When driving and going about your daily duties, unexpected inconveniences can happen at every corner. For instance, you may have to slam the breaks to avoid hitting a vehicle, child, or animal that has suddenly crossed the road. In this scenario, you are likely to suffer an abrupt, violent movement of the head, which can result in whiplash injury.
Whiplash is one of the most frequent injuries sustained in car collisions, commonly when your vehicle is hit from behind. To be specific, whiplash is a hyperextension of the neck and is generally caused by a sudden impact. The effects of whiplash tend to appear within 24 hours after the incident and may include an array of symptoms, such as neck pain and stiffness, dizziness, headaches, and blurred vision. Most people will recover after a few days, whereas others may suffer from it for months or years.
A whiplash injury can be very painful. If it affects your well-being, you must get the compensation you deserve. Here, we detail the ins and outs of how to file a whiplash claim if you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault.
How to make a whiplash claim
First, if you are experiencing whiplash symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. This will allow you to receive the treatment and alleviate any discomfort you may be in. Not only that, but at the end of the check-up, the doctor will note your injury in their records, which can be used as evidence.
In Scotland, as mentioned, you can obtain whiplash compensation if you sustained injuries resulting from an accident that was – entirely or partially – somebody else’s fault. To make a successful claim, you will need the help of an experienced solicitor. But to favour the claim process, you should take a few steps to gather some all-important evidence.
Firstly, make a note of the date, time, and details of how the collision happened. Then, try to collect the names, contacts, and insurance details of anyone involved in the accident. In this respect, getting any potential witnesses’ names and contact details is crucial. Where possible, take pictures of the accident scene, or photograph what may have caused the incident.
With all this information, alongside an accurate medical report, you can start your whiplash injury claim with peace of mind. At Watermans, we will stand by you every step of the way, helping you to get back on the road and on your feet in no time. If necessary, we will arrange physiotherapy and get a replacement vehicle.
How long does a whiplash claim take?
It is always wise to make your whiplash compensation claim as soon as possible after the accident, but this will not guarantee a quick, swift process. Many different factors will have an impact on how long it takes to complete your whiplash claim.
For example, the time taken to wrap up the claim depends significantly on the severity of your injuries. In some cases, they may take months – if not longer – to fully stabilise. To ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, it is important to understand the full extent of the injury, and therefore things may carry on for a little while.
Moreover, the other party involved in the accident may not admit liability from the outset. If they deny they were at fault for the collision, the process will likely take longer.
How much can you claim for whiplash?
Again, there is no definite answer. The compensation you receive for your whiplash injuries will vary depending on several elements. Here are the most prominent ones:
- The severity of the injury, pain, and suffering
- The impact your injury has had on your life, including to what extent it has affected your ability to work or carry out daily duties
- How long you have been dealing with the pain and suffering
- How much the injury has cost you, including medical expenses and lost wages
Based on these factors, your whiplash compensation can differ massively. If you have suffered a minor injury, you can expect to receive around £850. If your whiplash injury is severe, you may be able to obtain up to £7,500.
How to claim for whiplash as a passenger
Were you not at the wheel at the time of the accident? In Scotland, if a passenger is diagnosed with a whiplash injury as a result of a car collision, they have the right to claim compensation too.
Generally speaking, passenger whiplash claims can be easier to carry out. A passenger involved in a car accident is often considered a bystander. To start a claim, gather all the evidence you need, including the date and time of the accident, names and contact details of both drivers and witnesses, and photographs of the scene where possible.
As a passenger, you can also make a whiplash compensation claim if you were in the same vehicle as the at-fault driver. If they are not at fault, then you can make a claim against the other driver, so there is always a pathway for you to obtain compensation for your injuries. Car accidents and road incidents can be stressful experiences and may result in painful injuries like whiplash. With this handy guide, you now possess all the basic information you need to make a whiplash compensation claim.