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How to pursue a claim for a whiplash injury in the UK

28th October 2005
By martin nolan in Legal
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Claiming for whiplash injury compensation following a road accident in the UK

If you have been involved in a road accident and suffered injury, you may wish to consider making a personal injury claim against the responsible driver.

The most common form of injury following such an accident is that of "whiplash". This is a potentially serious injury that needs to be treated and managed very carefully in order to ensure that a recovery is made. The injury affects mainly the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back) spine and shoulders. It results from the sharp deceleration that occurs on impact.

Many people suffering with whiplash injuries do not exhibit symptoms immediately following the crash. Very often the symptoms can be delayed as adrenalin and the mental stress that is usually caused by the accident begins to settle. Some people suffer pain soon after the accident and require emergency medical treatment.

Here is a summary of what you should do following a whiplash related injury:

1. If you have any symptoms at all in the aftermath of an accident you should immediately attend the local hospital for treatment.

2. You may prefer to visit your General Practitioner (GP) but in doing so please be aware that GP's have limited experience and clinical knowledge of these injuries and they are not well equipped. Investigations such as X rays or MRI scans can only take place at a hospital. We therefore recommend a visit to the hospital in preference to a GP surgery.

3. If the symptoms do not abate within a few weeks (or sooner in severe cases) you need to request additional treatment from the GP in the form of physiotherapy or similar manipulative therapies.

4. In severe cases your GP will refer you to a consultant at the hospital (usually an orthopaedic doctor) to undergo an examination.

5. Whatever you do make sure you seek some form of treatment because ignoring the injury or refusing medical intervention may not be in your best interests.

If the accident was not your fault then you can and should make a claim for injury compensation. You will be entitled to free "no win No fee" representation by an accident solicitor and all of your legal costs will be recovered in full. Very few cases ever reach court and so there is an excellent chance that a swift and amicable resolution to the claim can be arranged.

A good solicitor will ensure that you receive compensation for:

Pain and suffering (average whiplash awards run at around 2500)
Loss of earnings if you have been unable to work at any time during your recovery.
Treatment costs for medication and / or therapy. Note that most insurers will now place injured parties on their own (free) treatment and therapy programs ensuring that you receive first rate therapy to assist your recovery.
Vehicle related losses vehicle damage, car hire, loss of use etc.
Miscellaneous items and any general out of pocket expenses.
The most important factor is that you recover from your injuries. There have been significant advances in whiplash therapy options across the UK and recent medical theory encourages an injured person to remain active rather than confining themselves to bed.

Instructing a solicitor in the UK to assist with your whiplash compensation claim is now easier than ever. There are numerous firms operating online that will assist you free of charge.

Martin Nolan is a legal marketer for UK whiplash compensation lawyers. No win no fee claims - we put the claimant and your recovery first and proactively manage your claim from start to finish.
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