How Long Will My Whiplash Settlement Take?
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries arising from road traffic accidents. If you have sustained a whiplash injury you may be wondering whether to make a claim for whiplash injury compensation – or you may have already started the process – and you may be wondering how long your whiplash settlement will take to come through. This article looks at what exactly whiplash is, how whiplash injury symptoms present themselves, what needs to happen before your whiplash settlement comes through, and how long the whiplash settlement claims process is likely to take.
A whiplash injury is often caused by an accidental collision in which one car crashes into the rear of another car. This can cause the head to be suddenly and forcefully thrown backwards and forwards, which in turn leads to ligament and soft tissue damage in the neck. This is what causes the whiplash injury.
Note that you might also receive whiplash after being in a collision from the side, as side impact whiplash cases are very common. The important cause of a whiplash injury is not the exact nature of the accident, but whether the head and neck are subject to high forces.
It may not be immediately obvious that you have sustained a whiplash injury as often the symptoms of whiplash can take hours or even days to appear. When the symptoms of whiplash do appear you are likely to experience pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders, restricted movement in your neck, headaches, nausea, dizziness, lethargy and pins and needles. As soon as you become aware that you may be suffering from a whiplash injury you should seek medical attention.
Stages Of A Whiplash Claim
There are certain stages that you need to go through in order to ensure that you receive the correct amount for your whiplash compensation claim. An early whiplash settlement offer from the third party insurers is very likely to be worth less than the amount you should receive for your whiplash injuries.
When you instruct a solicitor to help you with your whiplash settlement claim they will instruct a medical expert to examine you and prepare a report detailing your injuries. The medical expert will provide a prognosis stating how long you are likely to take to recover from your injuries and whether any of your symptoms are likely to be permanent.
Your solicitor will not be able to value your claim until he knows how long your recovery will be and he will advise you not to negotiate or accept a whiplash settlement until you have either fully recovered from your injuries or until you have been given a firm prognosis (i.e. that you are likely to be symptom free within ten months of the accident). The reason for this is that if you settle your claim too early you will not be able to go back and claim further damages if your symptoms continue for longer than expected.
Receiving The Settlement
How long it takes for your whiplash settlement to come through will therefore largely depend on the prognosis you have received from the medical expert. If you are expected to recover from your injuries within six months to a year of the accident then you should receive your whiplash settlement within six months to a year of the accident. On the other hand, if you have sustained a whiplash injury which is serious and likely to have long lasting affects, your whiplash settlement is likely to take longer to come through as you will have to ensure that there is a strong prognosis in place before agreeing a settlement amount.
Whiplash In Court
In the vast majority of cases, you will not have to go to court to settle a whiplash claim. Instead, your solicitor will negotiate with the defendant to arrive at an appropriate whiplash settlement. Since going to court will take time and money for both sides, both sides will seek to avoid this outcome where possible.
In the unlikely event that the defendant refuses to settle for an appropriate amount, you may go to court. In this case, a specialist whiplash solicitor will handle all the necessary arrangements and represent you on the day. In the hands of an experienced whiplash solicitor, this will not be a remotely stressful event – they will have seen many whiplash injuries before and understand how painful and frustrating the injury can be, so they will empathise with your situation and go out of their way to make the process easier.
As this is an unlikely event, you will not usually need to factor it in to the time you expect your whiplash claim to take.
If you suspect you are suffering from a whiplash injury you should seek medical attention from either your GP or local A&E department and then legal advice from an expert whiplash solicitor.
Move Quickly For Better Results
If you have suffered an injury please contact us as soon as possible. Unnecessary delay can cause your claim to be less likely to succeed:
We need evidence to connect the chain of events that proves that your injury was caused by your accident.
Loyalty Law's specialist solicitors are in high demand. This means that they can only look after a set number of people who have been injured. To give you the best chance of being helped by one of our expert solicitors get in touch with us as soon as possible.
Delay really can be harmful to your chances of success, so please contact us now and let us take care of you and your claim.
What Happens Next?
You will be contacted by one of our specialist whiplash claim solicitors. They will explain whether they are able to help you with your whiplash claim. If they can, they will then take care of everything else for you. Being specialists, they know that you have already had enough stress following your accident, so they will make the whole process as simple as possible for you from that moment onwards.
This will include completing paperwork for you, arranging free replacement car hire and medical treatment, and generally taking really good care of you.
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