Whiplash Compensation Lawyers Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast and All of Queensland
Whiplash is a type of spinal injury affecting the neck. It is commonly sustained in car accidents, but can happen in any situation where the head is suddenly forced backwards and then forwards.
This movement puts the neck under a large amount of stress, and can lead to chronic discomfort and long-term loss of mobility.
The debilitating long-term effects of whiplash, if not treated correctly, make it vital to seek compensation if you have sustained whiplash or a serious neck injury in a car accident.
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When the spine’s cervical shape is strained beyond its usual range of movement, any subsequent damage can be referred to as whiplash.
Every instance of whiplash is unique, and needs to be treated on a case-by-case basis.
This is also applies when seeking compensation for whiplash after a car accident and compensation payout amounts will, naturally, differ due to the effects whiplash injuries have on different people.
Recovering from this type of injury can be a complex process as it covers a variety of issues with the nerves, spinal discs, ligaments, bones and muscles.
What Are the Main Causes of Whiplash?
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of whiplash. Additional risk factors include contact sports, physical assaults and other types of accidents, such as falls.
What Happens with Whiplash from a Car Accident?
Any car accident can result in a neck injury, but rear end collisions have especially high rates of whiplash. When a vehicle gets struck from behind, its occupants will usually be thrown backwards on impact. This can force the neck to stretch beyond its usual range of motion.
Car accident-related whiplash can be compounded by the late onset of symptoms. People often don’t realise how badly they’ve been injured and fail to seek treatment until several days after the car accident.
It is, however, important to seek medical treatment immediately after a car accident, no matter how minor your injuries may seem. Failure to seek immediate medical treatment can affect compensation payout amounts as well as result in more severe injuries.
What Whiplash Symptoms Might I Suffer?
Whiplash symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the injury. The most common symptom is pain and stiffness in the neck, but other indications can include:
Pain in the shoulders and back
Difficulty speaking or swallowing
If you experience any of these symptoms, always see a doctor. Seeking medical help will ensure you don’t worsen your whiplash injury. It can also help to ensure the motor vehicle compensation payouts you receive are fair.
How Do I Claim Whiplash Injury Compensation?
If you have sustained whiplash, you may qualify for compensation. Taking legal action can help you recover out-of-pocket expenses and lost income, so you can get back on your feet both physically and financially.
For assistance with making a claim for whiplash compensation, call, chat or email us here at The Personal Injury Lawyers today.
We’re happy to discuss your case, completely obligation-free, and provide you with experienced legal advice on, for example, whiplash injury compensation payout amounts.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Whiplash Compensation Claims, Treatment & Recovery
How Does My Doctor Diagnose Whiplash?
Since Whiplash usually results in soft tissue damage, it can be difficult to diagnose using X-rays. Specialised imaging tests (such as a CT scan or MRI) may be needed to detect any damage to your discs, muscles or ligaments.
Your doctor may also need to test your range of movement. If you can’t turn your head from side to side without experiencing pain, this is a clear indication of Whiplash.
What Are the Best Whiplash Treatments and Exercises?
Even simple neck movements can be extremely painful for Whiplash sufferers, but overcoming this stiffness is essential to the recovery process.
Medical research has shown that people who resume their day-to-day activities often heal faster than those who reduce physical movement for longer periods.
There are several exercises that may help reduce the pain and neck stiffness associated with Whiplash.
- The chin nod – You can do this exercise while lying down. Simply move your chin in a forward nodding motion until you feel the muscles at the base of your start to stretch. Hold for 5 seconds, then move your head back to a neutral position. Repeat this movement 10 times.
- Head rotation – Also done while lying down, the head rotation exercise involves slowly turning your head from side to side. The aim is to turn your head far enough so that it lines up with your chin. Hold each side for 5 seconds at a time.
- Posture correction – Whiplash can cause bad posture, as people often slump to alleviate the pain in their neck. However, there are ways to correct this before it becomes a habit. Begin in a sitting position, then slowly draw your shoulder blades back and down. This will prevent any tension from building up in your upper back.
Be sure to get the all-clear from your doctor before doing any physical exercises, and always take things slowly.
Is Physical Therapy Required for Whiplash Recovery?
In milder cases of Whiplash, symptoms should subside on their own after a few weeks.
However, more severe neck strains can require physical therapy.
To aid the recovery process, your physical therapy should start with passive treatments, such as deep tissue massage or hot and cold therapies.
Once your muscles are ready to start moving again, you can begin doing active treatments. This kind of physical therapy involves stretching and strengthening your neck and upper back through a series of exercises.
How can I Best Deal With Whiplash Neck Pain?
If Whiplash is causing you an intolerable amount of discomfort, there are steps you can take to help ease the pain.
The following treatments can be effective for whiplash pain.
- Rest – While your long-term goal should be to get your neck moving again, resting for at least 24 hours after sustaining whiplash is essential (you may need to rest for a longer period of time if you have a severe case of Whiplash).
- Ice – Applying ice to your neck can help reduce inflammation.
- Over-the-counter pain medication – Mild to moderate Whiplash pain can be managed with medications like Panadol or Nurofen.
- Prescription painkillers – For severe Whiplash, you may need to take prescription medication. Your doctor can advise you on a suitable course of painkillers.
How long does Whiplash Last?
Rehabilitating Whiplash can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Just as the symptoms of whiplash can vary between cases, recovery times also differ depending on the nature of the injury. If you have suffered a serious neck strain, you may be facing a long road to recovery.
Are there Any Long-Term Effects Of Whiplash?
Serious Whiplash can develop into a chronic condition that takes years to fully heal. In rare cases, the pain may never go away completely.
Neck strain injuries that last longer than 6 months are classified as chronic whiplash. Severe whiplash can also lead to osteoarthritis in the spine, or spinal stenosis, which puts pressure on the nerves in the neck.
How Best Can I Prevent Whiplash Injuries?
Whiplash injuries can be extremely difficult to prevent, as they often occur suddenly. While it’s impossible to prevent all accidents, there are ways to reduce the risk of getting Whiplash.
Ensuring you wear your seat belt and have your car’s headrest positioned correctly can make you less vulnerable to sustaining motor vehicle accident-related Whiplash. Wearing safety equipment while playing sport can also help reduce the instance of Whiplash in athletes.
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