You might want to stay away from Liverpool for the time being, as a new survey has uncovered evidence that has seen the city crowned the whiplash capital of the UK after it was revealed that it has the highest number of whiplash claims per resident.
The Department of Work and Pensions released the figures, revealing that, to the end of March of last year, there were 18,500 whiplash claims, which equated to 22 claims for every 1,000 Liverpool residents. The city beat out the Capital, with residents of Uxbridge, West London only making 21 such claims per 1,000, while the second runner-up – Oldham, Manchester – had only 20 for every 1,000 residents, the Department research says.
However, it looks like one of the safest places to be in regards to avoiding whiplash-related injuries is in Scotland, as nine out of the ten cities with the smallest number of claims were found there, most likely due to the fact that the country has much more stringent rules against the selling on of the personal details of those caught in motor accidents to personal injury solicitor firms or claims management companies, a practice referred to by the insurance industry as ‘charging referral fees.’
While many Scots may disagree, people living within the country are most likely not in possession of stronger necks in comparison to those living south of them, according to Aviva’s claims director, Dominic Clayden, in a recent interview. Still, much has been made of the UK government’s role in limiting referral fees or making it harder to bring fraudulent whiplash injury claims, as the AA says that the costs insurers incur in defending or and paying out on whiplash claims add an additional £90 to the average motorist’s insurance premium, with the more than 500,000 claims made in 2011 costing the insurance industry an eye watering £2 billion.
Steps are being taken to introduce independent medical panels in order to evaluate whiplash claims to see if they pass muster. The evidence of whiplash injuries is especially ephemeral, since the injuries all occur in the soft tissue of the neck, experts say, which opens the door for innumerable fraudsters to claim they’ve got a pain in the neck and hold out their palm for some extra cash.