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The Most Important Steps You Need to Take If You Believe You Have Suffered a Whiplash Injury During a Traffic Accident

Jul 17, 2008
Whiplash is the most common injury seen in motor vehicle crashes accounting for over 80% of the total cost of personal injury claims. Whiplash can occur at speeds as low as five miles per hour and around 20% of people involved in rear end collisions later experience whiplash symptoms. Although officially classed as a minor injury, whiplash can lead to long, painful and debilitating symptoms for many years.

Whiplash is difficult to diagnose in fact in many cases there is no evidence of an injury immediately. Victims are likely to suffer pain and discomfort due to muscle and ligament damage that may not even show up on an X ray. Symptoms vary in nature and severity from relatively mild stiffness accompanied by headaches and occasional dizziness to more serious, long-term permanent impairment. Treatment is important because if left unattended, injuries can become chronic, permanent and debilitating. Many insurers will now offer payment for treatment in the case that you were not to blame for the accident that caused the injury. Treating whiplash is difficult and also expensive. Soft tissue neck injuries currently cost British insurers anywhere between 1 billion and 1.6 billion a year with 250,000 people said to have been affected by it annually: around 2,000 of these are left with permanent disabilities.

If you have been involved in an accident and are suffering the effects of a whiplash injury there are a number of steps you should take in order to make sure that you receive any compensation that is rightfully yours. You may be entitled to anything from 750 to 2,500 if you make a complete recovery within 1 year to 7,750 to 13,750 if you have permanent ongoing symptoms. These figures do not include losses and expenses such as lost earnings, vehicle repairs, medication, treatment etc that can be added to the compensation figure.

Three Steps to Take If You Are Considering Making a Whiplash Claim

1. It is very important to get independent legal advice to see if you're eligible to make a claim. Some insurers may be quick to contact you directly to make an early offer to settle your claim. Make sure you insist on getting independent legal advice before agreeing to any settlement. To make a claim you must show that the other party was negligent and that your whiplash injury resulted from this negligence. To assist you showing this to be the case you will need a solicitor. Finding a suitable solicitor is important in making a successful claim. A legitimate claims company will have independent access to a range of expert legal help.

2. Make sure that any solicitor dealing with your case is an expert in Whiplash Claims. Your solicitor will arrange an independent medical diagnosis of your injuries and likely recovery. Your whiplash claim can then be properly valued and fair compensation can be assessed.

3. No win no fee. Make sure that the specialist solicitor you select operates a genuine no win no fee scheme. A solicitor should be able to advise you whether you have a claim with good prospects of success. If your claim is strong you should not have to pay any fees either during or at the end of your claim. It is worth bearing in mind that some claims companies are now using the "no win no fee" expression to conceal the fact that if you do win you will be charged a "handling" or "administration" fee.
About the Author
We deal in a range of claims, including whiplash claims and compensation.
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