I Was Hit From Behind In A Car Accident – Can I Claim Compensation For Whiplash?

By Danielle Graves. Last Updated 20th September 2023. If while in a car you have been in an accident whereby you were hit from behind and suffered whiplash, you may be considering making a personal injury claim. But just what is involved in making a claim, how do you know whether you’re eligible, and how do you prove who is at fault? These questions and more are answered in this guide.

Below, we offer some useful information about rear end collision whiplash claims. We provide information about whiplash injuries, answering questions such as ‘How long after an accident do you get whiplash?’ and ‘What is the best treatment for whiplash?’

a person rubbing their neck after suffering whiplash in a car accident

Car accident hit from behind whiplash claims guide

We also answer questions such as ‘Are you always at fault in a rear end collision?’ and ‘How much compensation do you get for whiplash?’

We hope you find the guidance below useful. If you have any questions about rear end collisions and whiplash injuries, or you’d like to begin a claim and are looking for a lawyer to help you, please call us.

We could check your eligibility to claim and connect you with a solicitor from our panel that could help you get the compensation you deserve. You can reach us on 0161 696 9685.

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Can I Claim For Whiplash If A Car Hit Me From Behind?

If you were rear ended while in your car, you may have suffered whiplash and would like to know if you can claim compensation. While using the roads, road users owe each other a duty of care to navigate in a way that prevents injury and damage to themselves and others. As part of this duty, they are expected to adhere to the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code.

So, if you are claiming for whiplash after a car accident, you will need to prove that another driver failed to adhere to the duty of care, and this caused your injuries. Additionally, your claim may be impacted by the Whiplash Reform Regulations, which we will explain later in this guide.

If a car from behind hit you, contact an advisor from our team. They can go through your eligibility to claim and if it seems like you have a case, you could be passed onto one of the No Win No Fee solicitors from our panel.

Time Limit For Making A Whiplash Claim

If you are eligible to make a personal injury claim for injuries suffered when you were hit by a car from behind, you must start legal proceedings within the limitation period. The Limitation Act 1980 sets this as typically three years from the date of the accident.

However, in certain circumstances, there are exceptions to this time limit. These include:

  • Those under the age of 18. These injured parties have a pause applied to the time limit that lasts until their 18th birthday. Before this date, a court-appointed litigation friend can initiate the claims process for them. However, if a claim has not been started for them by the time of their 18th birthday, they will have three years from that date to begin the process.
  • Those who lack the mental capacity to start their own claim have the time limit suspended indefinitely. During this time, a litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf. However, if the injured party regains this mental capacity and a claim was not made for them, they will have three years from the date of recovery to begin the process.

If you are claiming for whiplash after a car accident and would like more information on the time limitations or to find out if you are still eligible to claim, get in touch with an advisor using the details at the top of the screen.

What Evidence Do You Need For Whiplash Claims?

If you were in a car accident and were hit from behind causing a whiplash injury, you would need to provide evidence of your injuries in order to claim for them. Below, you can find some steps that you could take to prove and support your whiplash claim.

  • Seek medical attention – Your priority should always be your own wellbeing. If you have been injured, then receiving treatment for these injuries is very important. If you have been involved in a car crash or rear end collision, you may even have been injured without your immediate knowledge. It’s always best to be checked over by a medical professional just to be safe.
  • Photographic evidence – You could present visual footage of the incident in the form of CCTV footage or even photographs.
  • Seek legal advice – Having a solicitor to assist you during the process of making a claim could make it easier to understand. If you’d like the help of an experienced lawyer, get in touch with our advisors today. We could connect you with one from our panel.

Rear End Collision Fault In The UK

Rule 126 of the Highway Code sets out what distance you should keep from the vehicle in front of you. This is to avoid a rear-end collision. However, if you hit a car from behind, there are circumstances in which you may not be at fault. These include:

  • The driver in front driving aggressively, such as braking unexpectedly without reason.
  • Merging in front of you in a dangerous manner.
  • Failing to pull over when the driver in front broke down.
  • Sudden reversal of the vehicle.
  • Faulty/broken brake lights.

To claim for injuries suffered in a road traffic accident, you will need to prove rear end collision fault in the UK. You may wish to seek legal advice. A No Win No Fee solicitor can help you gather evidence to prove rear end collision fault in the UK. For example, if anyone witnesses you hitting or being hit by a car from behind, a solicitor can request statements.

Get in touch today for a free consultation of your claim. Our advisors could potentially connect you with one of the expert solicitors on our panel.

Car Hit Me From Behind – Whose Fault In The UK

If you hit another car from behind and suffered injuries as a result, you might be eligible to make a claim. However, you will need to prove that you are not at fault. Call our advisors anytime for a free claim eligibility check.

Car Accident Compensation

If you’ve been rear-ended by a car due to a driver breaching the duty of care they owed and you have sustained injuries as a result, then you could be owed compensation. Settlements for a whiplash road traffic accident claim could include general damages and special damages. General damages account for the pain and suffering caused by your injuries. 

To assist legal professionals when valuing general damages, they will often turn to certain resources. One of these is medical evidence, whilst another is a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document containing guideline compensation brackets for different injuries. We have included some of these in the table below. 

Additionally, we have included figures from the tariff outlined in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021.

Whilst the JCG figures in the table should only be used as a guide, the whiplash entries at the bottom of the table are fixed amounts.

Type of InjuryExplanatory NotesCompensation
Neck Injuries - Severe (i)Neck injuries in this bracket include those that are associated with paraplegia that's incomplete or injuries that lead to spastic quadriparesis that's permanent.In the region of £148,330
Neck Injuries - Severe (ii)Damage or fractures to cervical spine discs that cause a considerable disability.£65,740 to £130,930
Neck Injuries - Severe (iii)Dislocations, fractures or severe soft tissue damage that lead to chronic conditions.£45,470 to £55,990
Neck injuries - Moderate (i)Dislocations or fractures that cause immediate and severe symptoms and may also require spinal fusion.£24,990 to £38,490
Neck injuries - Moderate (ii)Injuries that have accelerated and/or exacerbated a pre-existing conditions by 5+ years.£13,740 to £24,990

Neck injuries - Moderate (iii)Moderate soft tissue injuries, or injuries that have accelerate a pre-existing condition by less than 5 years.£7,890 to £13,740
Back Injuries - Severe (iii)Disc lesions or fractures and soft tissue injuries that lead to chronic conditions.£38,780 to £69,730
Back Injuries - Moderate (i)A compression or crush injury to the lumbar vertebrae that causes constant pain and discomfort.£27,760 to £38,780

Shoulder injuries -SevereInjuries to the shoulder that often involve damage to the neck and brachial plexus that cause a serious disability.£19,200 to £48,030
Shoulder injuries - SeriousCases such as a shoulder dislocation with lower brachial plexus damage that causes pain in the neck and shoulder.£12,770 to £19,200
WhiplashTaken from the Whiplash Tariff - When the injury lasts between 18-24 months with some psychological impact£4,345
WhiplashTaken from the Whiplash Tariff - When the injury lasts between 15-18 months with no psychological impact£3,005

For more information on the compensation you could receive for your injuries after a car accident get in touch on the number above.

Whiplash In A Car Accident – Will The Whiplash Reforms Affect My Settlement?

It is important to note that the Whiplash Reform Programme introduced changes to the way low-value road traffic accident claims are made in England and Wales.

Per the reforms, if you are a passenger or driver of a vehicle and over the age of 18 and suffered from injuries valued at less than £5,000, you will need to make your claim a different way. Also, your injuries will be valued in line with the tariff of injuries set out in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021.

However, if the total value of your claim is brought over £5,000 by additional injuries, you will claim the traditional way. Also, the value of any injuries not included in the whiplash tariff will be calculated via traditional means. However, the whiplash tariff will still apply to any whiplash-related injuries.

You can contact our advisors today if you are unsure as to what avenue you should take when making a claim following a car accident for compensation.

What Expenses Or Losses Could I Be Compensated For?

While the table in the section above covers the compensation awards that could be given for the suffering and pain caused by your injuries, you may also have incurred expenses or losses. These could also be compensated for within a personal injury claim.

Some of the special damages (compensation for expenses caused by your injuries) you could claim could include:

  • Loss of income – sometimes, if a claimant has taken time off work to recover from a whiplash injury, they may lose out on some of their income. This could be claimed within a personal injury case.
  • Medical expenses – if medical expenses had been incurred by the claimant for prescription medicines, physiotherapy, or counselling, for example, these expenses could also be claimed for.
  • Care costs – if a severe injury had led to a claimant needing care in their own home, care costs could also be included within a claim.
  • Travel expenses – from transport to see a lawyer to travelling to hospital appointments, there are also a variety of travel costs that could be claimed for.

It is crucial to keep any proof you have of any expenses that you intend to claim for. Providing bank statements, payslips, receipts and bills detailing these expenses to your personal injury lawyer could ensure you don’t miss out on any of the compensation you could be entitled to claim.

Car Accident Claims For Whiplash – No Win No Fee Legal Assistance

Car accident claims could include claims for a car hitting someone. If you have been injured in a road traffic accident by a car, your injury could be compensated for. If you are considering making a claim, an experienced solicitor from our panel may be able to help you.

If they believe you have a good chance of success, they may offer to represent you with a No Win No Fee agreement. There are various benefits to being legally represented on a No Win No Fee basis, such as:

  • Generally, no solicitors’ fees to pay upfront.
  • You usually don’t have to pay them for their services if the claim is unsuccessful.
  • You will have to pay your solicitor a success fee if the claim is successful. The success fee is a legally capped amount taken from your compensation.

It is important to note that your solicitor may offer you a particular type of No Win No Fee agreement, like a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

Contact our advisors today if you would like more information about making a road traffic accident claim with a No Win No Fee solicitor.

Contact Legal Helpline Today

If you’ve had a no-fault car accident, were hit from behind and had a whiplash injury, we’d be happy to help you. We could assess your case to check your eligibility to make a rear end collision whiplash claim and could connect you with the legal support you’re looking for.

All you need to do is contact us. There are a number of ways in which you could do so:

Quick Links

Check out more of our car accident claims guides below:

Consultation On Whiplash Claims – This article from the Ministry of Justice gives information on the consultation on reforms for whiplash claims.

The Highway Code – Here, you can find the Highway Code in full.

Neck Pain  – The NHS has produced a guide to help you if you are suffering from neck pain. It offers advice on when to seek treatment.


Guide by JS

Edited by REG