Whiplash Compensation Claims

Whiplash is the non medical term used to describe a range of injuries sustained to the neck by sudden extension of the neck. Whiplash is typically associated with vehicular accidents, especially when the vehicle has been hit in the rear, although whiplash can be suffered from many other causes including sports injury, a hit to the head from a falling object and an assault. Before the invention of vehicles, whiplash was called railroad spine as such injuries were suffered as a result of train accidents.

There are four phases to whiplash and include the initial position, retraction, extension and rebound. During the initial phase there is no force on the neck. Whiplash occurs during the retraction phase when there is unusual loading of the soft tissue. During the extension phase, the entire neck and head extends, but is limited by the head restraint. The rebound phase is the result of the other three phases.

Symptoms of whiplash are soreness, swelling and stiffness of the neck. The victim usually cannot move their head or can only move it with a pain and difficulty. The victim may also suffer pain and aching in the back as well as the neck, and the shoulders. The victim may also feel the sensation of pins and needles and headaches. Whiplash is usually confined to the spinal area and the areas most commonly affected are the neck and middle of the spine. The symptoms of whiplash may appear immediately, but most of the time whiplash symptoms are not felt for days afterwards.

Whiplash is diagnosed with an inspection to the head for signs of trauma, including abrasions, cuts and bruises, testing for pain by pressing on certain areas of the neck and moving the head up and down and side to side. The doctor may also order xrays and a CAT scan to rule out broken or fractured bones. If pain is present, along with tenderness, pain and swelling, a diagnosis of whiplash will be made.

Once a whiplash diagnosis has been made, the victim may file for compensation. Whiplash usually means time away from work and the use of a medical device such as a neck brace until the symptoms subside. Whiplash compensation claims, also known as nuisance claims, can cover lost wages and pain and suffering, as well as medical expenses not covered by health insurance. The victim will have to submit copies of medical records, the results of any tests performed and a written diagnosis from the attending doctor.