The Personal Injury Whiplash Backlash

by James Scott on February 25, 2014

If you are one of the unfortunate people who become involved in a car accident and are genuinely injured, suffering whiplash or other personal injury, the way forward to making an adequate claim for compensation is now more difficult. The rules and regulations have changed and are still in a state of constant amendment.

In April 2013 the law regarding personal injury compensation was reformed as a reaction to the growing number of fraudulent claims being made, especially those for whiplash injuries. The aims of the new legislation were to reduce false claims and are initially well meaning but there are winners and losers in the new rules. The main losers are of course the honest people who actually are badly injured, whiplash being the most common car accident claim, with their claims being for relatively small amounts of compensation.

In response to this in January 2014 the Ministry of Justice confirmed that they are to set up panels which would give an independent diagnosis on the cases of whiplash injuries and claims. Consequentially for the claimant who suffers a whiplash injury:

  1. It is advisable to do a personal assessment of your injury before going on to a personal injury claims. There are simple protocols to follow. The most important is to make sure you get immediate medical attention whether this is from a doctor at your own surgery, a visit to A & E or from an ambulance in attendance at the accident. The extent of these such injuries is not always felt immediately – medically, after an accident the body goes into physical shock for a period of time and the full extent of the pain may not be felt for a few hours.
  2. Unfortunately the new legislation has still not erased fraudulent companies from obtaining accident details from insurers and trying to cold call accident victims to try and persuade them to go ahead with claims with their own particular company. A BBC report on February 22nd 2014 revealed that a well known insurance company had uncovered an illegal business whereby two of their own employees had been selling the details of customer’s accidents to rogue companies. So be aware of cold callers trying to sell you something you may not be entitled to.
  3. If you feel you are entitled to compensation but are not sure which way to go – consult a solicitor or a professional accident claims advisor. You need to know how likely you are to win a claim and whether it will be worth all the costs it will involve.
  4. Be aware of hidden costs; e.g. did you know that when an injured person receives NHS treatment but is not admitted to hospital the charge is £637.00! If your claim is not medically substantiated you would have this to pay from your own pocket.

This backlash of new legal procedures is attempting to prevent fraudulent claims. The expense incurred by your insurance company through dishonest claims eventually gets put on to all customers insurance policy costs so stick to the rules and take only professional advice.

By James Scott: on behalf of Ask Solicitors in Lancashire – Personal injury, clinical negligence and immigration law specialist solicitors.

James Scott
Personal injury, clinical negligence and immigration law geek. Blogging in many niches since 2004.
James Scott

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