My wife has personal experience of physiotherapy. She was involved in a non-fault car accident last year. As a result, she attended the local hospital, which led her to make a claim for personal injury.

All perfectly normal and straightforward, except the claim was to be rejected unless she agreed to a course of physiotherapy. My wife asked what course of treatment was prescribed and how was this to be determined.

She has yet to receive an answer to this question.

My wife's case is slightly more complicated than the average, in that she was already undergoing a course of physiotherapy at the time of the accident for an existing condition.

She was not prepared to undergo physiotherapy that had not been recommended and which may have aggravated the injury further just to pursue a claim.

Yes, physiotherapy has a role to play in whiplash accidents, but should not be applied as a blanket rule.

A better method for the industry to follow is for a referral to a "specialist" in the first instance to determine the extent of injury and for him to prescribe a course of treatment.

Rather than spend money investing in research as to the benefits of physiotherapy, the industry should invest time in resolving how to determine how much damage has been caused to an individual and whether it is more cost effective to pay for treatment direct, or settle the claim quickly.

Peter Gaskell
HSB Haughton Engineering Insurance

Send letters to: Insurance Times, 30 Cannon Street, London,EC4M 6YJ

or email fax 020 7618 3499