How To Check Whether You Have A Valid Claim For Whiplash?
At Legal Helpline, we frequently help claimants just like you with compensation claims for whiplash injuries. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury which can be very painful and debilitating. You may be wondering, “How do I know if I have a valid claim for whiplash injury compensation?” Well, if you have suffered a whiplash injury because of a road traffic accident, or another type of accident that was not your fault, you could be eligible to claim compensation for your injuries.
In this guide, we will look at the criteria you will need to meet to make a valid claim for whiplash injury compensation and will answer other questions you may have about making a personal injury claim.
If you have questions about what happens if you claim for whiplash, you can call Legal Helpline today to speak to a trained claims advisor for free. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and if we can see that you have a valid claim for a whiplash injury we will assign a knowledgeable solicitor from our panel to work on your case.
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- A Guide On How You Know If You Have A Valid Claim For Whiplash
- What Are Valid Claims For Whiplash Injuries?
- What Are Whiplash Neck Injuries?
- How May The Crackdown On Whiplash Claims Affect Me?
- Could People Still Make A Valid Whiplash Claim?
- Making Sure You Get A Medical Report
- Are There Caps On Whiplash Claims?
- Valid Whiplash Compensation Calculator
- What Whiplash Claim Steps Should I Take?
- No Win No Fee Valid Whiplash Injury Claims
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Whiplash is one of the most common reasons why people claim compensation for injuries. This type of injury is often caused by road traffic accidents but can also be caused by sporting accidents, assaults and slip or trip and fall accidents.
In this guide, we will look at how to claim whiplash through insurance and answer questions you may have. We will look at the criteria you need to meet to make a whiplash injury compensation claim and will cover whether or not you need to go to the doctors to claim whiplash?
If you have suffered a whiplash injury in the last 3 years that was not your fault, you may be owed compensation for your injuries. To find an experienced personal injury solicitor to handle your claim, call Legal Helpline for free today.
Our panel of solicitors will push to win you the maximum amount of money you could be entitled to claim and have decades of experience running such cases. Call us today or contact us using our online compensation form to get started with your claims process.
In the UK, various parties owe a duty of care to the likes of their employees, those who visit their land, and to other road users. This means that they are obliged to conduct themselves in a manner that upholds the health and safety of others.
For example, drivers of motor vehicles owe all other road users a duty of care under the Highway Code. This includes other drivers, their passengers, cyclists and pedestrians. If a driver acts in a negligent manner which causes an accident and injuries, the driver may be held liable for the other person’s injuries. A personal injury claim could be made through their car insurance provider.
Our clients often ask us, “How do I know if I have a valid claim for whiplash injury compensation?” To make a valid claim for whiplash injury compensation you will need to be able to establish:
- That another party owed you a duty of care. For example, this could be a driver that caused the road traffic accident in which you were injured.
- That the other party breached their duty of care, leading to an accident. There will normally be evidence to show that the other driver was at fault. Your solicitor will be able to collect the likes of records from a police investigation and CCTV footage.
- That the accident led to you suffering a whiplash injury.
Do you need to go to a doctor to claim whiplash? Yes, your medical records will be used as evidence to prove that you experienced a whiplash injury. If you have not yet been to the doctor we recommend you visit your GP to receive a diagnosis that can be used as evidence to support your claim and to receive the treatment that you need.
As part of your claim, you will also receive a medical assessment that will diagnose your injuries, recommend the best course of treatment going forward and assess the impact your whiplash injuries will have on your future quality of life. This will be compiled in a report which your solicitor will use to value your claim.
If your accident and injury meet the criteria to make a valid claim for whiplash injury compensation, call Legal Helpline today to talk about your claims options with an advisor. If we can see that you have a valid whiplash claim, a solicitor from our panel will be appointed to work on your case.
Whiplash is a neck injury which is caused by the head being forced to move beyond its usual range of motion. This causes the muscles in the neck to become overstretched, leading to sprains and strains as a result.
Common causes of whiplash injuries can include car accidents, especially if a car collides into the back of your vehicle, forcing it forwards. People can also suffer whiplash if they fall, are involved in an extreme sports accident such as a snowboarding or skiing accident, or if they suffer a blow to the face during an assault.
Whiplash symptoms can include the following ailments:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness in the neck and finding it difficult to move your head
- Experiencing muscle spasms and pain in the upper arms and shoulders
- Headaches, often starting at the base of the skull
- Blurred vision
- Muscles feel sore and/or tender
Can you prove whiplash? Yes, a doctor can diagnose the symptoms of whiplash and prescribe treatment if it is needed. You will need a whiplash diagnosis in order to make a whiplash compensation claim, so visit your GP if you have not already done so.
How is a whiplash injury treated? Some milder cases of whiplash will get better on their own and your doctor may prescribe painkillers and a course of exercises. The majority of people with whiplash injuries find that their whiplash symptoms are gone and they get better after 2-3 months. If a whiplash injury is more serious, a course of physiotherapy may also be prescribed by your doctor.
How much compensation can you claim for whiplash with physiotherapy? If you needed physiotherapy to treat your whiplash injuries, your injuries are likely to be more serious, so you will receive a larger compensation package. If your physiotherapy was done privately, you could recover the cost of your physiotherapy course as special damages.
The UK has been referred to as the whiplash capital of Europe due to the large numbers of whiplash claims that are made in this country.
In 2016 the rate of whiplash claims was 50% higher than it was a decade beforehand. This had increased driving insurance premiums which hurt consumers as a result. The Ministry of Justice announced that they were launching a consultation of proposals with the aim to reduce the number of whiplash compensation claims made.
The aim was that savings made by insurance companies would be passed onto their customers in the form of lower motor insurance premiums.
Is there a cap on whiplash claims because of the measures that have been put into place? Yes, the government has capped the amount of money that people can claim for minor whiplash injuries at £425. Previously the cap on whiplash claims for minor whiplash injuries was £1,850 making this quite a significant reduction downwards. The following measures have also been introduced:
- There is an upper limit for all personal injury claims going to the small claims court of £5,000. This was previously £1,000. (the upper limit is £2,000 for other types of claims).
- A transparent tariffs system was introduced for compensation payments for more significant whiplash injuries.
- It is now illegal to offer to settle a whiplash compensation claim without a medical report. Do you need to go to doctors to claim whiplash? Yes, you need a report from a MedCo accredited medical expert in order to make a valid claim for a whiplash injury.
Issues Claimants May Face Because Of This Crackdown
Claimants may find the amount of compensation they can claim is reduced if they are suffering from minor whiplash injuries. They may also find that their solicitor cannot escalate a claim unless the compensation payout is worth £5,000 or more. If the claim is disputed by the Defendant, or the Defendant does not respond this could make it harder to proceed.
Some have raised concerns that more vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders will be affected by the changes. They will not be able to go to the small claims court for a claim worth less than £5,000 and will not be insured like a driver. This issue may be debated for some years to come.
Many people looking to make a compensation claim for whiplash injuries may ask, “How do I know if I have a valid claim for whiplash injury compensation?”
Although the criteria may be more restricted now, you can still make a valid claim for whiplash injury compensation providing that you have evidence to establish:
- The driver or party responsible owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty of care, causing an accident
- As a result, you suffered a whiplash injury.
Can you prove whiplash in order to make a compensation claim? To make a valid claim for a whiplash injury, you will need a medical report which will be used as evidence of your whiplash injuries.
During the medical assessment, arranged as part of the claims process, your doctor will look at records from your GP or hospital visits and will assess your injuries. After making a detailed assessment the doctor will create a medical report which will outline the following:
- A diagnosis of your whiplash injuries and how severe they are. Any other injuries you are suffering from will also be diagnosed.
- Recommendations for medical treatment you will need to recover from or manage your injuries.
- An explanation of the impact your injuries will have on you today and in the future.
It is essential that you have a medical report to make a valid claim for whiplash injury compensation. You will receive a medical report as a result of your medical assessment, which means that your solicitor can both prove your claim and value your injury compensation accurately.
Therefore you are less likely to accept an offer that is too low. We do not recommend that you accept a compensation offer for whiplash injuries without a medical report and having consulted with your solicitor first.
If you are looking to make a claim for whiplash injuries, you may wonder if there is a cap on whiplash claims? We can inform you that yes, whiplash claims have been capped. Restrictions brought about by the UK Government in 2016 cap the amount of money that can be claimed for a minor whiplash injury at £425.
There is not a cap for how much could be claimed for more serious whiplash injuries, or claims which are for a combination of injuries.
How long after whiplash can you claim? A personal injury claims time limit exists in the UK. This is generally three years which begins on the day of your accident or the day you became aware of your injuries.
To avoid falling outside of the personal injury claims time limit call Legal Helpline to begin your compensation claim today.
You can use an online whiplash compensation calculator to gain an insight into how much you could claim. Unfortunately, online whiplash compensation calculators are not always accurate.
The table below can help you estimate the level of compensation for whiplash you can claim more accurately. The amounts in these tables are for one part of your claim called general damages. The figures you can see below are based on guidelines from the Judicial College.
Category Of Neck Injury Information On Injury Damages
Severe Neck Injury (3) The injury could cause a dislocation or a fracture. There could be severe soft tissue injuries such as ruptured or damaged tendons. There are also chronic neck injury conditions included in this level of injury. £42,680 to £52,540
Severe Neck Injury (2) The neck injury could include a serious fracture or injuries to the cervical spine. A disability could be caused. This will fall short of the more serious level 1 degree of injury. There could be severe and permanent injury to the brachial plexus. £61,710 to £122,860
Severe Neck Injury (1) A neck injury which causes an injury such as a spastic quadriparesis or partial paraplegia. The person will be left with little to no neck movement. Around £139,210
Moderate Neck Injury (3) The injury could have made an injury which the claimant already had worse in a short time period.
£7,410 to £12,900
Moderate Neck Injury (2) There may be a wrenching type injury to the persons neck and to the discs. They could be left with cervical spondylosis or limited movement in the neck. £12,900 to £23,460
Of course, every compensation claim is different so it pays to discuss how much compensation you could be owed for your injuries with a professional. Call Legal Helpline today and an advisor can give you a personalised quote estimating the compensation you could be owed.
In addition to general damages, an aspect of compensation designed to account for the physical and psychological effects of your injuries, you will also be able to claim special damages.
Special damages compensation will reimburse you for money that you have had to spend on expenses related to your injuries, as well as any losses you may experience in the future. It may be possible to recover any funds you have had to spend on travel, medication and medical treatment, home adaptations, care, and also be able to claim back any income you have lost as a result of becoming injured.
If you have suffered a whiplash injury we recommend you do the following to collect evidence to support the claim:
- See a doctor. Not only may you be in need of medical treatment but your medical records will be used as evidence to prove that you suffered your injuries.
- Speak to witnesses at the scene of the accident. Make a note of their names and contact details as they may be able to provide witness statements to support you.
- Find a solicitor to handle your compensation claim. Legal Helpline can provide you with a skilled personal injury solicitor from our panel who has years of experience handling similar whiplash claims.
- Keep track of your expenses relating to your injuries. You may be eligible to claim these costs back as special damages. What’s more, your receipts may be used as evidence to support your case.
If you have suffered a whiplash injury, the good news is that you can claim compensation on a No Win No Fee basis. This means you only have to pay your solicitors fees if you win your claim.
How does a No Win No Fee claim work? You will enter into a No Win No Fee agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, with your solicitor. In other words, you will be charged a small success fee on the condition that your claim is successful, so there is less financial risk involved for you.
The success fee will be removed from your compensation package at a capped rate which means that you won’t have to worry about paying upfront.
If the claim does not succeed, you won’t have to pay either the success fee nor any costs your solicitor has built up in pursuing your case.
To learn more about how making a No Win No Fee whiplash claim can benefit you, call Legal Helpline today speak to a trained advisor.
If you still have questions in relation to pursuing a valid claim for whiplash injury compensation, that’s what we’re here for. Call our helpline today to speak to a claims advisor.
We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have and if we can see that you have grounds to claim compensation for a whiplash injury we will provide you with the right personal injury lawyer from our panel to handle your claim.
- Call us at Legal Helpline today on 0161 6969 685.
- Alternatively use our online claims enquiry form to contact us.
- Or send us a message using our live chat feature, bottom right.
We hope you have found this guide to making a whiplash injury compensation claim helpful. If you have been injured on the roads in an accident that was not your fault, you may also find these guides useful.
Recovery Time And Claims Guide – How Long Does Whiplash Last For In Order To Claim Compensation?
Guide by HE
Edited by REG