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Whiplash injuries caused by road traffic accidents
Whiplash is the non-medical term used to describe a range of painful soft-tissue injuries to the muscles, ligaments and tendons in and around the neck, shoulders and spine, after being involved in some form of collision.
Whiplash injuries are caused by any sudden and forceful movement of the head and spine and are commonly suffered following road accidents involving sudden stopping.
The majority of cases occur as the result of rear-impact collisions involving stationary or slow-moving vehicles that are struck from behind at speeds that are commonly less than 14mph.
In rear-impact collisions, the seatbelt secured body remains comparatively still while the head is thrown backwards and forwards forcefully in a ‘whiplash’ motion.
In head-on collisions, which account for one-third of road accident related whiplash injuries, the head is first thrown forwards and then backwards in a similarly violent manner.
Typical whiplash injuries occur when the body is thrown backwards or forwards while the head lags. This causes the ligaments and tendons in the neck to be forcefully extended beyond their normal limits. The speed at which these accidents occur often dictates the severity of any whiplash injuries sustained.
Such overstretching of the ligaments is known as a sprain. Sprains can often take several months to heal. Any resulting bruising or inflammation of the muscles in the neck will not normally be evident at the time of an accident.
Common whiplash symptoms can include neck pain, tenderness, stiffness, headaches and restricted movement around the neck and shoulders. Although symptoms such as these usually take between 6-12 hours to develop and normally resolve after a few days, some whiplash injuries can take several weeks to heal with related neck pain and stiffness often intensifying and worsening in the days immediately following the injury.
Less common symptoms can include persistent headaches, fatigue, dizziness, memory loss, blurred vision, vertigo, muscle spasms, back pain, nausea, insomnia and numbness or pins and needles in the arms, shoulders, hands and fingers.
Unfortunately for some people, symptoms can continue for several months and even years with whiplash-related pain and discomfort having a major impact upon their lives. Severe whiplash injuries can result in prolonged health problems, leaving victims with residual symptoms and long-term neck discomfort.
How can Fentons Solicitors help?
If you think you have a case, or require further assistance with your whiplash claim, why not call our freephone helpline on 0800 019 1297, alternatively complete the brief road accidents claim form.
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