By Stephen Kane. Last Updated 30th May 2023. How do I know if I have a valid claim for whiplash? What is the average payout for whiplash injury? Can you still claim for whiplash without seeing a doctor? In this article, we answer these questions and explain how a No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor could help you receive compensation for a no-fault accident.
If you’re reading this, you may well be suffering from whiplash injuries already. You might be feeling the direct impact of your injuries on your ability to cope as normal. Expensive physiotherapy, painkillers and perhaps even loss of work can mean that you are suffering in more ways than one. Help is possible. With the right proof you could claim all these expenses back as damages against the road user who caused them. To learn more:
- Call us for a chance to access free legal advice on 0161 696 9685
- Write to us using our online contact page
Select A Section
- A Guide On Checking You Have A Valid Whiplash Claim
- Valid Whiplash Claim Compensation Calculator
- Types Of Damages Awarded For Soft Tissue Injuries
- What Is A Valid Whiplash Claim?
- I Have Suffered A Whiplash Injury, Could I Make A Claim?
- What Medical Evidence And Reports Do I Need?
- Whiplash Claim Amount – Compensation For A Whiplash Injury
- Make A No Win No Fee Claim For A Whiplash Injury
In the split second that you suffer a whiplash injury, you’re perhaps not thinking about whether you have a valid compensation claim. The immediate pain from whiplash can be extreme. Sufferers can experience anything from a mild, dull ache for a few hours to a lifetime of health problems. When our neck and spine are shunted out of alignment by impact, the results can be whiplash.
As you recover and learn to live with the consequences of the accident, many different issues might start to present themselves. In addition to needing time away from your job or source of employment, you could have child care issues. You may need a prolonged course of physiotherapy. Where do all these sudden funds come from? Savings or your partner can help you through your recovery. Recently there has been a big change to how whiplash cases are dealt with. Depending on when the injury took place will massively have a bearing on how you claim and whether you can still claim. As of the 31st May 2021, the Government brought in changes. The Whiplash Reform Programme has been introduced. The reform applies to cases of injuries that are low value.
If the whiplash or injuries of low value were caused before 31st May 2021, then the new rules do not apply and you go about your personal injury claim as before.
In this article, we have used two different types of compensation table calculators. The first one will look at figures for injuries pertaining to accidents before the 31st May 2021 and one will look at whiplash injury amounts after the reform.
The figures contained in the part of the guide have been taken from the Judicial College Guidelines. This publication provides suggested award amounts for a whole array of injuries, a brief cross-section of which is below:
|Type of injury
|Guideline Compensation Amount
|Very Severe Brain Damage
|£264,650 to £379,100
|Less Severe Brain Damage
|£14,380 to £40,410
|Traumatic Chest Injury
|£61,710 to £94,470
|Severe Neck Injury (i)
|In the region of
|Moderate Neck injury (i)
|£23,460 to £36,120
|Moderate Back Injury (i)
|£26,050 to £36,390
|Severe Shoulder Injury
|£18,020 to £45,070
|Fracture of the Clavicle
|£4,830 to £11,490
|Simple Forearm Fractures
|£6,190 to £18,020
|Moderate Toe Injuries
|Up to £9,010
These amounts are only suggestions. But they do provide your lawyer with a figure to argue for on your behalf based on similar cases in the past. It’s the court’s way of acknowledging that after an accident you can suffer in ways that might be difficult to gauge with precision. Matters such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Impact on personal relationships
- A general loss of amenity or pleasure in life after what happened
- The risk of long term health issues
These sums seek to remunerate you for that and are referred to as ‘general damages’.
General damages can form just the first part of your compensation for a valid whiplash claim. It is also recognised that you can suffer in financial ways through no fault of your own. It’s acknowledged that you should have a chance of getting these costs back, too.
Therefore, anything that you can provide as proof that shows how the injuries have lost you money can be considered. Lost earnings or any future amounts you have missed out on. The damage to an attendance bonus. Or the impact on your pension can all be looked at. All the bills, statements and invoices that show the money you had to pay out for personal care, childcare, household requirements or any other tasks you needed help with might be eligible.
Special damages cover a wide range. Hard evidence is needed to uphold your claim for these amounts. A No Win No Fee lawyer has the expertise to spot and identify costs that you may not think are eligible. When you benefit from the free legal advice they could offer, you might be surprised at how many amounts you could see returned to you as part of your damages.
As the victim of a road traffic accident, you might easily suffer whiplash when the sudden thrust forward or backwards causes your neck to jolt violently. Causation of accidents such as this can be speeding and erratic driving and failure to stop in time. If the car behind is moving too fast and impacts yours, even wearing a seatbelt it’s possible for your neck to absorb the shock. After impact, you might suffer from:
- Neck pain and tenderness
- Nausea and dizziness
- Muscle spasm or pins and needles (paresthesia)
- Shoulder and arm pain
- Severe pain and a sharp or dull ache in the neck
- Full or partial immobilization of the neck and shoulder
- Numbness in limbs
- Total loss of sensation
Any type of reckless driving on the part of another road user could create injuries like this for you as the driver or passenger. Under the Highway Code, all road users are obliged to show a duty of care to each other and resist poor or reckless driving decisions that can cause a hazard. With CCTV and witness statements, you can hold another road user liable for all your costs if they caused your injuries.
A valid whiplash claim would require you to demonstrate a sprain, strain, tear or rupture in the muscle, tendon or ligaments of the neck, back or shoulder. These symptoms may need to be validated with an independent medical assessment.
Time Limit For Whiplash Claims
The Limitation Act 1980 states that you will have three years to start a personal injury claim. This time limit normally applies from the date of the accident that caused your injury. Under some circumstances, the time limit can work differently.
If a child has suffered a whiplash injury, then the time limit for them to claim is paused until the day they turn 18. Before the injured child turns 18, a court-appointed litigation friend could make a claim on the child’s behalf. From their 18th birthday, they will have three years to start a claim if one has not already been made.
If the injured party lacks the mental capacity to make their own claim, the three-year time limit is indefinitely suspended. In such cases, a litigation friend could make a claim on the injured party’s behalf. If, however, the injured party later regains this mental capacity, they will have three years to start a claim from the date of recovery if a claim hasn’t already been made.
For more advice on time limits for whiplash claims, contact our advisors online or on the phone today.
Valid whiplash claims are still possible. Despite recent alterations in the law which sought to deny whiplash claims on the basis of testimony alone, with medical evidence this presents no problem to you. It demonstrates that you are serious and prepared to gather evidence to prove the wrong-doing that caused you so much pain and aggravation.
Medical assessments can seem daunting, but they are a way of validating your injuries. Through this assessment, you can be awarded the right amount of compensation. It is vital you get the correct amount of damages as once the claim is settled you cannot go back and ask for any more if your injuries become more serious.
Whiplash medical experts are adept at assessing injuries. They provide a report and prognosis that can be used to value your injuries. These experts can say whether treatment is needed, more test or exams and how long you may suffer in the future. This is concrete evidence in your claim for compensation. It directly proves that the actions of another road user caused an accident that impacted your neck in a way that has caused debilitating physical and financial problems.
The new reform means that all low injury claims will need some type of medical evidence. The examination will be performed by a qualified medical practitioner. During an independent medical assessment, the doctor will ask you some questions about your health history. This is an important way to establish that your injuries are not because of some previous long-standing medical condition or caused by something else. Questions about how much pain you are in, your ability to walk and how you are sleeping will be asked.
The doctor may ask you to perform a few simple tasks such as moving your head from side to side or backwards and forwards as much as you can. They may need to actually manually manipulate your head gently to assess the full extent of the injury. It is possible that more than one medical professional may be present. The whole examination should take between 30 – 60 minutes.
It is possible to be examined by a doctor with experience in producing reports for personal injury claims. Under some circumstances, one report may require a second follow up.
Whiplash payouts will depend on your circumstances and on whether you will be required to claim through the Whiplash Reform Programme (WRP) or not. When claiming through the WRP, compensation for a whiplash injury will be subject to the tariff of injuries in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021.
Even if you are not eligible to claim through the WRP, a low-value injury may still be valued and awarded at the rates shown in the tariff. If your injuries are not included in the tariff, the whiplash claim amount will be calculated the traditional way using the Judicial College Guidelines.
The table below shows the figures from The Regulations 2021 tariff.
|Duration of Injury
|Amount – Regulation 2 (1) (a) Whiplash
|Amount – Regulation 2 (1) (b) Whiplash + Psychological injury
|Not more than 3 months
|More than 3 months but not more than 6 months
|More than 6 months but not more than 9 months
|More than 9 months but not more than 12 months
|More than 12 months but not more than 15 months
|More than 15 months but not more than 18 months
|More than 18 months but not more than 24 months
Continue reading to find out more, otherwise speak to our advisors and they can discuss whiplash payouts with you for free.
No Win No Fee is an expression that many people associate with medical negligence and personal injury cases. But what does it mean and what might be the benefits of an arrangement such as this to your whiplash claim?
A No Win No Fee agreement means that the lawyer sends you a contract in which you agree to pay a percentage from any settlement amount you receive in your claim. The fee only needs to be paid if your case wins.
Importantly, the lawyer knows that their fee comes from a successful outcome so they give the case their full attention and aim for the highest possible award. You can simply provide as much evidence as you can of physical harm and financial loss and await the outcome. The lawyer does the rest.
No Win No Fee allows people to access immediate legal representation. You can establish a valid whiplash claim despite the new changes in these laws. We can connect you with free legal advice in one phone call. Get your successful claim started today. Speak with our team now to discover if you have a valid whiplash claim:
Related Claims Guides
In conclusion, thank you for reading this guide on valid whiplash claims. At Advice.co.uk we can assist with other types of personal injury cases such as accidents in the workplace or accidents that took place in public areas because of negligence. Perhaps you’ve been affected by other types of road traffic accidents that were not your fault? Or if you would like to find out if a whiplash claim can be refused, we can help you.
If you’re looking for more information on road traffic accidents, the Government produce regular statistics that show the type and prevalence. This NHS link offers some useful tips for diagnosing and treating neck injury and there is a link to whiplash support that you might find helpful.