Can A Whiplash Claim Be Refused? How To Make A Claim

By Lewis Lennon. Last Updated 11th August 2023. Did you sustain injuries in a car accident that wasn’t your fault? Are you suffering from whiplash and considering claiming compensation? If so, you may be wondering if your claim is strong enough to win you whiplash compensation.

You may have heard that it can be tricky to get compensation for a whiplash injury and are possibly wondering, ‘can a whiplash claim be refused?’ If you are, do not worry. Our detailed guide will help you decide whether going forward with your claim is worthwhile. And if you’re still unsure, our expert team of advisors can answer any questions you may have.

Can a whiplash claim be refused guide

Can a whiplash claim be refused guide

You will find information regarding compensation amounts for whiplash injuries and how to calculate compensation estimates for your own claim in the sections below. We also answer questions about when a whiplash claim is denied and what to do if the party at fault refuses your claim. 

In addition to this, we discuss how to claim for whiplash and talk about the two heads of compensation you could claim, aside from those related to your pain and suffering. If you have questions after reading this guide or would like us to provide you with free legal advice tailored to your situation, you can call our helpline at any time on 0161 696 9685.

Select A Section

  1. How Much Is A Whiplash Claim Worth?
  2. Soft Tissue Injury Special Damages
  3. What Is A Whiplash Compensation Claim?
  4. When Can A Whiplash Claim Be Refused?
  5. How To Make A Whiplash Claim
  6. Will The Whiplash Law Change Affect My Claim?
  7. Compensation Limits When Making A Soft Tissue Injury Claim
  8. Claiming For Whiplash – Get Help From A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  9. More Information

How Much Is A Whiplash Claim Worth?

Since the introduction of the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021, making a whiplash claim has changed if you are an injured passenger or driver over 18 whose injuries are valued at £5,000 or less. You must now make your claim through the government’s online portal.

Under this new system, how much a whiplash claim is worth is decided by how long your injuries will take to recover, with the highest amount included being an injury needing a recovery time of up to 18 months.

However, we recommend that you seek the help of a legal professional when claiming for whiplash, as they can value your claim with consideration to your exact circumstances. For example, if you need to pay for travel to and from the hospital, or if you lose wages due to your recovery time, these are losses that could be included in your claim.

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Injury Sustained Notes Amount
Severe neck injuries (i) These injuries could be associated with paraplegia (incomplete) or spastic quadriparesis that is permanent. The injured party, would, despite wearing a collar 24/7 have little to no neck movements and would suffer intractable severe headaches. In the region of £148,330
Severe neck injuries (ii) These injuries would usually involve serious damage to the cervical spine’s discs or fractures. They could cause disabilities of considerable severity. £65,740 to £130,930
Severe neck injuries (iii) Ruptured tendons, severe soft tissue damage, or fractures and dislocations that cause permanent disabilities and chronic conditions. £45,470 to £55,990
Moderate neck injuries (i) Causing severe symptoms that could require spinal fusion. Injuries could include dislocations and fractures, but also severe soft tissues injuries to the back and the neck combined. Chronic conditions with referred symptoms to other body parts could also be included. £24,990 to £38,490
Moderate neck injuries (ii) Severe wrenching, soft tissue and disc lesion injuries that cause cervical spondylosis could fall into this bracket. They could cause severe limitation of movements, recurring or permanent pain and there may be a risk of future vulnerability or a need for future surgery. £13,740 to £24,990
Moderate neck injuries (iii) Injuries in this bracket could include accelerations or exacerbations of pre-existing conditions over less than 5 years. Moderate injuries to the soft tissues where there has been a somewhat protracted recovery, there are permanent nuisance level symptoms or a risk of future vulnerability could be included also. £7,890 to £13,740
Minor neck injuries (i) A full recovery within 1-2 years from a soft tissue injury. £4,350 to
£7,890
Severe shoulder injuries Usually associated with neck injuries and involve damage to the brachial plexus. These type of injuries lead to significant arm and neck symptoms. £19,200 to £48,030

The table above shows figures taken from the latest edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) and demonstrates bracket compensation amounts for different injuries at varying severities.

Contact our advisors today for more information on making a whiplash claim. They can provide you with an estimated value of your injuries, and if your claim is valid, they could connect you with an experienced solicitor from our panel.

Soft Tissue Injury Special Damages

If you sustain minor whiplash injuries during a no-fault accident, you might be wondering, ‘is it worth claiming for whiplash?’. After all, if your injury is only minor, you may not consider it worth the effort to make a claim. 

But what if you need to take time off work to recover from a minor injury, and you lose out on income? What if you incur physiotherapy costs or have to pay for prescription medicines to treat your injury? These are all costs you might not have encountered if you weren’t injured. You could claim for different types of damages within a whiplash injury claim, as we explain below.

General Damages

General damages are represented in the table provided above. They relate to the loss of amenity, pain and suffering your injuries have caused you. There is no definitive value for pain and suffering. Courts and lawyers use medical evidence and your case’s circumstances to come to an appropriate compensation amount.

Special Damages

Special damages are financial expenses you incur as a direct result of the accident and your injuries. There are several various special damages you could claim, as we explain below.

Travel Costs

Did your injury necessitate hospital treatment? Did you have to pay for travel to the hospital? Have you paid to travel for a meeting with your lawyer? These are all the travel costs you could claim for.

Medical Costs

You could incur costs for private counselling if you suffer mentally because of a car accident, or you could also incur private physiotherapy costs or prescription charges. Claimants who incur such costs could claim them back.

Loss Of Income

If your injury means you have to take time off work and lose out on income, you could also claim for this. Loss of income claims could include missed bonuses and overtime too. You can also potentially claim for income you may lose out on in the future if your continued recovery means you need to take time away from work.

Care Costs

Did you sustain an injury so severe that you couldn’t look after yourself? If you did, and someone cared for you at home, you could include the costs of that care within your claim. This includes both professional and gracious care i.e. care provided by friends and family.

What Is A Whiplash Compensation Claim?

Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents. It is known as an acceleration/deceleration injury. When you are in an accident where your head jerks sharply backwards and forwards, or sideways, it could strain the neck’s tendons and muscles; this could cause a whiplash injury. 

Whiplash injuries can range from minor to severe. If you sustain a whiplash injury in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you could make a personal injury claim against the liable party for compensation.

Symptoms Of Whiplash

According to the NHS guide on whiplash, symptoms may not occur straight after an accident. They could include:

  • Pain in the neck area
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Trouble with moving the head
  • Headaches
  • Muscle spasms in the arms and shoulders
  • Pain in the arms and shoulders

We urge anyone who feels they may have sustained a whiplash injury to seek advice and treatment from a medical professional. Not only could this mean you treat the injury appropriately, but this could also serve as proof of your injury.

Could I Claim?

Generally speaking, to make a personal injury claim for a whiplash injury, you would need to evidence:

  • Someone else caused the accident.
  • You sustained injuries in that accident.
  • You were claiming within the appropriate personal injury claims time limit (this is usually three years from the date of knowledge/injury date, but some exceptions could apply).

Being able to evidence the accident and your injuries is vital when claiming for personal injury. As part of such a claim, you would need to attend a medical appointment with an independent professional. They would review your past medical notes if appropriate, examine you, and complete a medical report to evidence your injuries. The report would usually also give their professional opinion on your prognosis and potential recovery period

When Can A Whiplash Claim Be Refused?

If you’re wondering, ‘When can a whiplash claim be refused?’ it is essential to remember that each case is assessed on its own merits. There are various reasons why a liable party may reject a whiplash claim, including:

  • Lack of medical evidence.
  • The liable party believes your injuries are exaggerated.
  • You are not claiming within the personal injury claims time limit.
  • Lack of evidence of the accident.
  • You were at fault for the accident.
  • The liable party suspects a ‘cash for crash’ claim.

If you’re worried you will be denied compensation for a whiplash injury, why not call us for free legal advice? We would be happy to talk to you about making a claim. We could put you in touch with a personal injury lawyer to help you fight for the compensation you may deserve.

How To Make A Whiplash Claim

If you’ve suffered whiplash because of negligence by another party, you may be asking questions such as “should I claim for whiplash?” and “how can I start a claim?”.

When you have sufficiently recovered from your injuries, we recommend you start collecting evidence if you wish to pursue a whiplash claim. Identifying what evidence is available to you will help to answer the question of whether you can claim for whiplash. Potential types of evidence may include:

  • Photographs of the accident scene that caused your injuries.
  • CCTV footage of the accident if any is available.
  • Notes of the whiplash symptoms you’re experiencing.
  • A copy of a medical report about the treatment you’ve received for your whiplash injury.
  • Contact details of any witnesses that saw the incident that caused your injury.

If you would like to learn more about how to make a whiplash claim or want to see if you’re eligible to claim, please get in touch with us for free legal advice by using the contact details included on this page.

The Time Limits For Claiming Whiplash Compensation

When claiming for whiplash, or any other injury you have suffered in a road traffic accident, you must ensure that your claim is made within the correct time limit. The time limit can be found in the Limitation Act 1980 and is generally 3 years from the date you were injured.

However, certain exceptions can be made to these time limits when making a whiplash compensation claim.

  • If your child was injured in a road traffic accident, they will have 3 years to start a claim once they turn 18. Before this point, the time limit is suspended. A court-appointed litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf before their 18th
  • For someone who lacks the mental capacity to claim, the time limit is suspended, and a litigation friend could claim on their behalf. However, if they regain this mental capacity, they would have 3 years from that date to claim.

Contact our advisors today if you have any questions about how to claim for whiplash after a car accident. Additionally, they could offer you free legal advice concerning your specific claim.

How Long Does It Take To Claim For Whiplash?

There’s no time limit set for how long a claim for whiplash will last. If you make this type of claim, then the amount of time it will take to process will depend in part on how complex the case is. While relatively more straightforward claims could be quick, others could take much longer to conclude.

While we can’t give a timeframe in which the case will conclude when claiming for whiplash, it’s essential that you begin your claim within the time limit. As mentioned before, there is usually a three-year time limit for starting a whiplash claim. If you’re considering claiming, then we recommend you start looking into starting a case as soon as you can.

Will The Whiplash Law Change Affect My Claim?

In 2021, the Whiplash Reform Programme and The Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 were introduced as a new way to handle low-value road traffic accident claims.

The introduction of this legislation means that if injuries sustained in a road traffic accident are valued at under £5,000, you now must claim through an online portal. Your compensation will be a set amount as listed in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 tariff of injuries.

However, these rules only apply if you are over 18 and the passenger or driver of a vehicle. Cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists are exempt from the Whiplash Reform Programme.

If you get in touch with us, one of our advisors can provide more information on how to claim for whiplash after a car accident. If you are unsure about the value of your injuries, we recommend seeking legal advice.

Has The New System Been Implemented?

As of the 31st of May 2021, the Whiplash Reform Programme has now been implemented for low-value road traffic accident claims.

However, if you are unsure about the value of your injuries, you can get in touch with our team of expert advisors today about claiming whiplash compensation. They can offer a free valuation and arrange a medical appointment in your area for a full assessment.

Compensation Limits When Making A Soft Tissue Injury Claim

A neck sprain can also sometimes be known as a whiplash injury. As we have mentioned, following the introduction of the Whiplash Reform Programme (WRP), there are now compensation limits for whiplash claims. Compensation for a whiplash injury will now have to be in line with the provided tariff.

This does not mean that your whiplash claim will be refused. It merely means that your claim may have to be made through the online portal, rather than through a claim directly against the liable party.

However, there may be instances where you have suffered multiple injuries that could take your claim outside of the WRP limit, or claims where your financial losses would exceed the £5,000 WRP requirement, should you claim for whiplash.

If you have evidence that your claim should be valued at more than the WRP requirements, then please get in touch with one of our advisers for help. They can show you how you can claim for whiplash outside of the portal with the help of a personal injury solicitor to negotiate a settlement.

Claiming For Whiplash – Get Help From A No Win No Fee Solicitor

Now that we’ve answered the question, ‘Can a whiplash claim be refused?’ You may be interested in claiming for whiplash with the help of a No Win No Fee solicitor. By offering you a Conditional Fee Agreement, which is a type of No Win No Fee arrangement, you will not have to pay any upfront or ongoing service fees to them.  Furthermore, your solicitor will not charge you for their services if your car accident claim is unsuccessful.

Instead, if your claim is successful, your solicitor will take a success fee directly from your compensation award. This fee is a legally capped percentage.

You might be thinking, ‘Can I claim for whiplash with a solicitor from your panel on a No Win No Fee basis?’ Our advisors offer free consultations to decide whether your case is appropriate for our legal team to take on.

Please use the following methods below to arrange your free consultation: 

  • Call our free 24/7 advice line on 0161 696 9685
  • Connect instantly via our live chat widget.
  • Fill out your details in our contact form and we’ll be in touch.

More Information

The Highway Code – Here, you can find the Highway Code, which explains the rules of the road.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome – In some cases, an injury could cause CRPS. This guide explains the condition in more detail.

Ministry Of Justice System – This guide explains the new whiplash claims reforms in more detail.

Whiplash Compensation Claims Calculator – We have produced a further guide on whiplash claims here.

One-Way Street Car Crash – This guide will help you understand when and how much you can claim for a one-way street accident

Passenger in a Car Accident Claims – Have you sustained a whiplash injury as a passenger? If so, this guide could be useful.

Shoulder Injury Compensation – If you’re suffering a shoulder injury due to another’s negligence, our guide could help you claim.

Damaged Nerve Injury Claims – This guide explains how you could claim compensation for a damaged nerve injury.

Accident at a Zebra Crossing Claims Guide – Learn how to claim if you were injured in an accident at a zebra crossing.

Please get in touch at any time if you have further queries about ‘can a whiplash claim be refused?’.