If you have been involved in a low speed collision where, for example, a vehicle has gone into the back of you whilst you were stationary at traffic lights, it may at first appear that you have walked away from the accident unharmed. Perhaps there was little or no damage to your vehicle and your main feeling is of relief that things were not more serious.
A whiplash injury can occur when a vehicle collides with another and the impact of the crash causes the head and neck of the driver or passenger to be suddenly and forcefully thrown back and forth.
This causes the soft-tissue and ligaments in the neck to be stretched beyond their normal range of movement. It is entirely possible, and indeed relatively common to suffer whiplash at low speed as it is the sudden, abrupt impact of the collision that causes the neck injury.
Following a low speed collision, sometimes referred as a Low Velocity Impact (LVI), it is important not to assume that you have walked away from the accident unharmed. The reason for this is that the symptoms of whiplash are not always immediately apparent following a crash, and can often take several hours or even several days to appear.
When they do begin to appear, symptoms of whiplash may present themselves in the form of pain, stiffness and discomfort in your neck, restricted movement, nausea and dizziness. If you experience any of these symptoms, or have any other reason to suspect that you may be suffering from a whiplash injury, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible from your doctor. You will be advised of the best course of treatment for your injuries which is likely to be strong painkillers, gentle mobility exercises and depending on the severity a course of physiotherapy.
The speed at which a crash occurs certainly effects the type and severity of injuries sustained. Whilst whiplash can be sustained in both low speed (up to 5 MPH) and moderate to high speed collisions, it is likely that in moderate to high speed collisions additional injuries such as broken bones, head injuries and concussion may also be sustained.
If you have been involved in a low speed collision and believe you have a sustained whiplash, or any other injury, as a result of the accident. You should obtain legal advice from specialist solicitors as soon as possible. They will be able to answer your questions and can advise you on your chances of pursuing a successful compensation claim.