If you’ve ever suffered from whiplash, or know someone who has, you’ll know just how painful and limiting it can be. The most common cause of a whiplash injury is being involved in a car accident, and if you’ve been injured in an accident which was not your fault, you may consider making a whiplash claim for compensation. Before you do, there are some key points to consider.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury to the neck, caused by a sudden movement which jerks the head back and forward, or side to side. The ligaments, tendons and tissues in your neck can become torn or stretched, and this causes considerable pain. As well as stiffness and pain in the neck, whiplash can reduce the range of movement in the neck or cause headaches. The effects of whiplash are generally felt in the hours and days after an accident rather than immediately, and most cases get better on their own. A GP can usually diagnose whiplash by examining you and talking through what has happened. Painkillers and keeping active will help you get better more quickly, but in more serious cases your doctor may suggest physiotherapy treatment.
Making a Claim
If your have suffered a whiplash injury and wish to claim compensation, it is usually easiest to make the claim using a solicitor or claims management company. Most claims management companies and solicitors work on a no win, no fee basis and therefore making your claim is very low-risk. The vast majority of whiplash claims are settled out of court after a period of negotiation between your insurance company and the firm representing the driver who caused the accident, so the chances are you will never see the inside of a courtroom. Not everyone who has suffered a whiplash injury can make a claim though. You have to have suffered an injury bad enough that you have seen a doctor about it, and someone else has to be proven to have been at fault to cause the accident in the first place.
In order to make a successful claim for whiplash compensation, you’ll have to present your case to the other driver’s insurer. Full details about the process and the evidence which you’ll need can be found in this in-depth guide on whiplash claims, but you will need things such as details of how the accident happened, photographs if you have them, a letter from your doctor, proof of expenses incurred such as charges for physiotherapy, loss of earnings and so on.
Typical Compensation Sums for Whiplash
The sums awarded for whiplash claims can vary considerably, depending on the type of injury, how long the effects last for, loss of earnings and many other factors. In your initial meeting with your compensation claims company they will be able to give you a rough indication of what you can expect, given your circumstances. For minor cases of whiplash which get better by themselves in a few weeks, compensation is generally less than £1000. Serious cases which result in permanent damage can result in payments of up to £90,000.