Did you know that the Government are planning to remove the right for anyone to make a claim for neck flexion/extension (whiplash) injuries, sustained in a road accident?
This is on the back of insurance industry spin that ‘whiplash’ does not exist, and that most claims are fraudulent. This is a line that the insurance industry have peddled for many years, and it has been recently endorsed by politicians such Jack Straw. While some claims may be fraudulent, the vast majority are not.
The insurers’ view has permeated down though some newspapers to influence public opinion. However, most of those who think that these claims should be barred have never had a whiplash-type injury themselves.
What is the truth about whiplash? This not a legal question. It is partly a medical question and partly it’s for the victim to truthfully describe the accident and the resulting symptoms. The below is a real Facebook entry, from last month, reproduced by kind permission. It’s difficult to imagine a more honest case history.
Yesterday around 2:15pm I was involved in a bus accident in ___________. The bus collided with a vehicle near the _________ garage near _______ Road.
I bashed my chin against the metal bar and my head went forward and backwards at quite a speed, this then made me feel disorientated. i started shaking and got up out of my seat and i felt slightly dizzy but at this point my shoulders and my neck began to ache, however i then sat down until the dizziness had calmed down. I called my mum and i got up from the seat and people were leaving the bus. i walked off the bus and met my mum just around the corner as i didn’t want to stay inside the bus as i wanted some fresh air.
when i got home i was still shaking and felt confused and nauseous, so my mum laid me down on my bed and gave me some cold water and a ibuprofen. I went to sleep for about half an hour. when i woke up about 10 minutes after this my neck and shoulders were tight and i felt restricted on my movement. my mum then took me to A&E in _________ and when i got to the hospital i saw the triage nurse and I explained what had happened and that i was involved in a bus crash in _________ earlier that day. the nurse gave me two paracetamol and one ibuprofen and then i sat and waited for the doctor to see me.
when the medication had worn off the pain in my shoulders and neck began to become unbearable and the doctors saw me soon after. The doctor then diagnosed me with whiplash and then told me to try and do regular exercises to loosen my muscles and help the pain decrease. As well as this the doctor also told me that if the pain didn’t get better and became worse or remained the same within 1 – 2 weeks then i will need physiotherapy.
I was so scared, I didn’t know what was going on it all happened so quickly. I’m just so glad that I will be okay just a lot of rest is required and pain relief.
In the proposed legislation innocent victims, with a genuine injury, will not be able make a claim. As a firm we are against all types of fraud, but it is wrong that the actions of a tiny minority of ‘crash-for-cash’ fraudsters are set to result in no compensation for everyone else.