
Strain - also known as a torn muscle, occurs when muscles are torn or stretched beyond their limits, also damage occurs if the muscle is forced to shorten (contract) to quickly.
Tendon - fibrous connective tissue attaching muscle to bone or muscles to structures e.g., the eye. Tendons aid movement of a bone or structure.
WAD - ‘whiplash associated disorders' is an umbrella term for a range of symptoms typical to whiplash injury victims. They are classified by the severity of signs and symptoms and are graded from Grade 0: no complaints or physical signs to Grade 4: neck complaints and fracture/dislocation.
Whiplash - the ‘whipping' motion associated with rear-end shunt accidents which causes soft tissue damage to the neck and cervical spine.
Whiplash compensation - an amount of financial damages paid out to the injured victim of a whiplash accident, where the incident was caused as a result of the negligence or recklessness of a third party.
Whiplash injury - soft tissue damage typically caused by hyperextension and hyperflexion of the neck as a result of acceleration/deceleration forces.