It is estimated that 1,500 whiplash claims are made every day in the United Kingdom. That’s more than in any other country in Europe. However, this is hardly a surprise, when you consider that traffic on British roads have increased considerably over the last 10 years. In fact, we have one of the highest vehicle traffic levels in Europe, despite being a small Island.
Whiplash is graded on a scale of 1-4:
Grade 1 Whiplash: Grade 1 whiplash is classed as ‘minor whiplash’. The only symptoms are pain and discomfort. Symptoms usually last for 2-3 weeks, although sometimes they can extend beyond a month. A full recovery is expected within two months.
Grade 2 Whiplash: Grade 2 whiplash is classed as ‘moderate whiplash’. Symptoms include pain and discomfort, and sometimes bruising. The medical examination will reveal decreased motion and tenderness. Symptoms can last up to 3 months.
Grade 3 Whiplash: Grade 3 whiplash is classed as ‘moderately severe whiplash’. Symptoms include pain and discomfort, and there will be musculoskeletal signs of injury, with decreased tendon flexibility and perhaps weakness.
Grade 4 Whiplash: Grade 4 whiplash is classed as ‘severe whiplash’. This grade is diagnosed in extreme cases, where there is a dislocation, fracture, or damage to the spinal cord or nerves. This injury can last a lifetime, although symptoms can get better after 6 months.
If you are suffering from whiplash, you should seek out accident advice whiplash from a reputable law firm that specialises in personal injuries.
How is whiplash diagnosed?
Because whiplash can have no physical symptoms, it is notoriously difficult to diagnose by way of a physical examination. Due to this, it is common practice – especially in cases of reported severe whiplash – for an x-ray or MRI scan to take place, to assess the true extent of the victim’s injuries. If pain and discomfort is reported only, then grade 1 whiplash will usually be diagnosed without an x-ray or MRI scan.
How is whiplash compensation calculated?
Your whiplash injury will be given a grade. That grade will be used to determine a fair settlement figure. Your solicitor will likely refer to past cases, to come up with a settlement demand that will be accepted by the other side.
However, because all claims are different, the individual circumstances of your case will also be considered. For example, if the victim is middle aged, then it is going to take them longer to recovery than somebody in their late teens. Likewise, if a teenager likes horse riding, and their whiplash will stop them from partaking in this activity, then a solicitor may push for more compensation as justice, so that the person goes adequately compensated.