The Whiplash Report 2012: Myth or Fact?

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Posted 12/11/2012

Statistics provided by the Government’s Compensation Recovery Unit show that there has been a fall of almost 24,000 in the number of claims for ‘whiplash’ in 2011/12 as against the previous year.

In a document entitled “The Whiplash Report 2012: Myth or Fact?” the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) have released the results of independent research which, for example, shows that almost 40% of people with a ‘whiplash’ injury have never claimed compensation for it. Of those who did claim, around 90% had their injuries diagnosed by a medical professional.

Deborah Evans, Chief Executive of APIL said “Whiplash is often painted as an epidemic – a windfall for anyone whose car is hit from behind. The reality is very different.” She went onto say that “rational debate on this subject [whiplash], based on independent evidence is long overdue”.

It is noteworthy that a poll carried out amongst 4,000 members of the public revealed 1 in 100 people have suffered a whiplash injury in the past year, with 1 in 5 suffering symptoms for more than a year. Interestingly, almost 30% of those who suffered injury were actually encouraged to claim compensation by insurance companies and/or had treatment arranged for them through the insurer’s own healthcare providers.

The report also revealed that the UK has 79% more vehicles per kilometre of road than the European Union average. It is therefore unsurprising that if our roads and towns are congested, low speed collisions are more likely with relatively minor injuries being suffered, such as ‘whiplash’.

Read more here, where you can also download the full report.

Tom Ranson of Ashtons Legal injury services says: “We echo APIL’s calI for rational debate based upon independent evidence. It is important that the myth of the ‘whiplash epidemic’ is dispelled once and for all. It should not be about hysterical headlines but about ensuring that genuine accident victims are treated fairly and properly compensated”. Click here for more information about our Personal Injury Law services.


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