New whiplash findings
Whiplash, the most common of all injuries to be sustained in a car accident, may be defined differently in the light of new scientific research.
In a car accident, whiplash comes about as the result of the impact of collision, which can cause both the head and the body to experience both accelerative and decelerative forces, thus placing a great deal of stress upon the neck. It is this combination of factors that frequently causes whiplash injuries. Furthermore, the scientific consensus is that the angle of collision in an accident is largely irrelevant to the severity of the injury; it is in fact determined by factors such as the position of the driver, the level of the impact and the position of the driver's headrest that determine the severity of the injury. However, new research suggests that there may be another factor which determines the severity of whiplash in car accidents: sound.
Scientists working out of the University of British Columbia, in the US, working in conjunction with MEA Forensic Engineers and Scientists, have recently made an interesting and hitherto unsuspected finding regarding the possibility of an association between loud noises that may be experienced during the impact of a car accident and the resultant severity of whiplash injuries sustained. The teams from British Columbia and MEA exposed subjects in the study to rear-end crashes, with some subjects being exposed additionally to a sudden loud noise just at the moment of impact. From this, the scientists were able to establish that the majority of the response of the neck muscle during a crash is a result of the collision's force of impact in addition to any loud noise that may accompany this impact. These findings mean that the causes of whiplash injuries are in fact more complicated than any scientists had previously suspected.
To some, the findings of the scientists have not come as a surprise. In the context of American legal tradition, it is fairly common for injury lawyers to use whiplash synonymously with shock. When one takes into consideration the fact that loud noise is one the most common types of shock in car accidents, this stance does begin to make sense. Additionally, US courts have, in a manner of speaking, pre-empted this discovery, with claimants being awarded compensation in cases in which whiplash has been suffered as the direct result of a shock coming from a loud noise. As a case study, there is the claim of the Nevada woman who was awarded neck injury compensation, having been shocked by the sound of a gun being fired on her property. Although this may not have been a case involving whiplash sustained in a car accident, in nonetheless demonstrates a sound legal basis for considering loud noises a cause of whiplash.
Since whiplash is the most common form of injury to be sustained by people involved in car accidents in the UK, these findings are expected to make a difference in the dealings of injury lawyers. If you have suffered whiplash in a car accident, you may also be entitled to compensation. Be sure to seek out an injury lawyer to help you with your case.