Road accident victim diagnosed with whiplash actually suffered a broken neck

Published: 02/11/2011

A road accident victim has been awarded compensation after his broken neck was mistaken for whiplash by doctors.

Gary Rickard, a 43-year-old lorry driver, was involved in a car accident when a tyre on the car he was driving burst and caused him to drive into a tree.

After being sent home from Coventry University Hospital despite questioning the doctor’s diagnosis, Mr. Rickard went a further five months in agony before the extent of the personal injury was realised during a physiotherapy session.

He has since had to undergo three operations to fix his neck, which had already started to fuse itself back together.

Mr. Rickard and Coventry University Hospital has reached a settlement agreement. The hospital, however, has not admitted liability.

Whiplash is the most common injury sustained in road traffic accidents with approximately 66 per cent of road traffic injuries involving whiplash¹. Such personal injuries are usually classed as a slight injury, and may not require medical treatment. However, the severity of whiplash can be dependent on:

  • The weight of cars involved
  • The speed of cars involved
  • The angle of impact (e.g. from behind, the side or head-on)
  • The position of the seats.

Whiplash can be a very debilitating injury and can last several months. Many sufferers complain of headaches and stiffness in their neck, head and shoulders, finding it uncomfortable to sit or stand for long periods of time. If you have suffered whiplash from a road accident, as a driver or a passenger, you might be entitled to compensation. Find out by calling on 0845 373 3737 or complete our quick, online accident enquiry form.

¹SOURCE Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2009 Annual Report, Department of Transport

Content correct at time of publication

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