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Whiplash Injuries And Your Job

Jan 24, 2008
Can the type of work you do affect the prospects of your recovery from a whiplash injury? A study carried out by the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery would seem to indicate that the answer is a 'yes'.

In 2001 they carried out a study, evaluating the progress and recovery rates of 586 patients in some form of employment. Of those 586, 40 did not return to work. This risk was tripled in heavy manual workers, increased by two and a half times in patients with previous psychological symptoms and doubled according to the range of disabilities that were taken into consideration. The study also found that the self-employed were half as likely to take time off, compared to employees, but took much longer to recover.

The study focused specifically on the consequences of whiplash alone: any patients who received further injuries were excluded from the research. Of the 586 interviewed, at the time of the study 546 resumed their work and 40 had not, although it was noted that it took women a little longer to return to work than men.

The type of work seemed to have an effect on whether or not an individual went back to work quickly - or at all. Over 13% of those in jobs that entailed heavy manual work did not return to work, compared with just over 9% of those whose work involved only light manual work. Those most likely to return to work were clerical workers - just fewer than 5% of them did not return to work at all.

The research also examined the employment status of each case: 93 were self-employed and they were half as likely as to take time off work as employees. However, this category took an average of 153 days to recover, compared to the average of 30 days achieved by those in conventional employment.

Whiplash injuries cost the UK 0.4% of its Gross National Profit. This percentage includes the cost of legal proceedings and compensation for loss of earnings. Personal injury law firms are demanding that more research is conducted into the factors that affect an individual's ability to return to work after incurring a whiplash injury.

In these investigations other factors were taken into account, including age, psychological history, social class, direction of impact, neurological symptoms and disability. Social class and the direction of impact had little or no effect on the findings unearthed. Of the 40 who did not return to work, 10 had a history of a previous psychological illness or anxiety, compared with only 11% of those who did return to employment. Similarly, of the 40 who did not return to work, 60% suffered from neurological symptoms compared with 27.5% of those who did.

Ultimately, a whiplash injury of any sort can cause inconvenience socially, as well as incurring a loss of earnings. However it seems that there are sections of society that are more likely to suffer greater inconvenience than others as the result of various factors, including the nature of their employment.

For further information, please visit our website at http://www.1stclaims.co.uk
About the Author
http://www.1stclaims.co.uk is run by a non-practising Personal Injury Solicitor with over 14 years personal injury claims experience. We use this first hand knowledge of the Personal Injury Claim system to hand select the very best personal injury solicitors for you. We deal with a range of personal injury claims, including whiplash claims and compensation. Please visit our website for further information.
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