Claiming for whiplash is best done ASAP
Claiming for whiplash is usually a straightforward procedure, as long as the accident was not your fault. However, it is worth pointing out that it is always better to claim for whiplash sooner rather than later. There are a number of reasons for this, for example, the incident will be fresher in everyone’s mind, the perpetrator’s details will still be reliable and any medical details regarding your injury will be easy to get hold of. Of course, all of these things are likely to be accessible for a long time, however, if you do not want to take any chances, thinking about claiming for whiplash injuries as soon as you possibly can is sensible.
The difficulties experienced by Paloma Norman from Southend when she was claiming for whiplash sustained in a car accident demonstrate that although it is possible to make a successful claim after a period of time has passed, it is always better to make the claim sooner rather than later.
Miss Norman was driving her Ford Focus back from the hospital where she worked at as a radiographer when she was hit from the right unexpectedly by a skidding van. The weather conditions had been bad, Miss Norman recalled, but it would not have been dangerous if sensible driving had been exercised. The bad weather conditions meant that a small white van had collided completely unexpectedly with the right side of Miss Norman’s vehicle. Later reports revealed that the driver of the van, who used the van to carry small furniture for his self-owned furniture transfer business, had been speeding 20 mph over the 30 mph speed limit in order to make his last delivery of the day. This resulted in him losing control of his van and skidding a distance of about ten metres until eventually crashing into Miss Norman’s Ford Focus.
Miss Norman was thrown on to the opposite side of her car, causing her neck to tug violently at her seatbelt. The result was a serious whiplash injury that led to Miss Norman wearing a neck brace for one month after the accident. Doctors told her that she was lucky that her injuries were not more serious.
At the time of the crash, the driver of the van, Ian Thompson, was also injured and taken to the same hospital. Miss Norman had assumed while she was being treated in the hospital that since Mr Thompson was also there, his contact details would be recorded and easily requested at a later date.
After a month had passed, Miss Norman removed the neck brace and began to get on with her career as a radiographer. However, a persistent pain began to appear in the back of her neck, causing difficulties at work and at home. She visited her GP about the pains and was advised that the supportive tissue in her neck had been weakened by the accident and neck brace. This was causing tension in the surrounding muscles of her neck. Miss Norman’s GP recommended an on-going course of physiotherapy in order to put this right. Three months after the accident itself, Miss Norman began to attend physiotherapy sessions. These started to become rather expensive and it was only then that Miss Norman thought about claiming for whiplash.
She began to research how to claim for whiplash and finally (a total of five months after the accident) she got in touch with some solicitors. The solicitors needed the van driver’s name in order to make a whiplash claim for Miss Norman. Miss Norman therefore contacted the hospital in order to retrieve this information. The hospital, however, were not allowed to give out any contact details. Due to this complication it took a further two months to find out the full name and contact details of the van driver. With this done, Miss Norman began to try and piece together exactly what had happened. This proved to be very difficult, as the accident had happened a while ago. For all of this time, Miss Norman was paying expensive physiotherapy fees out of her own money. Eventually, although Miss Norman’s account of the event was rather sketchy, the team of solicitors managed to devise a strong enough case to win her compensation. Miss Norman did admit afterwards, however, that she wished she had approached the solicitors sooner, as the process would have been a lot simpler and more efficient.