This article explores the most common reasons for a whiplash claim to reach the stage where it can be settled.
1. Getting Better.
This is by far the most important consideration following a car accident. The purpose of compensation for your injury is to try and. The compensation cannot make you better, often only treatment and time can.
For your solicitor to be able to settle your claim for compensation they must be confident that you have made a full recovery from your injuries so that they can fully assess the impact of the accident and injury for you. If you are receiving ongoing treatment after the accident your solicitor will probably wait until this treatment has been concluded and a medical report obtained before settling your claim. If you have suffered a major whiplash injury it can be some months before you have made a sufficiently full recovery which can delay the settlement of your claim.
2. Obtaining Evidence.
Your solicitor has to obtain evidence to support your accident claim in two key areas, liability (ie proving that the accident was the other driver’s fault) and medical (from an Orthopaedic Surgeon or General Practitioner to confirm your injuries).
Liability evidence can include police accident reports, witness statements and even evidence from sometimes from an accident reconstruction expert.
The medical evidence is usually obtained some weeks or months after the accident, by which time the medical expert can assess the extent of the injury and whether treatment is still required.
It can take some weeks or months for this essential medical evidence to be obtained.
3. The Other Driver’s Insurance Company Or Solicitors.
Delays are often experienced when contacting the other driver’s insurance company or solicitor. These delays can be significant and can occur for a number of reasons, including junior or inexperienced staff or someone having too high a workload to manage. Either way, if your solicitor is struggling to make progress with the other side, the only way he will be able to speed the claim along is by issuing court proceedings, after which time a timetable will have to be followed.
4. Your Own Representative.
Sometimes your own solicitor might have too many cases to handle and might struggle to stay on top of them all. This can have a detrimental impact on your own claim. Sometimes you can change your solicitor within the same firm or on occasions you might have to ask another law firm to help you with your whiplash claim.
If your solicitor has requested information from you about your pain and suffering as a result of the whiplash claim, or for more information about your expenses or lost earnings, any delay in returning this to them will prevent them from being able to settle your claim. The faster you are at responding to your solicitor the quicker your solicitor can progress your claim for you.
6. Settlement Is Final.
If you accept an offer in settlement of your claim it is a final offer. You cannot decide to go back for more compensation if your whiplash pain continues for longer than you expected it to. Therefore, it is essential that you only accept a reasonable offer in settlement of your claim. Of course your solicitor will tell you what a fair offer is but it may take some time to receive one from the other party.
In conclusion, there can be any number of reasons why a whiplash claim takes as long as it does to settle. However, the reality is that these days they are settled far more quickly. Many claims now settle within weeks or months.