Whiplash Injury Claims? The Five Mistakes Which Will Reduce The Value Of Your Whiplash Claim!

by allan46 on February 13, 2011

This article explores the five common mistakes that you can make that can reduce the value of your whiplash injury claim.

1. Contributory Negligence.

If you fail to wear a seatbelt when you are driving or are a passenger and are subsequently involved in a car accident, this failure could reduce the value of your compensation claim. The reason for this is simple; ultimately wearing a seatbelt should reduce the chances of you sustaining a severe injury. If you fail to wear a seatbelt you are more likely to collide with items in the car such as the steering wheel or if in the rear, the seat in front of you which can ultimately cause damage to your head or face. This damage would not have occurred had you been wearing a seatbelt. It does not invalidate your claim completely, but it does mean that there will be a reduction, normally in the region of 25% of the value of your injury claim, from your compensation for your pain and suffering.

Therefore, wearing a seatbelt at all times in the car will ensure that not only are you as safe as you can be when involved in an accident, but you will also receive all of your compensation.

2. Not attending your General Practitioner or Accident & Emergency Department.

As with all legal matters everything is a question of evidence. If you have suffered a whiplash injury, the evidence of you suffering is normally documented by you attending your General Practitioner complaining of pain or your local Accident & Emergency Department at the Hospital. If you decide not to attend either of these places then there is no chain of evidence from the time of the accident to visiting a solicitor or claims company and complaining of your injury.

Attending your General Practitioner or Accident & Emergency will ensure that you receive the right treatment but also ensure that there is a chain of evidence leading from the date of the accident to your compensation claim.

3. Failing to keep receipts and wage slips.

In addition to your claim for compensation you are also entitled to claim compensation for your losses and expenses. Once again, you will need to provide evidence to confirm the amount of these losses and expenses. When this relates to items that you have had to purchase as a result of your injury, such as painkillers or other medication, failing to keep receipts will make it very difficult to recover these amounts.

If you have lost earnings as a result of the accident you will need to keep all of your wage slips to show your earnings both before and after the accident as proof of the amount that you have lost. Failing to keep wage slips and receipts of your losses and expenses will make it very difficult to recover them by way of a payment of compensation.

4. Failing to read the small print!

Once you have been involved in an accident and suffered a whiplash injury you need to decide who you are going to ask to help you with your claim for compensation. You must read the small print of anyone who offers to help you. Some claim companies will charge an administration fee (often as much as #400 or #500) which you must pay if your claim is successful. Usually this is wholly unnecessary as most claims companies or solicitors will help you completely free of charge ensuring that they are paid for their time by the other person?s insurance company.

Therefore, if you fail to read the small print when asking a company to help you, you may find that you lose several hundred pounds at the end of your claim. Ensure you ask specific questions about any administration charges when asking a claims company or solicitor to help you.

5. Not asking if you will keep 100% of your compensation.

In addition to the above point, you should also ensure that the solicitor or claims company you ask to help you will let you keep all of the compensation that is awarded to you. Once again, this should be standard practice for all whiplash injury claims but unfortunately you might find that some claims companies or solicitors will take a small percentage of your compensation in addition to the costs they will receive from the other person?s insurance company. You need to ensure that you chose a solicitor that will give you 100% of your compensation.

Summary.

These are the five main reasons why the value of your whiplash claim may be reduced when you receive your compensation cheque. Asking specific questions before you instruct a solicitor and making sure you keep receipts during your claim will allow you to receive the maximum compensation available for your injury.

Need expert Accident Whiplash Solicitors? Find out How Much For A Whiplash Claim? Nicholas Jervis is a solicitor (non-practising) and a legal marketing consultant to Gray Hooper Holt Solicitors.
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