APIL reveals new whiplash research

An independent survey, commissioned by the not-for-profit Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), has found that almost 40% of people who have suffered a whiplash injury have never claimed compensation for it.

The new information “injects some sanity into a national debate characterised by overblown and inaccurate rhetoric,” said APIL president Karl Tonks.

The research also found that:

  • Only one in a hundred people suffered a whiplash injury in the past year.
  • One in five people who have had a whiplash injury suffered symptoms for more than a year.
  • 90% of sufferers are diagnosed by a medical professional.

In addition, the independent survey found that almost 30% of respondents were encouraged to claim compensation by insurance companies.

“Instead of pointing the finger at everyone else, insurers really need to stop and look in the mirror,” said Tonks. “They need to stop paying compensation without even asking for a medical report. And they need to start sharing the information they hold about fraudsters to help claimant lawyers identify them early in the process.

“Of course there will always be people who try to cheat the system. That's obviously wrong, and we need a universal commitment to working to reduce fraud in whiplash cases,” he said. “That's why we have produced a ten-point plan which could do just that and which we hope to discuss with the Government.

“But it's even more important to stand firm against any move to put barriers in the way of the majority of people who have genuine injuries and who need to make genuine claims.”

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