Can A Whiplash Claim Be Refused?

By Lewis Lennon. Last Updated 14th May 2024. 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.

A man holding the back of his neck in pain as he gets out of his car following a crash.

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.

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  1. Can A Whiplash Claim Be Refused?
  2. How Much Is A Whiplash Claim Worth?
  3. What Is A Whiplash Compensation Claim?
  4. How Long Does It Take To Claim For Whiplash?
  5. Claiming For Whiplash – Get Help From A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  6. More Information

Can A Whiplash Claim Be Refused?

So, can a whiplash claim be refused? Many people want a guarantee that their claim will be taken on, but unfortunately, this isn’t realistic.

Whiplash claims can be refused. There are a number of reasons why this might happen, including:

  • Your claim is time-barred because you don’t start proceedings within the time limit.
  • You were at fault for the accident, for example, you were driving while drunk.
  • Your injuries are not severe enough to warrant a personal injury claim.
  • You don’t have enough evidence to prove that the other party was at fault.

To help avoid a situation like this, we recommend that you seek legal advice before starting your claim. You aren’t obligated to work with a solicitor, but they generally won’t take a claim on unless it is valid, which means there’s less chance of it being refused.

When you get in touch with our team, they can evaluate your claim for free, and tell you whether or not your case is likely to be refused. Plus, if you’re eligible, they could connect you with an expert whiplash solicitor from our panel.

How Much Is A Whiplash Claim Worth?

Usually, personal injury compensation can be made up of two heads. The first head, general damages, covers the pain and suffering caused by your mental and physical injuries. Because of this, all successful claimants receive compensation under this heading. 

When your whiplash injuries are valued, reference can be made to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG provides guideline compensation brackets for different injuries. However, the whiplash injury tariffs that are set out within the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 may also apply to your claim.

When this legislation was introduced as part of the Whiplash Reform Programme, the way some claims were made changed. Now, if your injuries are worth £5,000 or less and you are a passenger or driver of a car aged 18 or over, you’ll make your claim a different way. 

We’ve included some examples of JCG compensation guidelines and whiplash injury tariffs in the table below. Please be aware that the first entry hasn’t been taken from the JCG.

JCG Compensation Guidelines

Injury SustainedNotesAmount
Multiple Serious Injuries And Special DamagesMultiple serious injuries and financial losses, like lost earnings and travel costsUp to £250,000+
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 £181,020
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.£80,240 to £159,770
Severe neck injuries (iii)Ruptured tendons, severe soft tissue damage, or fractures and dislocations that cause permanent disabilities and chronic conditions.£55,500 to £68,330
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.£30,500 to £46,970
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.£16,770 to £30,500
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.£9,630 to £16,770
Whiplash Injuries + Psychological InjuriesMore than 18 months, but not more than 24 months£4,345
Whiplash InjuriesMore than 18 months, but not more than 24 months£4,215

What Are Special Damages?

Special damages are the second head of claim that you could receive, but not everyone will be eligible. Under this heading, you can claim back the financial losses that are caused by your whiplash injuries. 

For example, if you need to take time off work to recover from your whiplash injuries, this might result in lost earnings. If so, you could potentially claim these lost earnings back under special damages.

This heading can also help you claim back the cost of:

  • Essential travel, such as to work or medical appointments.
  • Help with cooking, cleaning, and shopping.
  • Physical therapy and prescriptions.
  • Childcare.

Evidence will need to be presented of these losses in order to claim special damages. This could include payslips, bank statements and invoices.

If you’d like to find out what kinds of compensation you could be eligible for, contact our team today. Or, keep reading to learn more about the question, “Can a whiplash claim be refused?”

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

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.

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

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