Whiplash is a term used to describe a neck injury resulting from the sudden and forceful movement of the head beyond its natural limit. It often occurs following an accident on the roads.
If you suffer whiplash through no fault of your own, you may be able to receive compensation for your pain and suffering. When you submit a claim for whiplash, you must be able to prove that the individual you are claiming against failed to take reasonable steps to protect you from harm, and that their actions caused you to suffer a whiplash injury. There are various ways in which you can prove your accusations. However, the main way in which you can verify your case is through medical evidence.
If you instruct an expert accident solicitor to handle your claim, he or she will, in more serious cases, seek permission to access your medical records. If you sought medical assistance in the immediate aftermath of your accident, there should be a written record of your whiplash injury in your medical notes. Your solicitor will therefore view your medical notes and review the whiplash entry to ensure that it is factually correct and favourable. They may also look into your medical history to determine whether your injury may have worsened any pre-existing neck problems.
Following examining your notes, your solicitor will arrange for you to attend a medical examination carried out by an independent medical expert. At this meeting, you will be asked to consent to a physical examination of your neck. You may be instructed to move your neck in a range of ways so that the expert can assess your injury and determine whether it has caused you to suffer any limitations in your range of motion. Following the examination, the expert will prepare a report detailing his findings. If the report confirms that you have a whiplash injury, it will form a key piece of evidence in support of your claim.
In addition to your medical evidence, your solicitor may seek to obtain statements detailing the extent to which you have had to rely on care and assistance from your friends and family. Such statements will help your solicitor to build up a picture of the way in which your whiplash injury has affected your quality of life. Your solicitor may also ask you to provide receipts and wage slips for all of the financial losses you have encountered following your accident. The evidence you supply will enable them to prepare a document called a Schedule of Special Damages, which will contain a list of all the losses that have resulted from your injury. If you incur travel expenses as a result of attending your medical examination, your solicitor will be able to include these losses in your Schedule of Special Damages.
Once your solicitor has compiled all the relevant evidence, they will be able to prove to the other side that you have a genuine whiplash claim and therefore deserve to receive compensation for your pain, suffering and financial losses.