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

When Could A Whiplash Claim Be Rejected?

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 prove a whiplash claim 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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A Guide On Can A Whiplash Claim Be Refused?

If you’re in a car accident, even one that occurs at low speeds, there are forces involved that could jerk your head sharply, which could strain the muscles in your neck. This may cause a whiplash injury.

While whiplash injuries are usually relatively minor, they can cause pain and discomfort. In some cases, however, they could lead to long-term conditions. If you sustain a whiplash injury in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be eligible for compensation.

If this is the case, you might be wondering, ‘when can a whiplash claim be refused?’. Whether you have heard that you cannot claim for minor injuries, a friend’s whiplash claim was rejected, or you’re worried about whether you could prove your whiplash injury, this guide could help you. 

In the following sections, we offer a wealth of information about the whiplash payout scale, including insight into the minimum payout for a whiplash injury. We also look at cases where people could be denied compensation for whiplash and what they could do to pursue their claims further. 

In addition to all this, we discuss using a personal injury solicitor from our panel to help present the most robust case possible for a whiplash injury and how our team could offer free legal advice to whiplash claimants.

Whiplash Injury Compensation Calculator

If you’re looking for an average payout when it comes to whiplash compensation for 2020 in the UK, you may be surprised to know that there is no such thing as an ‘average’ payout. This is because whiplash claims could vary significantly from case to case. 

When lawyers and courts calculate compensation payouts, they assess all the facts and each case’s circumstances. They also need to look at the medical evidence to determine how severe the injury is and consider your prognosis. 

If you’re asking the question  ‘How much compensation for whiplash with physiotherapy did 2019 claims bring?’ the answer would not give you an insight into your claim. This is because courts and lawyers would assess your case on its own merits.

I Have A Whiplash Claim – How Much Could I Get?

We have chosen not to include a whiplash injury compensation calculator on this page for the reasons stated above. A whiplash compensation calculator would not be able to assess the severity of your injury and could not evaluate all the facts of the case either. 

We believe this alternative to a personal injury claims calculator could give you an approximation of how much a claim could be worth. The figures below are from the Judicial College Guidelines. This publication is updated regularly, and lawyers and the courts could use it to calculate a compensation payout for a whiplash injury.

Injury SustainedJCG Compensation BracketNotes
Severe neck injuries (i)Around £139,210These 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.
Severe neck injuries (ii)£61,710 - £122,860These injuries would usually involve serious damage to the cervical spine’s discs or fractures. They could cause disabilities of considerable severity but that fall short of those mentioned above.
Severe neck injuries (iii)£42,680 - £52,540Ruptured tendons, severe soft tissue damage, or fractures and dislocations that cause permanent disabilities and chronic conditions.
Moderate neck injuries (i)£23,460 - £36,120Causing 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.
Moderate neck injuries (ii)£12,900 - £23,460Severe 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.
Moderate neck injuries (iii)£7,410 - £12,900Injuries 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.
Minor neck injuries (i)£4,080 - £7,410A full recovery within 1-2 years.
Minor neck injuries (ii)£2,300 - £4,080A full recovery between 3 months – 1 year
Minor neck injuries (iii)Up to £2,300A full recovery within 3 months
Complex regional pain syndrome£49,270 - £78,840Severe (i)
Complex regional pain syndrome£26,300 - £49,270Moderate (ii)
Other pain disorders£39,530 - £59,110Severe (i)
Other pain disorders£19,770 - £36,120Moderate (ii)

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 price tag on 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.

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

The symptoms of whiplash 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 Prove A Whiplash Injury Claim

As we have mentioned, the answer to the question ‘can a whiplash claim be refused?’ is yes, if there is insufficient evidence. If you sustain an injury in an accident that is not your fault, there are several things you could do to collect such evidence, including:

  • Taking photographs of the scene or drawing a diagram of the position of the vehicles involved.
  • Taking photographs of your injuries.
  • Collecting witness details.
  • Visiting a medical professional.
  • Writing your own notes on what happened in the accident so you could refer to these later.
  • Keeping a diary of your symptoms and how they affect you.
  • Getting legal advice.

We could offer you free legal advice on making a whiplash claim. All you need to do is get in touch with our expert team. We’ll assess your case for free to see if you could have a valid claim. We could then help you get started with a claim by putting you in touch with an injury lawyer.

Will the Whiplash Law Change Affect My Claim?

In 2018, the UK government took steps to change how whiplash claimants are compensated. The passing of the Civil Liability Act 2018 changed the way claims will be handled. The small claims limit for whiplash/soft tissue injuries that claimants sustain in road traffic accidents will be £5,000, an uplift of £4,000 from its original level of £1,000. 

This means that there would be no legal costs awarded for claims below £5,000. This could put claimants off moving forward with a claim, as they would not have legal costs covered within lower value claims. They would claim, either alone or with a representative through the government portal.

Has The New System Been Implemented?

At the time of posting, the Ministry of Justice has not implemented the new system due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, once they do, claimants who pursue lower value claims with the help of a personal injury lawyer would not be able to recover legal costs from the liable party.

We would urge anyone with a whiplash claim to obtain free legal advice from us before such time as the Ministry of Justice implements the new system. That way, they could still benefit from having a personal injury lawyer on their side as they make their claim.

Compensation Limits When Making A Soft Tissue Injury Claim

According to the new system, soft tissue injury claims would be subject to a maximum £5,000 limit. As we mentioned in the section above, if you sustain soft tissue injuries in a car accident after the Ministry of Justice implements the system, you’d need to apply for compensation through the new portal. 

This would mean that you would be limited to the amount of compensation you’d receive. Under the new system, there will be a fixed tariff for such injuries. You would not receive compensation for legal expenses either.

Can A Whiplash Claim Be Refused By The System?

As with most things in life, nothing can be guaranteed. A whiplash claim could be refused by the system if there is no medical report, which is why we strongly advise acquiring one as soon as you possibly can. 

What Is the Average Whiplash Compensation 2020 UK?

As well as asking, ‘can a whiplash claim be refused’ you might want to know ‘What is the average whiplash compensation 2020 UK payout?’. As we mentioned in the previous sections of this guide, there is no definitive average payout. 

Each case is subject to the scrutiny of the evidence, facts and circumstances of the case. No two accidents and situations are identical, which is why we would urge whiplash claimants to obtain free legal advice before making a claim. That way, they could get the most appropriate advice on obtaining evidence that helps to maximise their payout.

Can A No Win No Fee Whiplash Claim Be Refused?

If you are considering claiming compensation for a whiplash injury, you might want to get help from a personal injury lawyer. You could do so under No Win No Fee terms, which means you don’t pay your lawyer anything unless your case is successful. These claims usually progress as follows:

  1. Your solicitor sends you a No Win No Fee Agreement. This document agrees to a small, legally capped success fee that you would pay your solicitor once they achieve a payout for you. The success fee you pay is usually a small percentage of your total payout.
  2. Once you sign and return the agreement to the lawyer, they would start working on your claim. They would build a body of evidence and negotiate compensation for you. If your whiplash claim is denied or rejected, then your case may go to court. Your solicitor would support you throughout.
  3. When your compensation payout comes through, your lawyer deducts their success fee from it, leaving the rest for your benefit.

Can A Whiplash Claim Be Refused If It’s Under No Win No Fee Terms?

While a solicitor would be unlikely to take on a case they didn’t feel would have a successful outcome, sometimes a whiplash claim could be refused. If No Win No Fee claims are rejected, and you don’t receive a payout, you won’t pay your lawyer the success fee. You wouldn’t cover your lawyer’s costs either. If you’d like further information about No Win No Fee claims, you could take a look at this helpful guide. Alternatively, why not contact the Advice.co.uk team?

Speak To An Expert

Hopefully, this guide has answered the question of ‘can a whiplash claim be refused’ to your satisfaction. If you’re ready to begin a claim for whiplash compensation, or if you have further questions, and would like free legal advice, we’d be happy to speak to you.

We could assess your whiplash injury claim to see if you could be eligible, even if your whiplash claim was denied. We could also put you in touch with a personal injury lawyer who could fight for the compensation you deserve. To contact our expert team, simply:

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.

More Advice On Whiplash Claims – We have produced a further guide on whiplash claims here.

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

Claimants For Car Accident Injuries – Here, you can read more about claiming for car accidents that cause injuries.

Guide by OE
Edited by LA