By Marlon Wilkinson. Last Updated 12th July 2022. Welcome to our guide to claiming for whiplash caused by a car accident. Whiplash is an injury to the neck often caused by car accidents. While it is not usually a permanent or life-threatening injury, it is often painful and inconvenient.
It can leave the sufferer with limited mobility, pain and muscle spasms in the arms and shoulders. Whiplash usually takes several months to heal, but more serious cases can impact the injured person for much longer than this.
Shouldering the burden of recovery yourself can seem unfair, particularly if you weren’t to blame for the accident. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you might be able to seek compensation for the injuries you’ve sustained and the impact that they’ve had on you.
Advice.co.uk can offer you free legal advice. We can also offer an estimation of the amount of compensation you could win in a claim. Advice.co.uk can connect you to a personal injury solicitor who could take on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
We would like to invite you to get in touch with us and to speak to our advice team to hear more about what we can do to help. Please phone 0161 696 9685, or in a callback form to have a phone conversation with our team or use the live chat option at the bottom of this page.
Select a Section
- A Guide To Compensation Payouts For Whiplash Caused By A Car Accident
- What Is Whiplash?
- Top 3 Common Whiplash Caused By A Car Accident Examples
- Personal Injury Compensation Claims Calculations
- What Are Special Damages?
- Case Study: £7,000 For Whiplash Caused By A Car Accident
- Get Free Legal Advice From Us Now
- No Win No Fee Policies For Negligence
- Our Expert Free Legal Advice Can Help
- More Resources And Guides On Whiplash Caused By A Car Accident
- Whiplash Caused By A Car Accident FAQs
This page will focus on how compensation claims work. We will explain what goes into the process of making a compensation claim and the process of calculating how much certain injuries are worth.
We will also look at what whiplash is and the effects that this kind of injury can have on you. Our guide will also look at some common kinds of car accidents that could result in whiplash.
Importantly, we will also look at how compensation is calculated. This will include the value of the payment for your injuries, as well as any financial loss that can be included in your claim.
To help illustrate the claims process, we are going to include an example case study. This will look at someone who hypothetically makes a compensation claim for a whiplash injury sustained in a car accident. To summarise, we will offer some resources that you may find useful. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about whiplash injury claims.
Whiplash is a type of injury where the soft tissue of the neck gets damaged by being suddenly pulled and strained. When resulting from car accidents, it’s caused by the head and shoulders being rapidly jerked forwards and backwards by the impact. Even relatively minor impacts can cause whiplash.
- Pain in the neck
- Difficulty turning or moving the neck
- Pain and muscle spasm in arms and shoulders
Whiplash can be painful as well as very uncomfortable. It can also make life and daily activities difficult to do. If you have pain in your neck following an accident it is always important to have this checked out. Very often injuries can get worse over time.
We are not medical specialists for anything to do with an injury caused by an accident getting medical advice should be your first priority. However, if you have been injured in an accident caused by those who have a responsibility for your safety you could make a claim for compensation. And that is where we can help. Call our advisor today.
If you have been in a car accident and you can prove that it was not your fault, then you could be entitled to make a compensation claim against the responsible party. Provided the at-fault driver has insurance and is able to be traced, you will be able to claim against them. If you are not able to identify them or if they do not have drivers insurance, then you could make a claim through the Motor Insurance Bureau.
You may also find yourself injured because of the negligence of a business or a public entity, for example if your accident was caused by a poorly maintained road. In these cases, you would proceed with a claim against the liable third party, which could be a local authority. You would have to prove negligence in order to hold a valid claim.
A car accident does not have to be at high speed in order to cause whiplash. Whiplash can often be caused by low-speed impacts. Below, we will look at some common types of accidents that could cause a whiplash injury.
Head-on collisions are road traffic accidents in which the front of two vehicles bear the impact of the crash. These can be caused by one of the cars driving in the wrong direction, such as by driving in the wrong lane of the road or going in the wrong direction down a one-way street. In accidents like these, It is often fairly straightforward to prove who was responsible for causing it.
Rear-end collisions are collisions in which one car knocks the car in front of it by colliding with its rear bumper. They can occur at junctions and roundabouts where cars slow down and stop.
In almost all cases, the fault of a rear-end crash will lie with the driver who went into the back of the other car. This is because all drivers are expected to leave a safe stopping distance between them and the car in front.
Multiple Car Pile Ups
Accidents involving multiple vehicles are known as multi-car pile-ups. These types of crashes are often chain reactions in which cars that are hit by other cars are unable to slow down or come to a halt before they reach the scene of the accident.
Like in rear-end collisions, each person in a multi-crash will claim from the person who went into the back of their vehicle. This is because they failed to keep a safe stopping distance from the car in front.
When you claim compensation for an injury, part of the payment will compensate you for the injury and the impact it has had on your quality of life. The head of your claim which compensates you for your injuries is known as general damages. General damages reflect the severity of the injury.
In order to calculate the general damages associated with your claim, solicitors will refer to the Judicial College Guidelines. These guidelines, combined with a medical report put together following a medical assessment, will form the basis of the general damages head of your claim.
If you are wondering, “how much compensation could I get for a whiplash injury?” then we would recommend contacting our team. They can offer you free legal advice about the value of a potential compensation payout. Talk to them about your situation, and they will use their knowledge of the methods of working out compensation payments to give you a rough figure of what your claim might be worth.
Alternatively, if you’d like to read more about special damages and how they are calculated, please see our next section for more information.
The other head of a compensation claim is special damages. This is intended to replace the money you have lost as a direct result of your injuries. This can include things like wages and bonuses lost as a result of taking time off work, the cost of treatment and transport costs if your injuries left you unable to drive. You could also recoup the cost of, for example, a holiday that your injuries prevent you from going on.
Make sure that you keep hold of any bills, receipts or invoices that provide evidence of the losses you’ve incurred, as they won’t be able to be included in your claim without proof.
Ms Winnock, a fitness instructor, was travelling to work in her car one day. She stopped at the giveaway line at a junction, but the vehicle behind didn’t stop in time and hit the back of her car. Her head was violently jerked back and forth by the impact.
At first, Ms Winnock did not feel that she had been injured. She was too startled by the crash and upset about the damage to her car to worry about the possibility that she had been injured. However, as she was preparing to lead her afternoon pilates class at the gym, she noticed stiffness in her neck and a pain in her neck and shoulders. By the next morning, Ms Winnock was barely able to move her neck at all.
She went to see her GP and her GP confirmed that she had suffered a whiplash injury from the accident she was involved in. Ms Winnock was frustrated; she knew the accident was not her fault as the other driver had failed to stop in time and had gone into the back of her. She was upset at the prospect of taking time off work and the impact that this would have on her financial situation.
Because of this, Ms Winnock decided to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation. She had exchanged insurance and contact information with the driver already, so the next step was to seek legal advice.
Payout for Whiplash – Severity and Impact Of The Injuries
As discussed, compensation for whiplash in the UK will try to address both the pain of the injury and the financial effect it may have had on a person.
Ms. Winnock’s claim included the financial disruptions the whiplash injury had had on her life, such as:
- Being unable to work for 8 weeks
- Being unable to drive and needing to pay for public transport to attend her medical appointments
- Needing to purchase pain relief medication for her injury
As she had medical evidence of her injury, and the other driver was found liable, she was able to successfully claim all of these expenses back as part of her whiplash payout. We have included a table showing a breakdown of her payout below.
|General damages||Special damages|
|£4,000 for a whiplash injury that healed in a year||£2,650 in lost income|
|£100 in public transport costs|
|£250 Gym membership.|
We hope this helps you understand whiplash payouts better and the type of expenses you could be able to include as part of your claim.
(The above case study is not based on real events and should only be treated as an example. It is based on previous experiences of dealing with whiplash claims before the Whiplash Reform Program.)
The Whiplash Reform Programme
Considering Ms Winnock’s injury was worth £4,000, and her claim was valued at £7,000 overall, she would have had to have claimed through the Whiplash Reform Programme, as of 2021.
The Whiplash Reform applies to injuries sustained in a car accident that occurs after May 2021, are worth £5,000 or less (and under £10,000 including special damages) and involved a driver or passenger over the age of 18.
These claims are now handled via an online portal, and compensation is paid out according to the set tariff of injuries included in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021.
If you would like an estimation of how much compensation you could be entitled to for whiplash, you can call our advice team and discuss your situation with them. Once they find out more about the details of your claim, they will be able to value your claim.
They can also provide you with free, no-obligation legal advice if you have any further questions about the process of making a claim for whiplash. You can get in touch at any time using the contact details at the top and bottom of this page.
If you decide to pursue your claim with the help of a personal injury solicitor, you may be concerned about the upfront fees or hourly costs sometimes associated with legal representation. After all, you may find yourself facing a large bill with no compensation to mitigate these legal costs.
When you fund your solicitor with a No Win No Fee agreement, there is nothing for you to pay your solicitor upfront before the claim begins or while it is ongoing. You also won’t pay your solicitor a thing if your case is unsuccessful. If you win your claim, the solicitor’s payment will be a legally capped success fee deducted from your compensation payout. All the solicitors on our panel offer representation on a No Win No Fee basis.
If you wish to receive free legal advice, or if you would like to know more about how much compensation you could be entitled to, contact our advice team.
To get in touch, call us on 0161 696 9685, or you could request a phone call from us by putting your contact details and a brief description of your accident and injuries in a callback form. You could also use our live chat at the bottom right of the screen to reach our team.
How Long Does Whiplash Last After An Accident?
Those suffering from whiplash will usually several months to fully recover. However, in some cases, people who experience whiplash injuries complain of experiencing neck pain and back pain for years afterwards.
Can A Minor Accident Cause Whiplash?
Whiplash doesn’t just result from serious accidents or ones which occur at high speeds. Low-speed accidents could cause whiplash.
Can Whiplash Symptoms Get Worse Over Time?
Whiplash symptoms can occur 6 to 12 hours after the accident occurs rather than becoming apparent immediately. They may worsen for several days before they reach their peak.
Thank you for reading our guide to claiming for whiplash caused by a car accident.
published by NS.