According to the Injuries Board Book of Quantum, the most common type of neck injury is a whiplash injury. Whiplash is an over extension or a sprain often suffered in a road traffic accident or other violent movement. Essentially, a sudden acceleration or deceleration force causes rapid forward and backward movement of the head and neck. The term refers to both damage to the bone structures and soft tissues.
The time taken to recover from whiplash type injuries varies significantly. This makes it one of the most unpredictable types of injury a legal practitioner comes across. This vast differential in those experiencing whiplash has caused the injury to receive a lot of negative press attention. Personally, I would much prefer a fractured bone that a soft tissue whiplash injury. I know most bones heal within 6-8 weeks and they heal up harder than they were before. Complications are rare and once healed it is uncommon to have problems in the future unless a joint was involved.
Whiplash is another story entirely. Some people recover within weeks some take 1 to 2 years. While most whiplash victims heal within 2 years, some have ongoing significant pain after many years and their quality of life is significantly affected. The reason for this variation seems to be more to do with the patient than the injury and a young person in a very significant impact can do better than an elderly person in a relatively minor impact.
Strangely, compensation is also far better for fast healing broken and fractured bones than for long term whiplash injuries. Unless there is arthritis, a broken bone won’t keep you awake 6 months or 2 years after the accident. Whiplash often does and your muscle or soft tissues can spasm and be prone to weakness for many years to come, especially if you cannot afford good physiotherapy.
The Book of Quantum which is due to be updated at some stage in the unknown future) gives the following ranges for whiplash injuries:
Substantially recovered within 12 months up to €14,400
Substantially recovered within 24 months €11,500 to €17,400
Significant ongoing €15,900 to €64,500
Serious and permanent conditions €59,400 to €78,400
Substantially recovered within 12 months up to €16,300
Substantially recovered within 24 months €11,700 to €19,600
Significant ongoing €18,300 to €69,700
Serious and permanent conditions €62,800 to €85,900
A nice clean fracture to the lower leg that will heal within 8 weeks with no ongoing pain or symptoms will get you €15,400 to €34,600.
Give me a nice clean break any day of the week.
Hogan Dowling McNamara Solicitors are conveniently located at Castletroy House, Dublin Road, Limerick with plenty of off street parking. Should you have any queries or require any services in relation to whiplash please do not hesitate to contact the writer Thomas Dowling by email: [email protected] or phone: 061 501100.