SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0844 332 0553

Serious neck pain is a very common medical complaint and every year about 1 in 200 people suffer from neck injury caused by accidents involving motor vehicles. Whiplash injury results from the forces of very sudden acceleration or very sudden deceleration typically suffered in a motor vehicle collision, which causes the head and neck to move backwards or forwards to the extent of their mobility, followed by an involuntary reflex movement in the opposite direction. Damage is caused to the joints, ligaments and muscles that swell and put pressure on the nerves causing painful spasms. The acute pain usually improves within a few days or weeks although aches and pains can persist or recur for several years after the injury. In certain vulnerable people, including the elderly and those with a previous neck problem, the injury can be long term or chronic. A car accident is a disturbing and frightening event and physical damage to the neck can be painful over a very long period of time entitling the sufferer to instruct a whiplash injury solicitor to claim substantial compensation.

Major Whiplash Injury Symptoms

Most people who suffer from this injury have painful whiplash symptoms that may include :-

  • headache caused by muscle tension and pressure on the nerves
  • shoulder pain radiating down the back of the neck into the shoulder blade area
  • burning pain, prickling or tingling caused by muscle tears
  • sharp neck pain often radiating into the arms, hand and fingers

Minor Symptoms

Other less serious whiplash symptoms include :-

  • neck pain or stiffness
  • blurred vision
  • difficulty swallowing
  • irritability, fatigue & dizziness
  • pain between the shoulder blades
  • pain in the arms or legs
  • headache, nausea & vertigo
  • low back pain & shoulder pain
  • ringing in the ears
  • numbness and tingling
  • pain in the jaw or face

Spine & Neck

This is one of the strongest parts of the body constructed of bones and discs surrounded by strong ligaments and powerful muscles. Except in the case of vulnerable adults, which include those with a pre-existing neck or back problem and the elderly, most car accidents are not traumatic enough to cause permanent damage to the spine and surgery for these injuries is very rarely necessary. Whiplash injury usually affects just the soft tissues of the neck which have a natural ability to heal and restore themselves. One troublesome symptom that gives sufferers cause for concern relates to shooting pains or tingling sensations in the arms usually due to minor nerve root irritation at the point where the nerve joins the spinal cord which clears without intervention rather than a more serious slipped disc or trapped nerve.

X-rays & MRI scans

X-rays and MRI scans are occasionally useful as they may reveal long term degenerative changes including 'arthritis' which can have implications in regard to the overall recovery period following an injury. Arthritis may manifest itself as a whiplash injury symptom and doctors often have difficulty in pinpointing the source of pain making an X-ray or an MRI scan a useful diagnostic tool.


Anxiety, stress and muscle tension can have the effect of increasing the amount of discomfort. Tension can cause muscle spasm which when coupled with the injury can be extremely painful. Stress can aggravate or prolong pain and it is important that these specific whiplash injury symptoms are recognised early and that appropriate treatment for the psychological component is obtained from your doctor.

Whiplash Treatment

Whiplash treatment may include :-

  • use of painkillers, anti inflammatory medication, or muscle relaxants
  • immobilisation using a soft cervical collar
  • physiotherapy including the use of ice, moist heat, ultrasound, exercise and electrical stimulation
  • anaesthetic injections may help alleviate pain and tenderness
  • cervical traction
  • surgical intervention in severe cases involving persistent pain which may indicate a tear in an inter-vertebral disc. Once the disc is removed then spinal fusion may be necessary to permanently join two or more vertebrae

Inflammation and painful muscle spasms can be reduced by applying ice or an ice pack to the injured area for about 15 minutes every hour. After the first 24 hours it can be beneficial to alternate cold packs with heat treatments including warm towels or a heat lamp which can be used to soothe the neck for 10 minutes several times a day. Gentle massage can be a beneficial therapy and current medical opinion on whiplash treatment advises ensuring moderate mobility of the neck as soon as possible after the accident.

Compensation Awards

Compensation that can be claimed by a whiplash injury solicitor are as follows :-

  • General Damages
    Represents compensation for those items that cannot be calculated precisely and includes compensation for the injury itself including pain and suffering which is assessed following review of medical reports obtained from a specialist.
  • Special damages
    Represents compensation for items of loss that can be calculated reasonably accurately and includes loss of earnings, travelling expenses, cost of medical treatment and medicines, personal property damaged and insurance excess.
  • Future losses
    These are losses that are likely to continue for the foreseeable future and a special calculation is applied to the estimated annual loss to arrive at a fair figure for compensation.
  • Interest
    This may be payable on some items of the accident compensation award. The rate payable and the period for which it is payable varies depending on the type of damages.

Whiplash Injury Solicitors

If you have been involved in an accident that wasn't your fault, within the last 3 years, you may be able to claim injury compensation. Our whiplash injury solicitors are all members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority panel of personal injury experts. We operate the no win no fee scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. We are not a claims management company and you will speak to a qualified solicitor from your very first contact with us. If you would like advice about risk free compensation claims just use the helpline or complete the contact form and a specialist personal injury solicitor will speak to you on the telephone at no cost and with no further obligation.

SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0844 332 0553

In the case of CICA claims terms will vary and in the case of MIB claims terms may vary.


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