This guest post is from Mr. David Williamson.
Whiplash is one of those ailments that have a certain level of mystique surrounding them. It seems when accidents occur, whether on the road or otherwise, litigious little cogs begin to turn in victims’ minds. It is as if whiplash is the go-to complaint when people who have left an accident unscathed and want to make a quick buck or two. Or is it?
Whiplash can actually be a severe ailment, causing many of those unlucky enough to be inflicted with it life-long discomfort, severely disrupting their lives. However, many are not as aware as they should be regarding whiplash and seem to make it complaint of choice after an accident; complaining and groaning away their whiplash in the hope of some sort of compensation. In fact, I was sitting in a coffee shop several years ago when I heard a dialogue that really shocked me. Two young men were discussing a recent incident where one of the gentlemen had driven into a post, at which point his friend advised him he should file for compensation citing whiplash as the complaint, despite the affected party insisting he was fine. Note – this ‘friend’ didn’t advise him to visit a doctor, but instead visit a lawyer…
This sort of thinking when it comes to whiplash is absurd. The medical issues involved are complicated and always require extensive medical testing before any legal proceedings should even be considered.
Whiplash is ostensibly caused when a high level of force propels ones head forward before snapping it back fiercely with the same level of force. The result of such a fierce rocking can cause severe nerve damage to the back of the neck, and leave the inflicted with back problems for life. In fact, imagine the lashing of a whip; picture the flow of energy through the lashing culminating in that disturbing cracking sound as the force is returned in the opposite direction – now replace the whip with a human being.
Whiplash is especially prevalent in motor vehicle accidents, for obvious reasons. The forces incurred during even minor incidents are enough to inflict major force on the necks of those inside either vehicle. During these minor infractions, it is common for many to simply walk away, protest that they are completely fine and deny hospital treatment, only to feel the symptoms grow and grow over the following days, to then be inflicted with severe neck pain later on – often arousing the suspicions of many. If you have been involved in a road accident, no matter how minor, it’s worth considering whether you have been affected. The major symptoms are aching and discomfort in the neck, spine, and shoulder area; intense headaches, and sensory disturbances such as pins and needles in the arms and legs. Should you be feeling any of these after a crash, especially several days after any incidents, we advise you seek medical help immediately.
Now, in terms of the legal legacy of whiplash and its claims, it is infuriating to think of the zeitgeist around the injury. Such as the discussion I mentioned earlier between the two gentlemen, people seem to assume that it’s a disorder that is a bit of a cash cow. If you come out of a crash and you don’t have whiplash then you’re the unlucky one, not the poor fellow with the neck complaints.
These days, whiplash is often reported as being a somewhat sketchy complaint. However, people should not be wary when approaching this issue and should seek medical advice at the very moment they feel they may be harboring the side-effects of whiplash. The media seem to have draped a cape of suspicion over those claiming to have been affected, and while not all claims are solidly founded, they always fail to report on the millions of genuine claims that have quite-rightly emerged to be entirely necessary and worthy of compensation.
Do not be ashamed by this ailment, and ensure you seek medical advice following an accident. Ultimately, do not let your fear of others suspicions prevent you from protecting your health and stop you seeking personal injury or accident claims to cover the permanent expenses incurred through whiplash.