Whiplash is estimated to cost the insurance industry £2bn a year and adds around £90 to each policy as 1500 claims for whiplash are made every day
The amount of whiplash claims is more than twice of that in Spain, France and the Netherlands. The Treasury has claimed that the amount being paid per claim is “out of all proportion to any genuine injury suffered”. Eight in ten personal injury claims made are for whiplash, and it is reported that for every accident, 2.7 claims for whiplash damage are made.
The government has since announced its intentions to ban cash payments for whiplash claims, as well as funnelling more injuries through the small claims court which they hope will eliminate lawyers’ fees as the upper limit for claims will be increased from £1000 to £5000. In future, claimants will be offered treatment and physiotherapy rather than cash for their injuries. George Osborne has estimated that the crackdown on whiplash claims will save motorists £40 - £50 on the average premium.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is a term used to describe an injury to the neck caused by sudden movement of the head. It may be found in individuals involved in a car crash, as the movement causes damage to the tendons and ligaments in the neck.
Symptoms include stiffness and pain in the neck, tenderness of the neck muscles, reduced movement in the neck and headaches. Symptoms may not appear immediately, and could take 6-12 hours to develop.
Whiplash is usually diagnosed by a GP upon description of the symptoms you are experiencing. Whiplash will usually heal with time but it’s advisable to keep moving the neck rather than keeping it in a brace. A small number of those injured can have symptoms that last longer than six months.
Image c/o John