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Soft Tissue Injuries and Their Consequences - Fiona Ashworth, Kings Chambers

04/01/14. In 2011/12 there were about 1,050,000 personal injury claims. 80% of which were Road Traffic Accidents. 90% of all RTA claims attracted damages of less than £10,000. These statistics confirm what personal injury practitioners know, namely that the vast majority of cases brought are in respect of low level injuries from minor accidents which settle quickly for a modest level of damages.

Under the Portal scheme the emphasis is on quick and cheap resolution of claims. The Claimant is usually examined within a matter of a few weeks or months after the accident by a GP who may have very limited experience of Chronic Pain conditions. Almost all initial reports will give an optimistic prognosis that a soft tissue injury will settle within a matter of months. There is very little contact with the lawyer handling the claim. There are no witness statements in which the Claimant sets out what the continuing symptoms are and the lawyer may not even appreciate the potential link between trauma and the development of a widespread chronic pain condition or continuing symptoms from a minor soft tissue injury.

Most soft tissue injuries would be expected to settle within a short time frame; usually a matter of months. However a significant number of Claimants do not make the expected...

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