How Long Does It Take To Settle A Whiplash Claim After A Road Traffic Accident?


Whiplash Injury Claims Guide

This is a guide on whiplash claims. As such, we will address the question, ‘how long does it take to settle a whiplash claim?’

Whiplash symptoms can be caused by road traffic accidents. All road users owe each other a duty of care to navigate the roads in a safe manner to prevent injury to themselves and others and also property damage. If this duty of care is breached and a road accident results, those injured could make a personal injury claim against the fault party. 

In May 2021, there was a change brought about to how drivers and passengers of vehicles make a personal injury claim if their injuries were valued to be at £5,000 or less. All of this was brought about by the Whiplash Reform Programme

Under these reforms, cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and equivalents who are injured in road traffic accidents would make their injury claim in the traditional way. 

As well as discussing the personal injury claim criteria for whiplash injuries, we also look at what evidence you could gather to help strengthen your claim and how compensation is awarded in these cases. 

Further, to complete this guide, we will look at the benefit of making a claim with No Win No Fee solicitors.

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If you want to learn more concerning ‘how long does it take to settle a whiplash claim?’ today, you can get in touch using the contact details provided below. One of our advisors may connect you to a solicitor from our panel if you have a claim:

Select A Section

  1. How Long Does It Take To Settle A Whiplash Claim?
  2. Whiplash Claim Criteria
  3. What Proof Is Needed For A Whiplash Claim?
  4. Estimating Whiplash Claim Payouts?
  5. Why Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  6. Learn More About How Long Does It Take To Settle A Whiplash Claim

How Long Does It Take To Settle A Whiplash Claim?

When making a personal injury claim after a road traffic accident for your whiplash injuries, how long it takes to settle the case can depend on a number of factors, for example, whether the defendant admits liability, how serious your injuries are and whether you want to wait until you are fully recovered before you settle or if your claim may need to go to court.

A valid claim for whiplash, will not only need to meet the personal injury claim criteria as discussed in the next section, but also legal proceedings will need to begin within the standard injury claim time limit. In general, this time limit is three years from the date of the accident, outlined under the Limitation Act 1980. There are, of course, exceptions to this time limit. 

To find out if you are still within the time limit to start your road traffic accident injury claim, contact our advisors now for free advice.

Whiplash Claim Criteria

During this section, we will concentrate on what makes you eligible to claim for a whiplash injury after a road traffic accident.

As such, the eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Firstly, you must show that you were owed a duty of care.
  • Secondly, there was a breach of duty.
  • Thirdly, this breach caused your injury.

Duty Of Care

All road users owe one another a duty of care not to cause harm by navigating the roads unsafely. This duty requires you to follow the rules of the road stated in The Road Traffic Act 1988, and the Highway Code. It is only when this duty of care is breached, and this causes an injury can a person make a personal injury claim against the faulting party. 

Could The Whiplash Reform Programme Impact Your Claim?

The Whiplash Reform Programme impacts whiplash and low-value injuries that were caused to passengers and drivers of road accidents in England and Wales on and from the 31st May 2021. This means that those affected by these changes may make their claim in a different way than before. The Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 also sets tariffs for whiplash injuries. 

To find out what avenue you would make your whiplash injury claim through and whether these new tariffs apply to you, call our advisors now for a free case assessment.

What Proof Is Needed For A Whiplash Claim?

In order to strengthen your claim, you should try and provide some substantial evidence; this section will provide you with some examples of evidence that you might collect:

  • CCTV footage.
  • A diary of your treatment and symptoms.
  • Medical records.
  • Eyewitnesses – note down their contact details.

Although it is not a requirement, it is advisable to seek legal help to find out how injury claims work. A solicitor can help you collate evidence to support your claim and advise whether your claim is valid.

Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash can happen when the head and neck are suddenly moved back and forward out of their normal range and is commonly associated with road traffic accidents, particularly rear-end accidents. Symptoms of whiplash can be uncomfortable; these can commonly include:

  • Neck pain.
  • Stiffness of the neck.
  • Headaches.
  • Pain and muscle spasms in the shoulders and arms.

You may wonder, ‘how long should I be off work for whiplash?‘ If this concerns you, you should seek medical advice on whether you can return to work. 

Estimating Whiplash Claim Payouts

Following a successful claim, you may receive compensation from two potential heads of claim. The primary head is known as general damages and will compensate you for the pain and suffering caused by your injury. 

This will consider the physical and psychological injury that has been caused, and the amount can also depend on the impact it has had on your life.

In addition, we will provide a compensation table, using example compensation bracket guidelines taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a tool that can be used by legal professionals to work out how much compensation a whiplash injury claim could be awarded.

You can also read how to use a road traffic accident calculator as an alternative to this.

Compensation Table

InjuryJCG Bracket / Tariff Notes
Neck Injury - Severe (i)In the region of £148,330Injuries that could involve incomplete paraplegia or resulting in permanent spastic quadriparesis.
Neck Injury - Severe (iii)£45,470 to £55,990Permanent significant disabilities that have resulted from severe damage to soft tissues and/or ruptured tendons.
Neck Injury - Moderate (i)£24,990 to £38,490Injuries such as fractures and dislocations that might need spinal fusion surgery and cause immediate symptoms.
Neck Injury - Moderate (iii)£7,890 to £13,740A fairly protracted recovery from moderate soft tissue injuries and an increased vulnerability to further trauma.
Whiplash Injuries 2(1)(a)£3,005More than 15 months, but not more than 18 months.
Whiplash Injuries 2(1)(a)£4,215More than 18 months but no more than 24.

Please note that these figures are for guidance only, apart from the whiplash injury tariffs, which have been taken from the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. 

How Special Damages Could Also Compensate You

Alongside general damages, the other head of claim you could seek is special damages. This covers the financial losses that a personal injury can cause. Examples of financial losses can include:

Once again, it is important to strengthen this claim by providing evidence such as receipts and payslips to support your claim.

Why Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?

No Win No Fee solicitors often work under Conditional Fee Agreements CFA. 

When working with a solicitor on your claim under a No Win No Fee arrangement, you generally don’t pay them any fees for their services at the following time:

  • Upfront
  • During the process of your claim
  • If the claim fails.

If your claim is successful, the No Win No Fee solicitor working under a CFA will take a  percentage of your compensation; this is known as the success fee. 

The percentage is legally capped by The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013, which means you cannot be overcharged. 

Get In Contact With Our Team

If you are looking for more information regarding road traffic accident claims, you can contact us using the details provided below; 

Learn More About How Long Does It Take To Settle A Whiplash Claim?

Over this final section, we will offer additional links that may better your understanding of whiplash claims and relate to the title, ‘how long does it take to settle a whiplash claim?’

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