By Danielle Newton. Last Updated 17th January 2023. 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?
- Can You Claim For Whiplash? See If You Meet The Criteria
- Is My Injury Worth More Than The £5,000 Limit?
- How Much Is A Whiplash Claim Worth?
- 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.
Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, all road users owe each other a duty of care. This means that they must do everything they reasonably can to prevent each other from experiencing harm. The Highway Code sets out additional rules and regulations for using the roads.
If you suffered a minor injury, such as whiplash from a car accident, you could be eligible for compensation. However, you must be able to demonstrate that another driver breached their duty of care and this caused your injuries.
As we already stated, the severity of your injuries along with the value of any special damages will determine whether you claim through the government portal or make a traditional personal injury claim.
Can You Claim For Whiplash?
If you are aged 18 or over and were the driver or a passenger in a vehicle, or a public transport passenger, your claim could be made through the government portal. A medical assessment will be arranged. This is to prove your injuries along with the severity. Additionally, the negligent driver needs to be identified. If the driver is not identified, such as in a hit and run, or uninsured, your claim could be made through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) instead.
However, if you are making a personal injury claim for whiplash, you may require other supporting evidence. For example, dashcam footage to show the other driver was at fault.
Call our advisors for a free road traffic accident claim assessment. They can look at the validity of your claim. This is in addition to providing a free valuation, which can help you decide if you should claim through the government portal or make a traditional personal injury 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.
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident, you may be wondering. ‘How much is a whiplash claim worth?’. As we have previously established, due to the Whiplash Reform Programme, for a whiplash claim, the amount you receive will depend on how much your injuries are valued at, alongside other factors of your claim.
For a road traffic accident claim valued at over £5,000, your settlement may include general and special damages.
Any financial losses you have suffered due to your injuries could be compensated with special damages. For example, if you were unable to work, you could have suffered a loss of earnings. This could be compensated under special damages. You will need evidence of these losses, such as payslips.
How your quality of life was impacted, including any pain and suffering your injuries have caused you, could be compensated under general damages.
Below we have created a table using the figures set out in the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG provides compensation brackets for various injuries and is used by many legal professionals to help value claims. Please only use this table as a guide.
|Neck Injury||(a) Severe (i)||A severe injury that results in incomplete paraplegia with severe headaches and very restricted neck movement.||In the region of
|Neck Injury||(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.||£65,740 to £130,930|
|Neck Injury||(a) Severe (iii)||Soft tissue damage or ruptured tendons than can cause permanent and significant disability||£45,470 to £55,990|
|Neck Injury||(b) Moderate (i)||Dislocations or fractures that cause immediate symptoms.||£24,990 to £38,490|
|Neck Injury||(b) Moderate (ii)||Soft tissue and wrenching-type injuries that can result in limited movement, recurring pain and the possible need for surgery||£13,740 to £24,990|
|Neck Injury||(b) Moderate (iii)||Injuries which can make pre-existing conditions worse.||£7,890 to £13,740|
|Neck Injury||(c) Minor (i)||Minor soft tissue injury with a full recovery within 1 - 2 years||£4,080 to £7,410|
|Shoulder Injury||(a) Severe||Often associated with neck injuries where the brachial plexus has been damaged which causes a serious disability.||£19,200 to £48,030|
|Shoulder Injury||(b) Serious||The shoulder has been dislocated with the brachial plexus becoming damaged. This causes pain in the neck and shoulder.||£12,770 to £19,200|
Contact our advisors today if you are unsure what avenue you should take when making a claim for whiplash.
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