When we hear the word “whiplash” we automatically think of someone who has been involved in a car accident; however, whiplash can be caused by many different situations including slips, trips and falls, sports injuries and even assaults and attacks
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What is whiplash?
Whiplash injuries are caused when a person suffers from a sudden jolt to their head or body which damages the muscles, ligaments, tendons or other soft tissues in the neck. Whiplash claims are one of the most common personal injury claim types we handle.
When we hear the word “whiplash” we automatically think of someone who has been involved in a car accident; however it can be caused by many different situations including slips, trips and falls, sports injuries and even assaults and attacks.
We operate on a No Win, No Fee basis, meaning that there no upfront costs to you. We offer a free initial, no obligation assessment of your case.
Call us on 0344 854 7000 to discuss your claim, or submit your details below and we’ll call you back at a time convenient for you.
How do I know if I have sustained a whiplash injury?
Whiplash symptoms can include pain and stiffness in the neck, pain in the shoulder, arms or back, headaches, muscular pain, spasms and reduced movement in the neck.
After your accident symptoms may start a few hours later (around 6 to 12 hours) with any additional inflammation or bruising taking perhaps 24 to 48 hours to develop.
Changes to making a whiplash claim – May 31st 2021
As of the 31st May 2021 the laws around claiming compensation for a whiplash injury have changed. The Civil Liabilities Act 2018 – commonly referred to as the ‘whiplash reforms’ has been brought into effect for those who wish to seek compensation for a soft tissue injury to the neck, back or shoulder, sustained a road traffic accident.
The key changes for claimants include:
- A new fixed tariff of compensation, based on the length of time it takes the claimant to recover from their whiplash injury.
- A new online portal, known as the Official Injury Claim portal, that will allow you run your claim yourself.
How much compensation will I be entitled to under the whiplash reforms fixed tariff?
Under the Civil Liabilities Act, the amount of compensation that you will receive is based on the length of time it will take you to recover from your injury. The tariff is split into two, with the upper tariff accounting for physical and minor psychological injuries suffered as a result of the accident.
|Duration of Injury||Lower Tariff (without psychological injuries)||Upper Tariff (with psychological injuries)|
|Less than 3 months||£240||£260|
|>3 months <6 months||£495||£520|
|>6 months <9 months||£840||£895|
|>9 months <12 months||£1320||£1390|
|>12 months <15 months||£2040||£2125|
|>15 months <18 months||£3005||£3100|
|>18 months <24 months||£4215||£4345|
You may also be eligible to seek up to a 20% increase in compensation in ‘exceptional circumstances’. This could include instances where you have suffered a severe whiplash injury which has had a strong impact on your loss of amenity.
What if I suffered an injury that is not whiplash?
If you have suffered an injury that is not whiplash (for example seat-belt bruising, or a soft-tissue injury to another part of your body), then the tariff will not apply to that part of your injury claim and you will receive you full compensation. If you have suffered a whiplash injury and a non-whiplash injury, then you will receive the tariff amount for you whiplash injury and compensation for the non-whiplash injury.
What happens if my symptoms last longer than 24 months?
The new tariff values whiplash injuries which last for up to two years up to the value of £5000. Therefore if you were still suffering due to a whiplash injury for longer than 2 years, your claim would be worth over £5000, meaning that your claim would be exempt from the tariff.
Who is eligible to use the new Official Injury Claim portal?
You can use the new Official Injury claim portal to make a whiplash claim on your own behalf if:
- The accident was not your fault.
- You were either the driver or a passenger inside a vehicle.
- You are aged 18 or over.
- The accident happened in England or Wales.
- The accident happened on or after the 31st May 2021.
- The at-fault vehicle has a UK registration number plate.
You cannot make a claim through the portal if:
- The accident happened in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
- The accident happened before 31st May 2021.
- You are aged under 18.
- You were not travelling inside a vehicle when you were injured. For example claims involving:
- Horse riders
- Mobility scooters
Can I claim for out of pocket expenses?
The whiplash injuries tariff only applies to your physical and minor psychological injuries. It does not include out of pocket expenses such as loss of earnings, due to being unable to work as a result of your pain and suffering.
If your claim is valued at over £10,000, taking into account your pain and suffering, as well as any out of pocket expenses, you case will be handled outside of the portal and it is advisable to seek legal assistance to ensure your claim is dealt with properly.
Can I make a claim if I have suffered other injuries which aren’t considered as whiplash?
The Civil Liabilities Act defines a whiplash injury as a soft tissue injury or sprain, strain, tear, rupture or lesser damage of a muscle, tendon or ligament in the neck back or shoulder.
Therefore if you have suffered an injury that is not whiplash e.g. a broken finger, then the tariff will not apply. The amount of compensation you will receive will be calculated based on general and special damages.
General damages are calculated based on how serious your injury is and how long it will take you to recover.
Special damages are calculated based on your out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident. These can include:
- Loss of earnings
- Vehicle damage
- Damage to your possessions
- Prescription costs
- Medical care – rehabilitation, counselling and physio
If you are unsure about what you can claim for call us on 0344 854 7000 for a free no-obligation assessment of your case.
Submit your claim – we will establish who was at fault and submit a claim on your behalf.
Gather the Evidence and Arrange Treatment – we will collect all of the evidence needed to prove your claim, arrange a medical examination for you, and if appropriate arrange treatment to assist with your recovery.
Win Your Claim – we will fight hard on your behalf to recover maximum compensation in the shortest time.
How long will my claim take?
A simple whiplash injury can be settled within 6 months but only where liability is admitted, the medical prognosis is certain and the insurance company is prepared to make a reasonable offer.