Last Updated By Danielle Nicholson on 22nd December 2023. Your car bears the visible damage of a car accident. You have neck pain every time you move your head. What more evidence do you need for a whiplash claim? The government have amended the laws around low amount whiplash compensation amounts with a fixed tariff for claims under £5,000 that last no longer than two years. This figure goes above to £10,000 if it includes financial losses. In order to still prove you have significant whiplash, we explain what these new rules mean and how you could still seek damages for your no-fault injuries.
New Whiplash Rules
It was recognised that whiplash claims needed to be reformed. Insurance premiums were increasing year on year causing premiums to escalate. Under legislation brought in by the Civil Liability Act 2018, any road traffic accident (including whiplash) up to the value of £5,000 must be processed in a new way. The reforms include an online portal that aims to simplify the whiplash claims process for people. Medical evidence to prove you have whiplash is now essential.
These new rules will aim to save motorists £35 per year on their premiums. The savings these reforms create could see £1.2 billion being passed on to motorists, but how does this help you? As the victim of a whiplash claim, we look at your right to claim and how an amount can be calculated to reflect the pain and suffering you’ve endured.
Service and Information
- When Can You Make A Whiplash Claim?
- Whiplash Injury Compensation Calculator
- What Is The Role Of Medical Evidence?
- I Suffered A Whiplash Injury, What Should I Do?
- Claim For A Whiplash Injury On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Related Whiplash And Road Accident Claims Guides
If you are using the roads, you and all other road users, including vehicle drivers, motorbike riders, cyclists and those on foot, owe each other a duty of care to navigate in a way that prevents the occurrence of injury and damage. To uphold this duty, road users are expected to adhere to the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code. If you suffered whiplash in a road traffic accident, you may have a valid claim.
However, you must have evidence that proves you meet the personal injury claims eligibility criteria. As part of the claims process, you must be able to prove that:
- Another road user owed you a duty of care.
- They breached this duty.
- As part of this breach, you suffered an injury.
As stated above, the way claims for certain road traffic accidents are made has changed. The Whiplash Reform Programme applies to claims made on or after 31st of May 2021. The changes brought in mean that if the following applies, you will make your claim through a different route:
- The road traffic accident must have occurred in England or Wales.
- You must be aged 18 or above.
- You must have been the passenger or driver in a vehicle.
- Your injuries must be valued at £5,000 or less. This is not limited to whiplash but could include a soft tissue injury, broken ribs or another minor injury.
Additionally, if you suffered whiplash in a car accident, your whiplash injuries will be valued in line with the tariff amounts found in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. If you have suffered any other injuries not included in the tariff, these will be valued traditionally. Also, if the total value of your claim comes over £5,000, you will claim in the traditional way but whiplash injuries will still be valued using the tariff. We look at how much compensation you could get and how whiplash claims are valued further in the next section.
Please contact a member of our advisory team if you would like to make a claim for whiplash. They can help ensure that your whiplash injury claim is accurately valued and advise on the route you can take to seek compensation. Once your personal injury claim is settled, it cannot be reopened, even if further whiplash symptoms appear or you suffer from more severe neck pain.
Whiplash Injury Compensation Calculator
You may want to use a whiplash claim compensation calculator for an estimate of how much compensation you could receive. However, compensation calculators may not consider every aspect of your personal injury claim, such as all the financial losses you experienced as a result of your injuries. The table in the section below can be used as an alternative to a compensation calculator.
Successful personal injury claims may consist of two parts: general and special damages. General damages compensate for the physical pain and emotional harm caused by the injuries you suffered; whereas special damages compensate for the financial losses that have been caused by these injuries.
To help assign value to injuries suffered in a car crash, reference can be made to the guideline compensation brackets found in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document lists a variety of different injuries alongside a severity level that considers what impact such injuries would have on the claimant’s lifestyle. Additionally, to help assess the full extent of your injuries, you will be invited to an independent medical assessment as part of the road traffic accident claims process. This can produce a report that provides details on how your injuries are likely to affect you in the future.
In the table below, we look at a few figures relevant to sustaining a neck injury in a car accident. These are taken from the 16th edition of the JCG, with the exception of the first entry. Also, the bottom two entries are from the fixed tariff set out in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021, used to value whiplash injuries as mentioned earlier. This table is only for guidance and does not represent the value of your whiplash compensation.
As discussed above, you could also be awarded special damages as part of a successful claim. Special damages can recover compensation for any expenses incurred as a result of your whiplash injury. It can include the costs towards:
- Medical expenses, such as over-the-counter painkillers.
- Loss of earnings for time off work to recover.
- Vehicle repairs.
- Help at home, such as with childcare or cleaning while in recovery.
To recover these expenses, you should submit proof, such as receipts and invoices.
If you would like to discuss what you could receive as part of your compensation settlement, please speak with a member of our advisory team. They can also advice on what special damages could be recovered as part of your claim for whiplash.
Proving a whiplash claim now requires mandatory medical evidence. 550,000 claims for road traffic accident were made in 2019/20. The presence of definitive medical evidence aims to reduce this.
Your medical evidence provides a personal injury lawyer, if you decide to use one with the evidence to seek the right amount possible on your behalf. Our friendly team can explain any questions you may have about arranging a medical assessment. They can also answer any additional questions such as, ‘Can pre-existing injuries affect a whiplash claim?’, as well as offer you free advice for your case.
Vertebrae and disc or nerve damage can be read much more clearly by CT and MRI imaging techniques, often providing a definitive assessment of the extent of bone and tissue damage. MRI scans and other imaging modalities can be used to see the extend of vertebrae damage or misalignment. X-Rays can be taken to rule out severe damage such as a fracture. Seeing right into the heart of the injury.
Most patients would only undergo this procedure if their symptoms were long term. MRI images bone and can provide good soft tissue differentiation, but its use for whiplash damage assessment remains controversial.
Each assessment will vary. When you decide to launch a personal injury claim, a lawyer can help arrange a medical assessment for you and they will give advice as to the best supporting evidence you can obtain. Speak to our team now for further guidance.
How Long Do You Have To Claim For A Whiplash Injury?
There is a personal injury claim time limit of 3 years. This can be from the date you suffered the accident or from the date you became aware that your injury was suffered because of negligence. There are exceptions to this rule. So please call our advisors for clarification.
Also, you can act on behalf of a minor or someone with diminished responsibility if they were harmed. ‘Litigation friends’ as they are known can seek damages on behalf of others injured.
At work, in public or on the roads, others have a duty of care to our safety, as we do to them. Rules of the road seek to ensure that care is taken when driving to avoid causing whiplash and other road traffic accidents in the first place. You can read in detail the expectations for motorists under the Highway Code here. If you suffered whiplash because of the erratic actions of another road user and were left with much more than just a pain in the neck, we can help.
At Advice.co.uk we can discuss your case in a brief, informal chat with our call team. In a matter of minutes, we can advise you on your eligibility for compensation and connect you with a No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor. The free legal advice they offer can help you establish if you have a valid claim.
Anything that you can prove has been an expense to you because of the injuries could be something your defendant has to reimburse you. Pain and suffering, lost wages and physiotherapy costs could all be included. When you can prove whiplash injury, the compensation you receive could take care of all the unforeseen expenses and losses you’ve suffered because of their negligence.
With this in mind, connecting with a No Win No Fee lawyer can still help. The legal complexities and jargon can be off-putting for many. Personal injury claims for road traffic accidents can be complex and drawn out. It might be a better option for you to seek legal help. No Win No Fee solicitors do not charge any fees upfront:
- Firstly, by needing no upfront fees from them to hire the solicitor
- With no fees to pay as the case proceeds
- Nothing at all to pay your solicitor if the case fails
- Furthermore, a fee is only deducted from cases that win
- The amount deducted is capped by law to ensure you receive as much compensation for your whiplash injuries as possible
- In addition, No Win No Fee solicitors take a percentage from only successful cases. So obviously, it’s in their best interests to give your case their full attention.
No Win No Fee solicitors tend to be very frank about the chances of success for your case. Working with an arrangement like this means that unless there is a good chance of winning, their time will have been for nothing. So it’s important to discuss how viable your claim is initially.
To sum up, thank you for reading our guide on how to prove you have whiplash. Speak to our team and see how we could help calculate your compensation fully based on all the evidence you can share.
At Advice.co.uk we offer help with all manner of personal injury claims. Also, accidents in the workplace are an area of expertise, as are negligence road traffic accidents. Perhaps you were hurt in a public place by a failure on the part of those responsible? We can help here also.
Furthermore, we can offer links to help and advice on living with neck injury, how to use the services of the NHS to its best advantage and more information on road safety statistics.