The UK has recently endured the coldest winter in 20 years, according to the national press. During the unusually cold spell that rendered much of the country snow-bound in January, newspapers - national, regional and local - were awash with stories of cars sliding across black ice and the resulting injuries. Insurance specialists, too, have reported a dramatic increase in the number of insurance claims during that period. Mike Gibson of the Injury Lawyers said: "The number of car accidents has already risen sharply and, no doubt, there will also be a number of car accident claims." He went on to point out that: "one of the most common and debilitating injuries resulting from car accidents are whiplash related. While this can be minor if treated quickly, if left undiagnosed whiplash injury can become potentially crippling."
Whiplash - The Most Common Personal Injury Claim
It is not just the physical debilitation that should be on the driver's mind, but the potentially financial debilitation of driving without insurance. Whiplash injury is far more common than most people suspect and, according to the NHS, car accidents are the most common cause. It occurs when the soft tissue in the spine is stretched and strained after the body is thrown by a sudden and forceful jerk - such as a collision. Initially, symptoms may take the form of headaches and a stiff neck but generally these disappear within around 48 hours. However, it is still worth reporting to your GP or a hospital as soon as possible as, if left untreated, whiplash can develop into a condition called 'Whiplash Syndrome'. This particular trauma is difficult to treat and symptoms include perpetual headaches, pain, and reduced movement in the neck, tingling in the arms, spinal pain, sleep disruptions and even a loss of libido. The impact of these problems can impact quite severely on a victim's employment as well as their private life.
Insurance offers a financial barrier against the problems incurred by whiplash - a barrier that it would seem that the uninsured are prepared to forego. Whiplash syndrome can force people to take time off work and this can have devastating financial implications. Having the correct insurance removes a layer of stress from what is an already stressful situation; with the right cover, a victim can concentrate on their recovery rather than worrying about how they are going to make ends meet during their convalescence.
Insurance industry chiefs are urging drivers to check that they have the correct level of insurance, so that they are covered for whiplash injury claims and whiplash injury compensation. Hazardous road conditions may find even the most careful of drivers looking down the wrong end of a compensation claim. Without the cover offered by the correct car insurance, the whiplash victim isn't necessarily the only person who will suffer financially.
When taking a car out onto the road, there are more people to consider than just the driver: there is the other driver and passengers in each vehicle. Unless the driver who is liable has the right cover, any one of those people could launch a claim against him for compensation in the event that they suffer a whiplash related personal injury.