Moffat & Co Solicitors

Moffat & Co Solicitors
Accident Compensation Claim Solicitors Scotland
PO Box 28287
Edinburgh
Scotland
EH9 2WU
Telephone:
0131 662 6988
Fax:
0131 667 8175

MASS Motor Accident Solicitors Society

Moffat & Co Solicitors Over 25 years of experience at your service

Is The Whiplash Epidemic Getting Worse?

Despite a 16% decrease in the number of accidents reported to the police since 2009, the number of claims for whiplash injuries has increased disproportionately by a third to 570,000. This discrepancy has been described by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) as a "silent epidemic" of a surge in the number of fraudulent whiplash claims.

Supporting the ABI's claims, research by the King's Fund think tank has shown that around 47% of doctors believe that the current system for claiming whiplash compensation is flawed. The belief seems to be that the existent system actively encourages victims to seek a diagnosis that will bring them 'maximum gain'. A spokesman for the think tank said that: "With over 1,600 diagnoses a day, the UK appears to have the weakest necks in the world."

How Whiplash is Diagnosed

The main difficulty in diagnosing whiplash is that it relies very heavily on the testimonial of the victims. The majority of the damage is internal and there is very little external evidence from which to draw any conclusion. Whiplash is sustained most commonly as the result of a rear-impact collision. During impact, the driver's or passenger's head is thrown forward at a speed that the soft tissues of the neck and spine are not designed to cope with. Combined with the weight of the head, this can result in hyperextension of the neck and spine, straining, stretching and occasionally tearing the ligaments, tendons and muscles surrounding them. In the second phase of the impact, the head is thrown backwards, repeating hyperextension in the other direction. Symptoms of whiplash can range from mild headaches and neck pain to tinnitus, fatigue, vertigo-like symptoms and loss of mobility in the arms.

Immediate medical treatment is the best approach. Symptoms usually manifest within hours of an accident, although cases have been reported in which it has taken days or even weeks for whiplash to become apparent. However, without any physical evidence to support a victim's claims, the condition is wide open for the unscrupulous to exploit, exaggerating or even completely falsifying symptoms.

The Cost to the Honest Motorist

The ABI reports that this epidemic is adding an estimated £90 a year to the insurance policies of honest drivers. This tariff is added to cover the costs of legal services and payouts to whiplash compensation claims. The Fraud Bureau has stated that around 30,000 of these claims are fraudulent and cost the honest motorist around £350 million per year.

According to the AA, the UK has some of the safest roads in Europe and the fewest numbers of road traffic accidents. However, the UK has also become known as Europe's 'whiplash capital', with the highest numbers of compensation claims. James Dalton of the ABI says that: "I simply can't believe people in the UK have weaker necks than our Continental cousins".

In addition, the plethora of fraudulent cases is slowing things up for genuine victims. Wary of being scammed, doctors and lawyers are investigating each claim with unprecedented scrutiny. In these circumstances, those with a genuine injury are best advised to seek the services of a personal injury solicitor, who can ensure that the claim is dealt with professionally and as quickly as possible.

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Testimonials

Since contacting Stan I was continously informed of the development and progress of each step of my claim. Stan was persistent and patient throughout the whole process and reassured me he would win me the compensation I deserved - and he was true to his word. I am extremely happy with the outcome of my claim and this is all thanks to Stan.

Sarah

My case was dealt with personally by Stan Moffat and what a brilliant guy. His office contacted me personally by telephone at the start of my claim to explain who they were and what they would be doing for me. All through the case I was kept fully informed of all actions either by e-mail or by letter and reassured by Stan several times of any queries I had.

It is very seldom that a solicitor will take the time to speak personally at any time with you without getting run through secretaries etc. I commend this man for that as this was a very upsetting and important time for me and he did everything in his power to make this as easy and as swift as possible for me.

I highly recommend the service that this firm brings and the speed that they move at.

J McMahon

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