UK: Whiplash Capital of the World?

by DPP Law on July 13, 2013

Recent reports have branded the UK with the unsavory title of ‘Whiplash Capital of the World’. We’ve even heard the term thrown about at Number 10. But the question remains as to whether or not the statement is in fact founded and whether context should play a part?

We read the likes of Emma Wall, in the Telegraph, telling us how Great Britain has usurped the land of opportunity, America, in fraudulent litigation with a bill exceeding a gargantuan £1billion per year, and we think, well… it must be true. The claims culture fuelled by the aggressive marketing of treacherous personal injury law firms, she goes on to dictate, has infiltrated our borders from the Atlantic. The danger with such frivolous reports and emotive proclamations is that it can often lead to knee-jerk reactions, leaving a trail of damages coupled with significant consequences.  In this particular case, the Jackson Reforms, which include the increased small claims threshold from £1,000 to £5,000; a response to the so-called ‘claims culture’ and ‘whiplash-endemic’ will affect genuine victims on a substantial scale.

And all for what? To save a mere £4 each year on your insurance premium? [According to the ABI].  This hasty move would see a large proportion of sincere claimants, 93% of litigants to be exact, unable to receive legal advice and representation from dedicated and experienced practitioners such as those at DPP Law, meaning they would either decide not to pursue for compensation or indeed face the minefield of a courtroom alone, in which case it is inevitable they will receive markedly less reparation than is deserved. It is important to consider that one may not be so forthright when the table is turned. Never mind the fact that this entire hullabaloo is entrenched in timeworn, biased evidence with a lack of milieu.  Say for instance the figures do stack up and Britons at least, have the weakest necks in Europe, then context must stand as a consideration tool.

According to the World Bank there are 79% more vehicles per kilometre of road compared to the European Average. Thus leading to the conclusion that less high-speed impact crashes occur reducing the number of catastrophic and fatal injuries whilst increasing the production of relatively minor grievances such as whiplash. And how could we forget that British drivers were ordered to ‘Belt-Up’ in 1983? The seat belt legislation was a defining factor in the increase of soft tissue injuries sustained to the neck and spinal area, of which remains today.

Our advice: Don’t believe the hype. Take a look at our whiplash infographic, which challenges the title of UK: Whiplash Capital of the World. It demonstrates some interesting statistics that are often hidden behind more profitable headlines.

Infographic - Whiplash copy

Download the Infographic – Whiplash [PDF version].








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