In the UK, whiplash is one of the most common types of injury sustained in a road traffic accident. It is worth noting however that whiplash can occur in any incident where the head is suddenly thrown forward such as sporting accidents, accidents at work, or assaults, to name but a few. Whatever the reason, if you have suffered whiplash injuries through no fault of your own, you may be eligible to make a whiplash claim for compensation.
We have a team of solicitors with over 30 years of experience handling injury claims on behalf of clients. Their role is to try and achieve the maximum amount of whiplash compensation that’s possible in each case. If your case is accepted, you’ll benefit from that experience and you’ll probably find that your stress levels are reduced because your solicitor will work on a No Win No Fee basis.
After you have completed our whiplash claims guide and you’re ready to start the process, you can call us to learn if we could help you make a claim on 0800 6524 881.
Table of contents
- What Is Whiplash?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Whiplash Compensation Claim?
- Common Causes Of Whiplash Claims
- How Much Compensation Will I Get For Whiplash?
- Evidence To Support A Whiplash Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Whiplash Compensation
- Starting The Whiplash Claims Process
Whiplash is a type of neck injury that typically results from the neck being strained from forceful, rapid back-and-forth movements of the head. A whiplash injury is most commonly associated with rear-end collisions on the road but can also result from sports accidents, physical abuse, or other trauma.
Whiplash primarily affects the soft tissues of the neck, including muscles, ligaments, and tendons, potentially leading to a range of symptoms.
Some of the most common whiplash symptoms listed in this NHS guide include:
- Neck pain, stiffness, and finding it difficult to move your head.
- Muscle spasms and pain in the shoulder and arms.
The more serious symptoms include:
- Severe pain even after taking painkillers.
- Weakness in the arms or legs.
- Problems sitting up or walking.
- Pins and needles in either side of the body.
- Electric shock-type pain in the neck and back.
Whatever your symptoms, we’d advise having your whiplash injury checked by a medical professional.
It doesn’t really matter what type of accident caused you to sustain whiplash injuries if you want to make a compensation claim. If you believe your injuries were caused by somebody else’s negligence you will need to show that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care; and
- They caused an accident to happen because they were negligent in some way; and
- As a result, you sustained whiplash.
Duty of care is established by different pieces of legislation like the Road Traffic Act 1988 or the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. You needn’t worry too much about this though as your solicitor will know which law is relevant to your case.
We should point out that under the government’s Whiplash Reform Programme, we may not be able to help with whiplash claims for less than £5,000, and you’ll need to claim through a new online portal. However, that only applies to road traffic accident claims and you may wish to speak to us prior to claiming as it’s quite difficult to put a value on your injuries yourself.
Yes, you could still make a whiplash claim even if the other driver was uninsured or cannot be identified. This is facilitated by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), an organisation that compensates victims of accidents caused by uninsured or untraceable (hit-and-run) drivers.
The MIB operates under agreements with the UK government and is funded by all motor insurers in the country through their insurance premiums.
If you’d like to know more about making a whiplash claim through the MIB we may be able to help so please contact our advisors to know more.
In this section, we’ll look at some of the common causes of whiplash. Some examples include:
- RTA’s typically involving cars, buses, motorbikes, taxis, and bicycles.
- Falls in which the head has been jerked violently.
- Sports such as rugby, football and motor racing.
- Forceful punches to the head from a physical assault.
- Horse riding accidents.
- Faulty amusement park rides.
Don’t fret if a scenario similar to yours isn’t shown above, we could still help you with claiming compensation.
It would be really nice if you could tell the defendant how much compensation for whiplash you’d like to get and they paid it. However, any personal injury claim has to be fully justified and backed up by evidence. It’s important to get this process right, though, as once a claim is settled, you are not allowed to claim for the same incident again. If your case is taken on by one of our solicitors, they could include any of the following in your claim:
- Your injuries (physical and psychological).
- Costs associated with repairing or replacing personal property that was damaged in the accident.
- Any expenses, costs, or monetary losses caused by the accident such as prescription fees, care costs or lost earnings.
As you can see, it would be impossible to say with certainty what amount of compensation you could receive for whiplash within this guide. Therefore, go ahead and call today for a free case review. If a solicitor decides to represent you, they’ll let you know the amount they’ll claim for once they have assessed everything fully.
While we can’t tell you what your whiplash claim could be worth in total, we can give some idea of what amount is paid for certain injuries. That’s because solicitors and legal professionals have access to the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a list of different injuries along with an appropriate compensation range for general damages. By using the figures in our whiplash compensation calculator as guidance, you can get some idea of how much compensation you could be paid for certain injuries.
The amount paid in successful whiplash compensation claims is based on the severity of your injuries. Therefore, an independent medical assessment may be required. Don’t worry about this as it will be booked locally by your solicitor so you won’t need to travel too far.
Again, where the value of a road traffic accident claim is less than £5,000, it can’t be handled by personal injury solicitors. Instead, you’ll need to claim through an online portal. Bear in mind, though, that it’s not just your injuries that are included in your claim – other costs should also be considered. If you’re not sure how to proceed with your claim, it won’t hurt to call our advice centre and discuss your case with a specialist.
In the next section, we’ll list some of the incidents that could lead to whiplash injury claims. Regardless of the scenario, though, there are many steps you could take following an accident that could help you if you decide to claim. They include:
- Getting the details of anybody who witnessed the accident.
- Taking pictures of the accident scene on your phone (ideally, this will be done before anything is removed).
- Having your whiplash injuries assessed and treated at a minor injuries unit, A&E, or your GP surgery.
- Reporting the accident to the police where possible (such as an RTA or road rage assault) so that it’s officially recorded.
- If you’ve sustained whiplash in an accident at workmake sure it’s reported in the workplace accident book and get a copy for yourself.
- Requesting copies of dashcam footage or CCTV footage if the accident was recorded.
- If you’re a passenger hurt in a car accident make sure to take down the details of the driver if you’re in a taxi or Uber.
If you carry out the steps above, you could find the whiplash claims process much easier as you’ll have evidence available should the defendant decide to deny liability for your injuries. For a free review of the evidence you’ve gathered already, why not call our specialist advisors today?
For most personal injury claims involving whiplash (including delayed whiplash injury claims), you’ll have 3-years to begin legal action. Mostly, this will commence from the date the accident took place. An exception to this rule is when a child suffers whiplash.
As children aren’t legally allowed to represent themselves, a responsible adult can sign up as their litigation friend. Using this process, whiplash claims can be made at any point before the child turns 18 years old. The process is much the same but the litigation friend will need to represent the child in discussions with their solicitor. Also, they need to advise the child of how the case is progressing. Where claims are settled in favour of the child, a court will verify the payment is fair and place the compensation in a trust fund until the child is 18 years old.
We suggest that starting your whiplash claim as early as possible will make things a lot easier. Firstly, you’ll find it a lot easier to recall what happened and secondly, you’ll give your solicitor plenty of time to collect and collate the evidence needed to support your case.
We offer a no-obligation telephone consultation as well as free legal advice. Therefore, please get in touch today to see if you can make a whiplash claim.
The length of time the whiplash claims process might take can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the complexity of the case, the severity of the injuries, whether liability is disputed, and the efficiency of the legal and insurance processes involved.
Here are a few factors to consider :
- Straightforward whiplash claims. For simple cases where liability for the whiplash injury is clear and is relatively minor, settlements can sometimes be reached within a few months.
- Complex claims. If the claim is more complicated, for example, if there are serious injuries, if liability is disputed, or if there are complications in proving the extent of the injuries and their impact on your life, the claim can take much longer to settle. In such situations, it might take anywhere from several months to a few years to settle.
- Negotiations. Some whiplash compensation claims may require negotiation between your personal injury solicitor and the defendant’s insurer, which can be time-consuming. If the claim cannot be settled through negotiation and proceeds to court, this can further extend the length of time it takes.
- Recent legal changes. It’s also worth noting that recent changes to the legal process for handling whiplash claims, as mentioned above, especially those of a lower value, may affect the time it takes. The encouragement of using an online portal for smaller claims aims to speed up the process, but the actual impact may vary.
Given these factors, it’s important, in our opinion, to seek legal advice to understand better how your specific circumstances might influence the timeline of your whiplash claim. A solicitor on our team can provide a more accurate estimate based on the details of your case if you’d like to get in touch for a free consultation.
We hope that this whiplash claim guide has shown you when you may be eligible to claim compensation for whiplash. We believe that your chances of receiving a fair amount of compensation increase when you have a personal injury solicitor working for you.
We’ll review your case for free and let you know if it’s something we can help with or whether you should claim through the government’s whiplash claims portal. If we decide to represent you, your solicitor will present the case to the defendant’s insurers or legal team on your behalf and deal with all communication for you.
We’re here when you’re ready to start the whiplash claims process. To get in touch, you can call our advice line on 0800 6524 881. An advisor will talk you through the whiplash claims process, review your evidence, and connect you with one of our solicitors if your case has strong enough grounds.