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As with any personal injury or road traffic accident compensation claim, the claim process involved in recovering whiplash compensation involves several stages. Evidence must be gathered, liability established, negotiations undertaken and a settlement agreed upon.
Here at Canter Levin & Berg, our road accident solicitors are here to help you to understand every stage involved in the claims process and to get you the best possible result for your whiplash accident claim.
After any accident, your first priority should be for your own safety and the safety of those around you. Any road accident carries with it the potential that one or more of the people involved may have suffered a serious injury, so it is important that the emergency services are notified as soon as possible.
Once your whiplash injuries have received medical attention either at the accident scene, at hospital or later on from your GP, then you might want to consider your legal options. Of course, it is important to point out that compensation claims for whiplash can only be made against the driver or drivers responsible for causing the accident in which you were injured.
If you weren’t severely injured in the accident, then it might have been possible for you to gather some evidence at the scene. It can be very helpful to any whiplash compensation claim you might make if there is evidence from the scene to support your version of events. This evidence can include testimony from any witnesses to the accident and photographs of the location of the vehicles involved and any damage they suffered.
When you contact a solicitor to discuss making a claim for whiplash injury compensation, initially they will take what is known as a statement of accident circumstances from you. This statement will record as much information as possible about the accident. Your solicitor will also arrange for you to see an independent medical expert so that your whiplash injuries can be examined, a medical report produced and if necessary, further treatment recommended.
As well as the evidence you were gathering, if necessary, your solicitor can commission expert accident investigators to examine the scene of the accident and the vehicles involved. This can be useful in situations where the other motorists involved (or their insurance companies) are disputing liability for the accident.
You might also be able to keep a record of how your whiplash injury has affected your daily life and whether you needed any help with everyday activities from friends or relatives. Similarly you should keep a record of extra expenses, including travel costs that you’ve incurred as a direct result of suffering a whiplash injury.
Armed with the medical evidence, witness statements and the reports from the accident investigators your solicitor will contact the insurance company who are covering the driver responsible for the accident in which you received your whiplash injury. Negotiations will take place in order to determine the level of compensation you will receive for your injuries.
If both sides in the claim can agree who was liable for the accident and a level of compensation to be paid for your injuries then the final stage of your whiplash claim will be relatively simple and you should receive your compensation cheque relatively quickly.
However, if for any reason the other party is disputing liability for the accident, or if your injuries have not yet healed, then it may be necessary to delay the settlement of your claim. In some cases, your whiplash compensation claim may proceed to a court hearing, where a judge will make a decision on liability and on the level of compensation you will receive.
If you’ve suffered a whiplash-type injury in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, the solicitors here at Canter Levin & Berg can help. Call now on 0151 239 1180 to speak with a member of our team, or fill out the claim form on our website and we will call you back to start your whiplash compensation claim today.