Can You Get Whiplash from Hitting Your Head?

Can you get whiplash from hitting your head? I fell from a faulty chair at work and hit my head and I now have stiffness in my neck, headaches and tenderness in my shoulders. I understand these symptoms are typical of whiplash, although I was only diagnosed with concussion.

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

You can get whiplash from hitting your head and the symptoms you have described suggest that you may be suffering from whiplash injuries as a result of your fall. You should therefore return to your doctor as soon as possible for a further medical examination as it is important that these new symptoms are properly diagnosed and treated.

Many people are not aware that you can get whiplash from hitting your head and believe that whiplash injuries are only suffered by road traffic accident victims. The symptoms of whiplash can take many days to develop after a trauma has been sustained to the head or neck, and accident victims may even believe the symptoms of whiplash to be due to concussion.

When you return to the doctor you should explain your symptoms in full; including when you started to experience them and you should mention that you are concerned that you may be suffering from whiplash. Your doctor will perform an examination of your neck and shoulders and may arrange for you to undergo an x-ray or other imaging tests to determine the extent of the damage to the soft tissues and bones in your neck and shoulders.

If you are diagnosed as suffering from whiplash or acceleration-deceleration injuries as it is also known, you should be able to make a claim for whiplash from a fall in addition to claiming for concussion. If your chair was faulty this could amount to negligence on the part of your employer, and if this can be established and proven, his liability insurance policy should cover an award of compensation if you make a claim for whiplash from a fall at work. In order to do this it is important that the accident is recorded in your employer’s accident book, so if you have not make the report you should do so as soon as possible.

Whiplash injury claims – and claims for concussion – should always be discussed with a personal injury solicitor, as there are many factors that can affect your eligibility to recover compensation. We therefore recommend that you contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible after you have received medical treatment. If it is possible for you to make whiplash injury claims against your employers liability insurance policy, a solicitor will advise you of the steps which should be completed in order to do so.

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