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Many who oppose the no win no fee personal injury claims process say that whiplash is a made up injury and abused by claimants looking for a quid or two. However, anyone who has sustained a whiplash injury knows the truth. Whiplash can cause serious pain, ongoing discomfort and prevent people living their life as usual. In some cases, people can suffer permanent injuries as a result. By seeking compensation, claimants can win a settlement to cover the pain and distress of their whiplash injuries, recover any losses (including lost wages) and access rehabilitation therapies.
Claims for whiplash compensation are usually an easy matter to resolve and can be settled within a short period, usually 3-6 months from the date a whiplash claim is started. But before you can win a settlement, you need to know if you actually have whiplash and a valid claim.
What is whiplash?
Most people think whiplash is simply a pain in the neck, yet it can be much more than that. Caused by the hyper extension of major and minor muscles, whiplash is a phrase used to cover injuries to the muscles and soft tissues around the spine, most commonly in the neck and shoulder region.
In minor cases, a person suffering whiplash is likely to have stiffness in the neck, a feeling of weakness and pain from simply supporting their head and perhaps discomfort when turning their head in one particular direction. These symptoms are painful and upsetting, but you should expect to recover within 4-8 weeks from the date of the accident.
In more severe cases, symptoms can last many months or indeed be permanent, and could also include pins and needles in the arms, a loss of sensation in the hands and fingers, severe headaches, loss of balance, lack of sleep, lower back and even leg pain. Of course, the more severe the symptoms, the greater the value of a settlement, should you be successful with a claim for personal injury compensation.
Most whiplash related injuries are caused in car accidents. However, whiplash can also be caused by slips on wet floors or tripping accidents. Indeed, any heavy impact that causes the muscles and ligaments of the upper spine and neck to be violently jolted from side to side, or back and forwards, is likely to cause a whiplash related injury.
Medical evidence for a whiplash claim
As with all claims for personal injury compensation, whiplash claimants need to provide sufficient evidence to support their claim. In order to prove that you have suffered a whiplash injury, you will need to have a professional medical diagnosis made of the symptoms you are suffering with. This can be done by visiting an A&E department or by seeing your GP.
People injured in a car accident are often not sure what to do next after such a traumatic and upsetting event. Whiplash injuries can take a few hours or even a few days to become painful, so victims don’t always receive immediate treatment from a doctor or hospital. However, medical evidence will be needed to support a claim for compensation and prove to the defendant that you have suffered a whiplash injury, and it will also prove the severity of your injury.
It doesn’t matter if you have not already seen your doctor or been to hospital, you can still start your claim and we advise that you do just that – don’t delay your claim for too long as it could have a negative impact on the outcome.
Making a strong, valid whiplash compensation claim
The sooner you start your claim, the sooner we can help you make sure that you have the maximum chance of succeeding. We can run through an accident claim checklist, help you to make sure that you have reported the accident to the right people and give your whiplash compensation claim the best chance of succeeding.
No two accidents are the same and with this in mind, it is vital that you seek proper advice so that you know whether or not you have a viable claim. However, there are some basic pointers that can help you identify where you stand regarding the strength of a claim or otherwise:
- Have you been involved in an accident that was not your fault?
- Have you developed whiplash related symptoms – pain or stiffness in neck, shoulders or upper back?
- Have you received medical treatment, seen a GP or been to A&E?
- Has your doctor confirmed your injuries as whiplash?
- Do you think that your whiplash related pain and discomfort will last more than a few days?
The above is nothing more than a basic guideline. Even if you answer no to some of these questions, you may still have a valid claim for whiplash injury compensation.
What compensation do you get for whiplash?
Every whiplash claim is different as a result of the injuries sustained, so it’s impossible to tell exactly how much compensation you could be entitled to without a medical assessment. In negotiating a settlement awarding whiplash compensation for your injuries, the following factors are taken into consideration.
- How severe the whiplash injury is
- Whether the injury prevents you from working
- How much of an impact the injury has on your day to day activities
- Whether ongoing treatment is necessary
These are the most important elements in assessing the value of your whiplash compensation claim, although there are many other factors to consider too. When the initial evidence has been collected your solicitor will be able to let you know the likely level of compensation you can expect for your injuries. Your settlement will not only cover your injuries, but expenses such as lost earnings, and car hire and repairs.
Your solicitor will gather all of the evidence necessary to obtain the maximum amount of whiplash compensation for you. Claiming can also allow you to access specialist rehabilitation therapies to help speed your recovery, all at the expense of the liable party.
Whiplash rehabilitation therapies
By the time people suffering from whiplash injuries contact us to start their claim for compensation, most have not had any rehabilitation therapy whatsoever, just the painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed to them initially. Many have been referred to their NHS physiotherapy provider, but with waiting lists often approaching 6 months, it can feel like it is not worth bothering.
By making a no win no fee claim for whiplash injury compensation, your solicitor can arrange a course of suitable rehabilitation therapies to help you recover more quickly from your symptoms. The costs for these therapies will be met by the insurers you’re claiming against, not deducted from your injury compensation settlement, and because they are privately funded access to the therapy will be fast. Appointments for treatments will be made at a provider local to you and at a time to suit you. Common types of whiplash rehabilitation therapy can include:
- Massage Therapy
- Personal training
Let us help
We understand that making a claim for whiplash compensation can be a daunting prospect. However, at Direct2Compensation we’ll explain the stages of our simple claims process and give you the confidence to proceed with your claim. Indeed, if you have any questions, you can contact us with no obligation. At Direct2Compensation we guarantee two things: Firstly, that we will never pressure you in to making a claim, and secondly, that should your claim fail, it won’t cost you a penny.
Lastly, if you are suffering from whiplash, the NHS website has some useful guidance available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/whiplash/.