The term ‘whiplash’ is used to describe injuries to the neck, back and shoulders, caused by a sudden jolting movement. Whiplash injuries are most commonly sustained in road traffic accidents, where the force of any unexpected impact to your vehicle can cause your body to be jerked sharply back and forth, or side to side.
These violent movements cause the soft-tissues in the neck, back and shoulders to be strained and damaged, which can result in symptoms such as:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Shoulder pain and stiffness
- Back pain
- Muscles spasms
- Pins and needles
There are other ways in which whiplash injuries can occur, such as a blow to the head or a sudden fall. The advice on this page is aimed mainly at whiplash caused through road traffic accidents. If you have sustained a whiplash injury in different circumstances, however, it does not mean that we can’t help you. Please contact us to discuss your case in more detail.
Making a whiplash injury claim
Whether as a driver or passenger, if you have suffered a whiplash injury in a road traffic accident, which wasn’t your fault, you can make a personal injury claim. In most cases, this will be against the negligent driver’s insurance company.
Whiplash injuries can vary greatly in severity; but even if you have suffered only mild symptoms, you can still bring a claim, provided the accident which caused them was not your fault.
Similarly, low-speed impacts can sometimes cause whiplash injuries. If you have suffered injuries following a low-speed collision, specialist representation in your claim is even more crucial. This is because opposing insurance companies will often dispute the claim a lot more vigorously, essentially arguing that your injuries could not have come from the impact.
At Truth Legal, we have the skill and experience to overcome such obstacles. We strongly believe that if you have been injured through no fault of your own then you deserve compensation.
What is my whiplash injury claim worth?
Some firms use gimmicks like ‘Claims Calculators’ to give you a valuation. This, however, goes against Truth Legal’s entire ethos of being honest and open with our clients. Without a true appreciation of your injury, claims calculators are at best meaningless and at worst misleading.
Many things can affect the value of a whiplash claim and, indeed, any personal injury claim. These include:
- the severity of your injuries
- the length of time you took to recover
- the extent and type of treatment you required
- the activities your injuries prevented you from doing
Therefore, a figure estimated on a few scant details could easily be a long way from the true amount of compensation your injury is worth.
Furthermore, whilst you may be able to get a general idea of value based on the time you have taken to recover, you must bear in mind that the actual value of the claim will be based upon the injuries which are supported by medical evidence. This relies heavily upon the opinion of a medical expert.
At Truth Legal, we pride ourselves on our expertise and customer service. So, if you would like to know how your claim could be valued, in greater detail, we are more than happy to discuss this with you. Please contact us for a free consultation, with no obligation to proceed any further.
What else can my whiplash injury claim include?
Besides claiming for your injuries themselves, you can include many different kinds of loss resulting from your symptoms. With all additional losses, it is important to document them as much as is possible. This is so that you can prove the loss itself and the amount in question. Depending on the circumstances of your case, losses you could claim for include:
- Travel expenses – to attend your GP or hospital, for example
- Medical expenses and treatment costs – such as painkillers or physiotherapy sessions
- Care and assistance – if your injuries required a friend or relative to provide significant help in your daily life
- Loss of earnings – if you took time off work and did not receive full sick pay, or you lost a bonus due to your absence
- Your insurance policy excess
See this blog post for more information: http://www.truthlegal.com/personal-injury/what-can-i-claim-for-in-my-personal-injury-claim/
This list is by no means exhaustive; if you have suffered other losses not mentioned above then make sure you discuss these with us. We can then advise you accordingly.
Other matters you should be aware of when making whiplash injury claims
- Offers from the other driver’s insurance company: It is possible for the other driver’s insurance company to make you an offer of compensation before you have even started a claim. We would strongly recommend seeking legal advice before accepting any such offer. The other driver’s insurers usually intend these offers to be a final settlement for any possible claim you may have against them and the amount could be far below what your claim is worth.
- Your insurance company automatically instructing a law firm: Sometimes, insurance companies or brokers have agreements with law firms to pass the details of any personal injury claims on to them. You should be aware that you do not have to use the services of these law firms and it is entirely your choice who you instruct to act for you in your claim. It is important that any solicitor acting for you is one that you trust and has the necessary expertise. For more information, please have a look at our page on switching solicitors.
- Cold callers: Phone calls, emails or text messages, about “a road traffic accident you have been involved in”, which claim to be from law firms, are scams. Even people who have never been in an accident receive them. Whilst those people can easily dismiss them, if you are in the immediate aftermath of an accident these messages can be confusing, especially as it’s a time when many companies are trying to contact you. Law firms regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority are forbidden from making cold calls under professional conduct rules. For this reason, no legitimate personal injury firm will be engaging in those practises.
Funding a whiplash claim
If the accident which caused the whiplash was not your fault, we are often able to conduct matters on the basis of a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement. This means, in the vast majority of situations, that you will not have to pay our fees if we are unsuccessful in recovering compensation for you. On the other hand, if we are successful, our fees will be paid by a portion of your compensation award and also by the other driver’s insurers.
If you have any concerns on how a personal injury claim is funded, we are more than willing to discuss matters with you in more depth.
If you have suffered from a whiplash injury, get in touch with us and tell us about your case. We are personal injury specialists of the highest integrity, committed to recovering compensation for ordinary people who are entitled to it.
Whilst our head office is in Harrogate, Truth Legal also has virtual offices in Manchester and London. We are happy to sit down with you for a free, no-obligation consultation and to discuss any ways in which we can help you.
You can get in touch either by telephone on 01423 788 538 or by emailing us at [email protected]