New whiplash legislation a pain in the neck for consumers?

Whiplash injuries occur when ligaments and tendons in the neck are extended beyond the normal range of movement, in a sudden, violent action. When the ligaments and tendons stretch in this manner, they can tear which can lead to severe pain or even life-long disability.

It is easy to see how this can happen in a road traffic accident; the most common cause of whiplash injuries. The effects of whiplash are not often felt typically until 6-12 hours after an accident.

Symptoms of whiplash may include:

  • Neck pain/stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Problems with vision
  • Co-ordination issues
  • Dizziness

Whiplash is a very common injury following road traffic accidents, therefore compensation claims for the injury are also common.

Victims of this type of accident may choose to seek ‘no win, no fee’ legal representation. This means that should the claimant’s legal representative fail to win the case, no fee is owed by the claimant. If the case is won, the legal representative can charge a maximum of 25% of the total award.

Proposed changes

Proposed changes to the current law, as part of the Government’s plan to crack down on fraudulent compensation claims, could see pay-outs dramatically reduced. The current average pay-out for a short-term injury (0-3 months) is £1800. This would be capped at £235, leading to potential restrictions in access to justice for consumers.

For further information and assistance, speak to our experienced personal injury lawyers instantly through Instant Access, Email and In-Person services for initial consultation.

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This article is written by our legal content writer James Chalkley (LLB. LLM.)

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