Comprehensive Guide to the Symptoms of Whiplash

Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Money Savings Advice Symptons of whiplash

If you have suffered whiplash symptoms as a consequence of an accident through no full of your own, you may be entitled compensation. It is unfortunate, but many people discount potentially serious whiplash injuries as “aches and pains”.

If left untreated, they can have a detrimental impact on your mobility and your standard of living.

What Are the Main Symptoms of Whiplash?

The main symptoms of whiplash are pain in the shoulders and neck, dizziness, headaches and fatigue. You may also experience difficulty sleeping or concentrating, and irritability. If you suffer from any of these after an accident, seek medical advice.

It is unfortunate, but whiplash injuries have been unfairly associated with criminal gangs and staged road traffic accident.

Thankfully, the UK government recently increased the limit for small claims compensation cases from £1000 up to £5000.

This has deterred many of the criminal fraternity, thereby allowing those with bona fides whiplash claims to proceed without delay or stigma.

Continue reading to get all the whiplash details

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What Is Whiplash?

Many people will have heard of whiplash, but what exactly is it? It tends to be an injury to the neck, back, arms or even hands which can be painful and uncomfortable. Often dismissed as simple “aches and pains,” it is something that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

So, if you believe you are suffering from whiplash, it is essential that you seek medical treatment.

What Causes Whiplash?

We know that road traffic accidents, where victims experience sharp forwards/backwards movements, are the main source of whiplash injuries but they it happen anywhere there is a jerking movement. The degree of pain and discomfort experienced can vary significantly.

What Are the Main Symptoms of Whiplash?

It will depend upon the severity of your injury, but symptoms can include any of the following:-

  • Dizziness
  • Pain/numbness in the arm or hand
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lower back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Painful/stiff neck
  • Constant headaches
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability

If you have been involved in any type of accident which resulted in a significant jerking of the head, leading to any of the above symptoms, you should seek medical attention.

Is There a Simple Diagnosis for Whiplash?

Relatively mild whiplash may not be visible using modern-day medical scanning devices while some of the more severe cases may require a CT scan or MRI. These will help to pinpoint disc, muscle or ligament damage that would not normally be visible on a standard x-ray.

It is possible that your doctor would diagnose a mild form of whiplash without such additional checks. However, if the symptoms are painful and severe, it is likely you will be referred for a more in-depth diagnosis.

What Is the Treatment for Whiplash?

When it comes to soft tissue injuries, these are very difficult to treat and will generally repair themselves over time. It may be helpful to use pain relief, ice packs, injections or ultrasound to reduce the discomfort, but the majority of the recovery will be “natural”.

In the early days, it is important to immobilise yourself to reduce the chances of further injury and give your body time to heal. Obviously, if you have a legitimate claim, then you would be able to pursue not only compensation for pain and suffering but also loss of earnings if you were not able to attend work.

Is There a Time Limit for Pursuing Compensation?

When looking at all elements of the personal injury claims market, there is a three-year window of opportunity to pursue compensation from the date of diagnosis. Many people misunderstand this condition; the date of diagnosis is generally the date of the accident but not always.

It may be that your whiplash injury is not diagnosed until days, weeks or even further down the line. So, at the point of diagnosis, your three-year window of opportunity will start.

Can I Claim for Whiplash Injuries for a Minor?

Yes. If you are their parent or legal guardian, you may have the option to pursue compensation within the three-year window of opportunity. Alternatively, the minor can pursue their own compensation claim from their 18th birthday onwards. The three-year window of opportunity will begin on their 18th birthday no matter what age they were when they received the injury.

What if the Claimant Is Mentally Incapacitated?

It may be that the claimant already has a long-term medical condition or they are temporarily/permanently mentally incapacitated as a consequence of the accident. In this case, a parent, guardian, legal representative or family member could apply for compensation on their behalf. The three-year window of opportunity would begin on the date of diagnosis.

What Do I Need to Pursue a Whiplash Claim?

If you were involved in an accident in which you received a whiplash injury, you will need to prove that the other party was negligent. This requires an array of evidence which includes:-

  • Witness statements
  • Photographic evidence
  • Medical records
  • Feedback from emergency services (if involved)
  • Details of post-trauma pain and suffering
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Timeline of events

Basically, the more information and evidence you can provide about the accident, the more chance of securing a successful prosecution. So, you have your evidence where do you go now?

Appointing a Claims Management Company

When you have gathered your evidence, it is time to approach a claims management company to review your case. They will look at your evidence, suggest other elements of supporting evidence where applicable, and give you an honest assessment of your case. If they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of success, they will likely offer you a “no win no fee” arrangement.

What Is a “No Win No Fee” Arrangement?

As the term suggests, a no win no fee arrangement shields the claimant from prosecution expenses associated with their claim. This is why claims management companies set the evidence bar so high, to give themselves the best chance of a successful claim.

While they will likely be able to reclaim their expenses from the defendant if successful, they will also look to arrange a “success fee” with the claimant.

What Is a Success Fee?

As there is a degree of risk-taking on your case under a “no win no fee” arrangement, your claims management company will look to negotiate a percentage of any compensation awarded. This figure tends to be around 25%, although it can vary depending on the type of claim and complexity.

Do I Need a Claims Management Representative?

Yes. Even the simplest of whiplash personal injury claims can fall flat if you don’t fully understand the legal system and the information required. It is therefore sensible to at least speak with a claims management company to discuss your claim.


Whiplash symptoms can come on almost immediately, within 24 hours or even days/weeks later. Soft tissue damage is difficult to treat, and while it can be diagnosed with a CT scan/MRI, the majority of the healing process is simply time.

If you have a bonafide whiplash claim, then you should look to pursue compensation for your pain/suffering and even loss of earnings.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Personal Injury Compensation Claim?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Personal Injury Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Money Savings Advice Author Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Mark has been writing professionally for over ten years for the financial sector. Having started in the financial world as a stock-broker in central London and then moving to equities trader Mark is one of our senior financial writers who has a vast knowledge of multiple financial sectors.

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