A report from insurers Aviva states that the UK has the highest number of whiplash claims in Europe, with 80% of all road accident injury claims including whiplash, compared to just 3% in France.
The UK’s largest insurer announced a resurgence in the number and cost of whiplash and soft-tissue injury claims, stating that the number of motorists making claims for whiplash injuries was nearing record levels according to their own report.
The insurance company asserts that Britain has 2,300 whiplash claims each day, costing £2.5 billion in compensation every year.
They go on to state that last year drivers and car passengers brought 840,000 whiplash claims, a 9% rise from the 764,400 the previous year.
Aviva said that too many claims were fraudulent or exaggerated and that despite an improvement which saw a 19% drop in the number of claims due to The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment Act (LASPO), which became law in April 2013, whiplash claims were now on the rise again.
Their study says that the increasing number of claims handled by third party firms is adding an extra £93 to the cost of annual car insurance, with drivers facing an average renewal bill of £372.
It should be noted that this is just one report from one insurance company with no input from claimant representatives and the statistics appearing therein have not been verified by an independent report.
Many drivers and claimant representatives question the costs to the insurance industry given that some insurers encourage claims to be made via their own claims handling organisations. There are also mixed views over whether or not any savings from reducing the numbers of claims would be passed onto consumers in the form of reduced insurance premiums.
Politics aside, it is absolutely right that the government does everything it can to penalise those who abuse the system.
However, although it is crucial to address how best to tackle fraudulent and exaggerated whiplash claims, it is equally important that those who suffer genuine whiplash injuries are taken seriously and not demonised.
Whiplash injuries caused by a sudden forward, backward or sideways movement of the head such as the kind that commonly occur in contact sports or road traffic accidents, overstretch and damage the tendons and ligaments in the neck and can be extremely painful and debilitating.
Fortunately in most cases, whiplash injuries usually improve without causing any lasting damage. In a small number of cases however, chronic whiplash injuries can lead to painful symptoms lasting up to six months or more. In some cases, symptoms can even be permanent and affect daily life for the sufferer.
You can claim whiplash compensation if your injury was caused by an accident that was not your fault.
Claims Direct makes the whiplash injury claim process simple. All you have to do right now is to tell us where, when and how your whiplash injury happened, and about the whiplash symptoms you have suffered.
At Claims Direct we deal with whiplash injury compensation claims on a No Win No Fee basis.
For a free consultation call us on freephone 0808 175 7900 or start your whiplash claim online.