In this guide, we will look at how new whiplash claim rules might affect your pursuit of compensation. From 31st May 2021, new low-value road traffic accident claims are subject to the Whiplash Reform Programme. You may be wondering how these new rules will affect your claim.
If you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident and suffered a whiplash injury as a result, you may be considering making a claim for compensation. However, the government has now changed how you can claim for whiplash. This article will look at these new whiplash rules in detail.
Read on to find out more about how the new rules may affect your claim. Alternatively, you could contact us directly about your case.
Our team of advisors are experienced and can offer free legal advice and support. They could also pass you on to a solicitor from our panel, who could help you start a personal injury claim today.
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Select A Section
- What Are The Whiplash Reform Programme And The New Whiplash Claim Rules?
- How Will The New Whiplash Claim Rules Affect My Claim?
- Are All Road Traffic Accident Claims Affected By The New Rules?
- Do The New Whiplash Claim Rules Impact Multiple Injury Claims?
- Calculating Payouts Under The New Whiplash Claim Rules
- Learn More About No Win No Fee Whiplash Injury Claims
The Whiplash Reform Programme affects how low-valued road traffic accident claims can be made. It’s a new set of rules that have been put in place surrounding certain low-value road traffic accident claims.
It’s important to note that not all claims will be subject to these new regulations. It only applies to drivers and passengers over the age of 18. If you’re under 18 or were injured as a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist, then your claim will not be subject to these new rules.
What Is The Whiplash Reform Programme?
These new regulations affect claims where the injuries are worth less than £5,000. These kinds of claims must now be made through an online portal.
You will also be able to claim special damages that take your claim up to the value of £10,000 through this portal. We will take a closer look at special damages later on in this guide.
The Whiplash Injury Regulations is a piece of legislation that has reclassified the value of most whiplash claims that last for up to 2 years.
To figure out if the new whiplash rules will affect your claim, we should first look at what these changes actually are:
- The Whiplash Reform Programme now includes a set compensation tariff for whiplash injuries that last up to 2 years.
- There is now a ban on settling whiplash claims without medical evidence. The Official Injury Claim (OIC) service can help claimants source medical reports.
- An increase to the Small Claims Track was introduced, which meant that more low-value claims can now proceed through the Small Claims Track. This is now for injuries valued under £5,000 where previously it was only up to £1,000.
- The introduction of the OIC service means that claimants can easily claim compensation through an online portal.
Another way these new whiplash claim rules could affect your claim is that you now are required to provide medical evidence, or else you won’t be able to settle your claim. The OIC service or your solicitor can help you arrange this medical appointment, where your injuries will be assessed.
A professional will assess the severity of your injuries and how they may continue to affect you in the future. This will be key to valuing your claim. If this shows that your injuries are worth more than £5,000, you could potentially make a personal injury claim in the usual manner, without going through this portal.
However, before you begin the claims process through the Whiplash Reform Programme, you should know that you could be undervaluing your injuries. To find out more about how much your injuries could be worth, get in touch with our team of advisors today.
Do I Need To Claim Via The Official Injury Claim Portal?
As aforementioned, you are now obligated to make your compensation claim through the OIC online portal if your injuries are valued at under £5,000. However, it is important to note this only applies to claims arising on or after the 31st of May 2021
The online portal can be helpful, as it may be quicker than the usual personal injury claim proceedings. Personal injury claims can sometimes be complicated and take a long time, depending on the circumstances. However, this is why we always recommend hiring a solicitor, as they have the knowledge and experience to help make the claims process much easier for you.
You could potentially be entitled to more compensation than you think. Get in touch with our advisors to find out more.
Can I Still Claim With A Solicitor?
Even if you are claiming through the OIC online portal, it could still be helpful to hire a solicitor to help you with the claims process. They will have the requisite experience to be able to ensure you apply for all the compensation you can.
It is important to note that you can apply for more than just the cost of the suffering caused by your injury. You can also claim for other losses relating to your injury. This would be referred to as special damages in a personal injury claim.
This part of your claim aims to reimburse you for specific financial losses relating to your injury. For example, you could claim treatment costs or a loss of earnings if you have to take time off work.
Hiring a solicitor can help you with this. They can guide you through every step of the claims process to ensure you’re applying for the correct amount of compensation for your losses.
The solicitors on our panel have years of experience they can draw on to help with your claim. If you get in touch with our team of advisors, they could pass you on to a solicitor from our panel to start your whiplash claim today.
Although the new whiplash claim rules affect many road traffic accident claims, there are some exceptions. Not every road traffic accident will be affected.
For example, some road user groups would be unable to make a claim through the Whiplash Reform Programme. This includes:
- Scooter and e-scooter users
- Anyone under the age of 18
If you want to find out more about if you could be eligible to make a claim, get in touch with our advisors today.
Depending on how your injuries are valued, the new whiplash claim rules could potentially still impact your claim, even if it is for multiple injuries.
As long as your combined injuries are still valued below £5,000, you would still need to make your claim through the OIC online portal. It is only once claims exceed this amount that you could potentially make a personal injury claim through the usual channel.
For example, if you suffered a soft tissue injury in the neck and a minor wrist injury, this may be valued under £5,000, so you would still use the online portal to make your claim. However, if you were in a car accident and suffered injuries to the neck, back and shoulder, this may exceed £5,000, at which point you could make a personal injury claim with a solicitor.
This section includes two compensation tables. One includes figures from the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. The amounts shown are paid out for claims made through the online portal.
The other table includes figures from the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a publication used to work out how much higher-valued claims can be worth when they cannot be made through the portal.
Payouts Calculated Under The Whiplash Reform Programme
This section includes the table that shows the figures attached to one or more whiplash injuries in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. This is the piece of legislation that has made it so that most whiplash injuries that persist for less than 2 years are now worth less than £5,000. These claims would be made through the OIC online portal and are specific and set amounts.
Duration Compensation for Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity Compensation for Pain, Suffering, Loss of Amenity and Minor Psychological Damage
No more than 3 months £240 £260
More than 3 but less than 6 months £495 £520
More than 6 but less than 9 months £840 £895
More than 9 but less than 12 months £1,320 £1,390
More than a year, but less than 15 months £2,040 £2,125
More than 15 but less than 18 months £3,005 £3,100
More than 18 months but less than 2 years £4,215 £4,345
The second column shows figures attached for one or more whiplash injuries. The third column shows figures attached to these injuries where minor psychological injuries have also been sustained.
Payouts Calculated Under The JC Guidelines
The table in this section is for injuries valued at over £5,000. These figures are calculated from past case studies, so they are not guaranteed and are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines.
Legal professionals use this document to help value the general damages element of your claim, which aims to cover the pain and suffering caused by your injury.
|Head/Brain||Minor||£2,070 to £11,980||Brain damage will be minimal, if present. Amount of compensation will depend on the severity, the length of time taken to recover, and the extent of lasting symptoms. Injuries towards the bottom of this bracket may need to be claimed through the online portal.|
|Neck||Severe (i)||Around £139,210||Neck injuries associated with partial paraplegia or where the injured person, despite wearing a collar 24 hours a day for years, still has almost no movement in the neck and suffers severe headaches.|
|Neck||Moderate (ii)||£12,900 to £23,460||Cases of soft tissue injuries or disc lesions that result in serious limitation of movement, permanent pain, discomfort, and the possible need for surgery. This bracket could also cover injuries that have exacerbated a pre-existing condition.|
|Back||Severe (ii)||£69,600 to £82,980||There may be nerve root damage with associated loss of sensation, impaired mobility, sexual difficulties, impaired bladder and bowel function and unsightly scarring.|
|Back||Moderate (i)||£26,050 to £36,390||This could include a variety of injuries such as compression or crush fractures or prolapsed discs.|
|Shoulder||Severe||£18,020 to £45,070||Often associated with severe neck injuries that have resulted in a significant disability.|
|Shoulder||Serious||£11,980 to £18,020||Dislocation of the shoulder causing pain in the shoulder and neck, aching in the elbow and sensory issues in the forearm and hand, leading to restricted shoulder movement.|
|Elbow||(A)||£36,770 to £51,460||A severely disabling injury.|
|Wrist||(B)||£22,990 to £36,770||This injury results in a significant and permanent disability with some useful movement remaining.|
You could also claim for special damages in your claim under these new whiplash claim rules. This aims to cover specific financial losses that have occurred due to your injury. This could include:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses not covered by the NHS
- Adaptions to the home
- Travel expenses
You could also claim for possible financial loss of the future that directly results from your accident or injury. You should provide evidence of these costs, such as receipts or payslips; without this, you may find it difficult to claim.
If you’re considering making a whiplash claim, you could potentially be concerned about the costs attached to hiring a solicitor. A No Win No Fee agreement could benefit you if this is the case.
If a solicitor offers their services on a No Win No Fee basis, this means you don’t have to worry about upfront or ongoing costs. You won’t be required to pay your solicitor for their work if your claim does not succeed.
Your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation amount once it is fully paid if your claim is successful. This is legally capped to prevent you from being overcharged.
If this type of agreement sounds appealing to you, get in touch with our advisors today. They can offer you free legal advice about your case and pass you on to a solicitor from our panel to start your whiplash claim today.
Thank you for reading our guide about the new whiplash claim rules. For more related guides, please see below.
Uninsured and Untraced Driver Compensation Claim – Find out how you could claim if you were in a car accident and the other party was uninsured or untraceable.
Spinal and Back Injury Compensation – See how much your back or spine injury could be worth using our guide.
Motor Insurers Bureau – You can claim through the MIB if you’ve been hit by a driver that is uninsured or untraceable.
Brake – This road safety charity aims to support crash victims.
Whiplash – This NHS page explains how whiplash could affect someone and how it may be treated.
Thank you for reading our article on the new whiplash claim rules.
Guide by AO