What are the symptoms of whiplash?

Published 03 Nov 2017

Whiplash is the most common car accident injury in NSW. According to the NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), 46 per cent of all claims made against CTP insurance policies since 2007 have been due to a whiplash-associated disorder (WAD).

While the condition may be considered relatively minor in comparison to other motor vehicle-related injuries, whiplash is still a serious problem that can cause significant discomfort and ongoing health issues.

The injury is caused when an individual's head is jerked suddenly in one direction and then back again, which commonly occurs to drivers and passengers at the point of impact in motor vehicle collisions.

But how do you know if you have whiplash? The symptoms can take a couple of days to show, so you may be suffering from the condition even if you feel fine immediately after a crash.

Identifying whiplash symptoms

If any of the below symptoms appear within 24 hours of being involved in a car accident, you should visit a doctor:

  • Neck pain, stiffness and tenderness;
  • Difficulty moving your head;
  • Headaches; and/or
  • Pain in your shoulders and arms.

There are also less common symptoms that you may experience, including:

  • Tiredness;
  • Dizziness;
  • Nausea;
  • Memory loss;
  • Poor concentration and irritability; and
  • Depression.

Recovery rates for whiplash will differ depending on the severity of the accident. Some people may begin to feel better after a few days or weeks, while others may still suffer the after-effects for several months.

SIRA offers three pieces of advice for a quicker recovery: visit a doctor, perform neck exercises and stay active.

Making a whiplash compensation claim

For many people, whiplash is a temporary inconvenience, but for others it can have an ongoing impact on the individual's ability to work and perform day-to-day tasks.

If you've been involved in a car accident that wasn't your fault, or only partly your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for any economic or non-economic losses you have suffered as a result of whiplash.

The amount of compensation you receive will depend on your diagnosis, the seriousness of your injury and whether you were contributorily negligent for the crash. In other words, you could be awarded a lower payout for accidents where you are partially to blame.

But whatever the circumstances of the accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury law firm to discuss your case and see whether or not you are eligible for compensation.

Please contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers today for more information from our team.