It looks like Liverpool has some company in the North West as one of the largest whiplash claim hotspots in the UK, as new information has emerged that Wigan is right up there in regards to the number of claims.
The entire region won the dubious honor of being the whiplash capital of the UK, as the research study found not only was Liverpool on the top of the list for 2011’s whiplash claim figures with 18,500, other nearby towns and cities were also prominently featured on the list – such as Bolton, which came in at 6,500 claims, and Wigan, which had more than 3,000 claims, eqivalent to anywhere between 10 and 14 whiplash injuries for every 1,000 people in the town.
Investment group BNP Paribas uncovered the figures after filing a freedom of information request with the Department of Work and Pensions. The information has made serious waves in the insurance industry, as insurers say they would be happy to challenge a higher number of whiplash injury claims, but it is actually more cost-effective to simply reach out of court settlements due to high legal fees; ministers have responded that the personal injury compensation system will be overhauled in order to cap legal fees in an effort to control costs.
The Association of British Insurers’ chief media relations officer general, Malcolm Tarling, commented on the research findings, stating that the breakdown by region of whiplash claim hotspots is the first of its kind, and has recealed some very striking information. Mr Tarling pointed out that the number of personal injury solicitors specialising in whiplash claims seems to have increased in direct correlation with the rise in claims volumes – even as the number of accidents has actually declined by some 70 per cent over the past few years.