Whiplash is a painful neck and back injury that often occurs in road accidents and collisions. It happens when the body is moving and is then forced to stop suddenly as a result of a collision. Even though the body stops, the head continues to move and consequently, jerks at the neck. This can sprain the ligaments and tendons that are found in the neck region, causing discomfort, stiffness and pain.
Can I get whiplash in a low-speed traffic accident?
Many people think whiplash only occurs in accidents where the car or cars involved were travelling at speed. However, this is not the case. While it is typically more common the faster the car (or cars) involved were travelling, it can occur in low speed collisions as well. Thus it does not necessarily matter whether the vehicle has any damage or not: it is still possible for the victims of the accident to suffer from whiplash, even if their car doesn’t have a scratch to show for the incident.
How can whiplash be caused by a low speed collision?
Clearly there is more going on here than simply the effect of one vehicle hitting another, even if it does happen at low speed. Consider for a moment the idea of driving your vehicle at perhaps 5-10mph along a road in heavy traffic. The last thing you would be expecting would be to have a car accident. However, if another car tries to turn into a side road and they do not see you, they could turn straight into your vehicle. Even though this may not happen at speed, it would still be a shock, causing you to jump and perhaps stiffen up involuntarily.
Making a case for compensation
This is thought to be partly why whiplash can occur even when the vehicles involved are travelling extremely slowly. It’s an unconscious reaction to want to make sure your head stays still rather than being whipped around, and this in turn can cause whiplash. You have no control over it, but as you can see if you are involved in this type of collision and it is the fault of the other person, you may still develop whiplash and therefore be able to file a legitimate claim for compensation.