Unlike a broken leg or a head injury, whiplash is a soft tissue injury, and as such it is not as visible or obvious to onlookers and even patients. Yet the pain is very real.
It is a very common injury to sustain in a very common kind of accident; a road traffic accident. Yet despite its reputation as one of the most prevalent kinds of car accident claim, there remains some uncertainty as to how this injury is acquired.
So, how exactly do you get whiplash? For a very, let’s say, ambiguous condition, there is a very logical and scientific answer to that question. We are not going to blind you with science here but if you understand some of the fundamental laws of physics you will see more clearly how whiplash is a pretty straightforward injury to sustain.
It is first of all worth remembering that whiplash is usually acquired in a certain type of road accident, a rear-end car collision. Furthermore, it often happens when the car that is collided into is stationary and the one behind it is travelling at medium to low speed.
Of course, all car accidents are different. Have a look at the typical, below scenario and to see how the laws of physics come into play in a whiplash injury:
Of course, there is physics involved with every kind of movement and action, so if you really want to get a more technical perspective on rear end collisions then it might be worth considering Newton’s laws of motion to get a clear picture.
Newton, first name Isaac, is considered to be one of the most established English physicists and mathematicians who helped develop the face of modern physics. His rules of motion comprise of three separate laws which were used by the famed scientist to explain the motion of physical objects, more specifically, they describe what happens when an object has a force acting upon it.
The first law is that when a body or an object is in motion, it will usually stay in motion. The second law is that if an object is still it usually stays still. The third law states that these two principles will remain them unless there is an outside force which acts upon them.
Therefore, in a car accident, particularly a rear end collision, when a body is stationary in a vehicle, it moves on impact but the head and neck, which are unrestrained, stay in place. Eventually, the head does move and become hyperextended; this is when the muscles and ligaments in and around the neck become damaged. The body recoils and brings everything forward as far as it can, in effect, it snaps back and forth.
You don’t need to be a scientist to know if you or a co-passenger has suffered whiplash, it is usually quite obvious with the symptoms. These symptoms are neck pain and stiffness; headaches; reduced ability to move the neck and a tenderness of the neck muscles. You may not feel any pain immediately with many of these symptoms appearing several days after an accident, it is common for the stiffness in the neck to be more painful the day after also.
In all suspected whiplash injury cases, it is recommended that you visit your GP who will be able to confirm you injuries.
If you’ve been in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault you may be entitled to claim compensation. Our personal injury solicitors may be able to help with your road traffic accident compensation claim.
Our Personal Injury Solicitors are experts in their field. If we take on your potential road traffic accident claim, we will be on hand for help and advice while guiding you through the legal process. Contact First Personal Injury today by ringing 0800 808 9740 or filling out our online form.
We’ll talk through the details of your claim over the phone, and then advise further!
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