In this article, we discuss the minimum speed for a whiplash claim and what evidence you may need to make an effective claim. We will also look at how some changes to the law may affect how claims of this nature are made.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, this could cause a wide range of different injuries. One of these injuries is whiplash. If you can prove that the accident and your subsequent injuries were caused by the negligence of another road user, you may be able to claim.
At Public Interest Lawyers we have a vested interest in helping our readers access instant and high-quality legal advice. This information is free and confidential. If you are already suffering from neck injuries caused by another motorist and need to commence a claim now, please get in touch. You can:
- Call our free, no-obligation helpline on 0800 408 7825
- Contact us via our website
- Use the ‘live support’ option to the bottom of this screen for immediate help
Select A Section
- What Is The Minimum Speed For A Whiplash Claim?
- How Are Whiplash Injuries Defined In Law?
- Why Isn’t There A Minimum Speed For Whiplash Claims?
- Is My Injury Worth More Than The £5,000 Limit?
- Whiplash And Road Traffic Accident Claims Calculator
- Get Help From A No Win No Fee Road Traffic Accident Solicitor
A whiplash injury can happen when one vehicle collides with another. The nature of a whiplash injury is that the head is thrown forward and then backwards in one sudden motion. This causes the ligaments to be stretched beyond their normal range of motion.
Some of the symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness of the neck and difficulty moving the head
- Spasms in the arm and shoulders
If you experience any of the following, this might be caused by damage to the nerves in your neck and back:
- Severe pain despite the use of painkillers
- Tingling or a “pins and needles” sensation in your body
- Difficulty walking or sitting straight
- An “electric shock” feeling in the neck and back
- Weakness in the arms or legs
Whiplash may be perceived as a minor injury, but for sufferers, it can entail months or even years of painful recovery. Furthermore, an accident in which you sustain whiplash could even affect you psychologically.
It is important to note that whiplash injuries can occur at speeds as low as between 5 – 10mph. However, there is no minimum speed for a whiplash claim as outlined in legislation.
Whiplash is defined in the Civil Liabilities Act 2018 as soft tissue injury to a muscle, tendon or ligament in the neck, back or shoulder. It can be a:
However, an injury will not be considered whiplash if it is a part of or connected with another injury, and this other injury isn’t a whiplash injury.
How The Whiplash Reforms Could Affect Your Claim
The Whiplash Reforms will affect people making a claim if their accident happened after May 2021. Claims prior to this date can still be processed in the traditional manner.
Whiplash claimants will now have to use the government’s Official Injury Claims website ‘portal’ which is aimed at assisting them to accurately evaluate their neck injuries and offer compensation amounts based on a new fixed tariff.
Claims up to the value of £5,000 (and equivalent to £10,000 in total) need to be processed in this way from now on. However, these regulations only apply to claims made by adult drivers and passengers.
In addition to this, there is now a ban on ‘pre-medical offers of settlement’ in affected claims. This means that it is not possible to settle a claim without a medical report about your injuries has been sought.
Whiplash can occur in low-speed scenarios that involve drivers, passengers, cyclists or even pedestrians. For this reason, there’s no minimum speed that either vehicle needs to have been travelling at in order for a claim of this nature to be made.
In some cases, the injured person might not even have had to have been travelling in a vehicle in order to experience whiplash. Whiplash can be sustained as the result of a fall where your head and neck are forced into a backwards-and-forwards motion.
For example, a pedestrian might be knocked off their feet by a vehicle travelling at a very low speed. Nevertheless, the force of the fall could cause damage to the ligaments and tendons of the neck or back.
It’s important to bear in mind that in the above scenario, the pedestrian would not be expected to claim through the new online portal even if their injuries were worth less than £5,000. This is because the reforms only apply to adult drivers and passengers. However, it’s effective at illustrating why there’s no minimum speed for a whiplash claim.
Whiplash is not the only injury that is subject to these new regulations; they apply to all claims where the injuries are worth less than £5,000. It can be difficult to accurately assess whether your injury falls under this threshold of £5,000.
For this reason, we recommend that you seek legal advice if you’re considering making a whiplash claim. While there’s no minimum speed for a whiplash claim, the severity of your injuries will dictate which route the claim is made through.
One of our advisors can speak with you about your injuries and give you a valuation of the worth of your claim. They’ll then be able to let you know how much your injuries are worth.
While there is no minimum speed for a whiplash claim, you must have been sufficiently injured. A stiff neck for a period of a day or two would be unlikely to be the basis of a claim. Speak with an advisor today for more information.
In this article, we have established that there is no minimum speed for a whiplash claim, and the role played by the Whiplash Reform Programme in changing how these claims are made. Now, we will look at the potential compensation that could be awarded in these claims.
Payouts Calculated Using The Judicial College Guidelines
For road traffic accident claims that are valued at over £5,000, settlements are worked out with the help of a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines. This guide offers award bracket amounts to reflect pain and suffering and impact on the quality of life.
Below, we’ve included a table based on these guidelines. It shows the potential compensation brackets for a number of different neck injuries.
|Injury||severity||notes||JCG award bracket|
|Neck||(a) Severe (i)||An acute injury that results in incomplete paraplegia with severe headaches and very restricted neck movement||In the region of
|Neck||(a) Severe (ii)||Serious fractures and cervical spine disc damage creating substantial loss of movement in the neck. Function may also be lost in one or more limbs.||£61,710 to £122,860|
|Neck||(a) Severe (iii)||Soft tissue damage or ruptured tendons than can cause permanent and significant disability||£42,680 to £52,540|
|Neck||(b) Moderate (i)||Chronic conditions with referred pain to other parts|
of the body. Increase risk of impaired function and limitation of activities.
|£23,460 to £36,120|
|Neck||(b) Moderate (ii)||Soft tissue and wrenching-type injuries that can result in limited movement, recurring pain and the possible need for surgery||£12,900 to £23,460|
|Neck||(b) Moderate (iii)||Injuries which can make pre-existing conditions worse. This bracket might also be appropriate for soft tissue injuries leading to a protracted recovery.||£7,410 to £12,900|
|Neck||(c) Minor (i)||Minor soft tissue injury with a full recovery within 1 - 2 years||£4,080 to £7,410|
|Neck||(c) Minor (ii)||Minor soft tissue injury with a recovery that takes place within three months to a year||£2,300 to £4,080|
|Neck||(c) Minor (iii)||Minor soft tissue injury with a recovery that takes place within 3 months||Up to £2,300|
Tariff From The Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021
For claims that need to be processed through the Whiplash Reform Programme, the tariff of amounts is as follows:
|Injury duration||Amount regulation 2 (1) (a)||Amount regulation 2(1)(b)|
|No longer than 3 months||£240||£260|
|More than 3 months but no more than 6 months||£495||£520|
|More than 6 months but no more than 9 months||£840||£895|
|More than 9 months but no more than 12 months||£1,320||£1,390|
|More than 12 months but no more than 15 months||£2,040||£2,125|
|More than 15 months but no more than 18 months||£3,005||£3,100|
|More than 18 months but no more than 20 months||£4,215||£4,345|
The first column relates to the total amount of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity in relation to one or more whiplash injuries. The second list includes an amount where the injured person has sustained a minor psychological injury as well as whiplash.
In addition to the compensation you receive for your injuries (called general damages), you could also receive “special damages”. This part of your compensation can reimburse you for financial losses or expenses that you’ve incurred because of your injuries. For example, you may have experienced a loss of earnings because you’ve had to take time off work to recover.
One of our advisors could assess the value of the general and special damages head of your claim. What’s more, they could connect you with a No Win No Fee agreement from our panel; read on for information on what exactly this means.
Having established that there is no minimum speed for a whiplash claim, you might be wondering how you can access legal representation for your claim. Hiring a solicitor in the usual way can be financially risky, as you may end up with large legal bills after an unsuccessful claim.
With a No Win No Fee agreement, you won’t be asked to make an upfront or ongoing payment to your solicitor. You also won’t be asked to pay them anything in the event that the claim is unsuccessful.
If you’re awarded compensation, your solicitor will deduct a percentage of your compensation as a “success fee”. This success fee will be subject to a legal cap, meaning that you keep the majority of the compensation you’re awarded.
To learn how our panel of personal injury solicitors could help you today, simply:
- Call our free helpline on 0800 408 7825
- Contact us via our website
- Use the ‘live support’ option to the bottom of this screen for immediate advice.
Minimum speed for a whiplash claim- References
Thank you for reading this guide on the various claim options. We have also included some additional guides below:
- How do I know if I have a valid whiplash compensation claim?
- How much compensation can be awarded for a motorcycle accident?
- Can you claim if injured as a pedestrian?
- Advice from the NHS about whiplash
- Techniques for pain management
- Think.gov.uk releases government road safety campaigns.
Thank you for reading our guide on the minimum speed for a whiplash claim.
Guide by EA
Checked by ET