There’s no real hard and fast rule as far as how long it takes for a whiplash claim to run its course. Depending on the particulars of your accident, you could see your personal injury compensation award in as little as three to six months, but in especially complex or serious cases you could be waiting as long as a year from the initial date you were injured.
So what’s causing the hold-up? Well, to understand what could take so long, you need to understand what kind of work goes into a personal injury solicitor bringing a whiplash claim on your behalf.
Starting your claim
The bare fact of the matter is that you’re going to need a top-notch lawyer to handle the particulars of your compensation claim. Finding the right one can be a quest in and of itself, as you need to locate an experienced solicitor with an excellent reputation, as time spent here choosing the right lawyer will speed things up later on.
Next, you need to work with your chosen lawyer and make sure you give them every last scrap of relevant information regarding the accident that led to your neck injury; be prepared to offer the names of witnesses to the accident that can testify that you were not at fault and to provide details from a doctor that can examine you and diagnose your whiplash. Past that, you need to not only provide your own insurer’s information to your lawyer, but the details of other motorists involved in the crash in order to allow time to reach out to any other insurers involved as well.
Getting what you need
The first step – gathering information – usually only lasts along two to three months and is typically the quickest one. It’s also the only one that you have direct control over, so don’t drag your feet; the next step is out of your hands, so you’ll be kicking yourself if you dawdled in the run-up to step two.
Once your lawyer has every last scrap of information he needs, his job is to put it all together in a cohesive package, give you an estimate as to how much your claim will be valued at, and then contact the insurer for the responsible party with a claim for compensation along with all the evidence you – and he – painstakingly gathered. Once it leaves your solicitor’s office, the claim is out in the universe and now it’s up to the insurer to either settle the claim or fight it.
This is the long part – you could be waiting just a few months to hear back from the insurer with a settlement offer, or you could be in for a long fight if the case is a complicated one. However, if you’ve done your homework and provided every last scrap of evidence that your lawyer needed, and if you chose a skilled, experienced solicitor with an excellent reputation, you needn’t worry; you’ve done absolutely everything that you should have, and now just have to leave it in the hands of Providence to get the compensation you deserve.