An in-depth study was carried out on samples of road accident patients who had suffered some of the most disabling injuries: 'whiplash' and fractures of the upper and lower limbs. Patients were interviewed a few days after the accident, and then at six monthly intervals over a period of four years. The objectives were to identify the consequences of the injuries, in terms of the level and nature of resulting disability, and the costs to the Health and Social Security Services, time off work, and financial costs to the individual; other less tangible costs to the patient and their families were not quantified. The results will contribute to the Department of Transport's re-valuation of the medical and support cost of road accident casualties. The report shows the initial level of disability among the two groups of patients, and the steady decline over the four year period as the majority recovered from their injuries. The changing level of use of Health Services, and payments of Social Security Benefits are identified, and converted into costs to the nation over four years. Direct financial effects on the individual as loss on income and settlement of compensation claims are also shown. For the first report and two interim reports published on this work see IRRD 289797, 830712 and 850451.

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