Spraining your neck is a painful injury and one that we generally associate with car accidents. There is good reason for this, and as many as a quarter of rear-end collisions lead to whiplash. Symptoms include stiffness, headaches, lower back pain and ringing in the ears. If you do have an accident then you could be entitled to thousands in whiplash compensation.
There isn’t a particular method that is scientifically proven to give the best treatment results but medications and therapy are available. These injuries tend to take a day to come to light, but once they do – or straight after the incident – you should do these five things:
- Document the accident – Take pictures of damage, road surfaces and the vehicles on the scene. Make sure you get the names and addresses of those involved as well as a description, statements, conditions and plate numbers. Speak to the police and begin correspondence.
- Get checked out – Depending on circumstances you may go straight to the hospital. But, if it is just a bump then symptoms tend not to arise straight away. Even so, it is always better the next day to seek a full check-up. A physiotherapist will check nervous systems, arteries and joints and an x-ray will probably be need to check there is no serious damage.
- Begin physiotherapy – The road to recovery needs to start straight away. Previously immobilisation was suggested but today doctors recommend early movement. Always check with your doctor or physio but ease back into things by giving your neck a workout. Start with a stretch, moving your head from side-to-side and rolling in circles. Rolling your down to your chest is also effective – always coming back to look at the ceiling. Try also stretching your full body to build strength in the spine. Other than this, make sure you sleep on your side because this offers support that you wouldn’t get from lying on your stomach. Sleep is essential for healing.
- Find out how to make a claim – There are many companies out there that offer no win, no fee deals and claim to be specialists in whiplash compensation. Some are bogus and some are great so you need to both find out how to make a claim and who to do it with. Your documentation and doctor’s notes will help them determine what sort of claim you have and advise how you can move forward with your claim.
- Know the law – While your solicitors know the ins and outs it is worth getting well rounded in the subject so that you know what you’re letting yourself into. James Dalton who is head of Motor and Liability at the Association of British Insurers said in December that there is a “whiplash culture” in this country that people are taking advantage of. As many as half a million claims are put in a year and this is driving premiums up. From April 2013, the government will roll out their new independent medical panels to stop people from exploiting this seemingly large whole in the law.
I got really bad whiplash from an accident I was in. It was completely 100% his fault, but I was too lazy to go to the hospital, so I didn’t. Still regret it!
Hazel Owens says
I like your tip to get a check up soon after an accident, even if you didn’t think it was that serious. Whiplash symptoms don’t always show up right away, but the sooner you find out whether you suffered whiplash or not, the sooner you can get treatment for it. Even if your check up comes out clean, it’s better to have peace of mind than to worry about what damage the accident may have caused. Thanks for the tips!