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What Are The New Whiplash Claim Rules?

By Danielle Jordan. Last Updated 21st February 2023. In May 2021, the UK government introduced new whiplash claims rules. This guide will explain the Whiplash Reforms Programme and how it may affect you. Moreover, if you have experienced whiplash injuries that were not your fault, we will explain how to claim compensation.

New whiplash claim rules guide

New whiplash claim rules guide

The government has introduced these new whiplash claim rules to help reduce the amount of money spent on these claims. It is hoped that insurance companies will pass the savings they make onto their customers.

Have you experienced whiplash injuries because of a road traffic accident that was not your fault? Then you may be eligible to claim whiplash compensation. We can value your claim, and potentially provide you with a skilled solicitor to handle your case.

Please get in touch with Legal Expert today to begin your claim. Call us on 0800 073 8804, or contact us via our website.

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What Are The New Whiplash Claim Rules?

The UK government introduced the new whiplash claims rules on 31st May 2021. They only affect those who live in England and Wales.

What Is The Whiplash Reform Program

The Whiplash Reform Program has its own criteria and can affect the way you make your personal injury claim after a road traffic accident.

  • It only applies to claimants 18 or over.
  • Injuries are caused through a road traffic accident.
  • And the accident took place on 31st May 2021 or afterwards.
  • It only applies to drivers or passengers of a vehicle. Motorbikes, scooters and mopeds are not included. Those claimants would make their claim the traditional way.
  • Furthermore, the claimant’s injury must be valued £5,000 or less. And the total value of the claim must be less than £10,000.
  • The injuries are valued according to a fixed tariff.

This government guide to the Whiplash Reform Programme has more information.

If you are unsure of how much your whiplash claim could be worth, please call our advisors, and we can value your claim for you.

How Are Whiplash Injuries Defined?

A whiplash injury is a soft tissue injury that mostly affects the neck, back and shoulders. Whiplash is caused by an impact forcing the head beyond its normal range of motion and overstretching the neck’s muscles and other soft tissues. Whiplash injuries are often caused by rear-end shunt collision accidents on the road because the impact of a car being hit from behind can throw the driver or passenger’s head forward.

Symptoms of whiplash include the following:

  • Neck stiffness, so it isn’t easy to move your head.
  • Muscle spasms and pain in the shoulders and upper arms.
  • Neck pain.
  • Headaches.

What Are The Time Limits For Claiming For Whiplash After A Car Accident?

Whiplash injury claims – whether made through the government portal, or in the form of traditional claims – are subject to time limits.

As the Limitation Act 1980 states, a claim for negligence should be started within three years of date in which the injury occurred.

There are provisions in place within the act for people who cannot start a claim for themselves. If you are making a whiplash injury claim on the behalf of a minor, their claim will not face a time limit. It can be started at any point before their 18th birthday through an appointed litigation friend. If a claim has not been started in this period, then the minor will be able to start a claim when they turn 18. They will be expected to start their claim within three years of their 18th birthday.

A person who lacks the mental ability to start a claim for themselves will have their time limit suspended indefinitely; a litigation friend can start a claim for them at any point. They will only face a time limit to start a claim if or when they gain the mental ability to do so. They will then have three years from this date to start a claim.

If you have any questions about claiming for whiplash after a car accident or any other form of accident, please reach out to one of our advisers for free legal advice.

Am I Affected By The New Whiplash Rules?

If you are involved in a road traffic accident and suffer injuries, then if the accident was caused by the negligence of a third party you could be eligible to make personal injury claim. How you make that claim will be dependant on specific criteria.

If you are aged 18 and over and was in a vehicle then you may have to make the claim through the new claim portal. This will be the case if your injuries are valued at £5000 or less. Also this is just for road accidents that happened on or after May 31st 2021.

However, if an uninsured or untraced driver hits you, and you are not at fault for the accident you could claim compensation through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).

Can I Still Claim With A Solicitor?

If you are claiming through the portal and not in the traditional way you can still use a solicitor. However they would not receive some of their costs from the fault side if your case was successful as they would usually do.

What Claims Are Not Affected?

The whiplash claims rules only apply to vehicle occupants involved in road traffic accidents. So the new rules do not apply to people who have experienced the following:

Are My Injuries Worth More Than £5,000?

This section of the guide is important as having your injuries assessed prior to starting a claim means that your claim will be made using the correct route.

Here at Legal Expert we off to assess all claims for free. There is no obligation to use our services. But the information we provide allows you to know which way is the correct way to make your claim.

By calling our advisors you will be given a free consultation. We can assess the merits of your case, value your injuries and look at what evidence you have gathered. From here we can tell you how to proceed.

Does The Portal Handle Psychological Injury Claims?

You can also claim compensation for psychological injuries. The tariff includes payouts for mental and psychiatric injuries.

How Do The New Whiplash Claim Rules Affect My Payout?

How you make your personal injury claim after a road traffic accident will dictate the tariffs and compensation brackets that are used to value your claim.

Whiplash Injury Claim Tariff

The tariff includes valuations for whiplash injuries and minor psychiatric injuries as well. These come from the Whiplash Injury Reform Regulations 2021. 

How Long The Injury Lasted Amount Awarded Under
Regulation 2(1)(a)
Amount Awarded Under
Regulation 2(1)(b)
Less than 3 months £240 £260
Greater than 3 months, but no longer than 6 months £495 £520
Greater than 6 months, but no longer than 9 months £840 £895
Greater than 9 months, but no longer than 12 months £1,320 £1,390
Greater than 12 months, but no longer than 15 months £2,040 £2,125
Greater than 15 months, but no longer than 18 months £3,005 £3,100
Greater than 18 months, but no longer than 24 months £4,215 £4,345

Calculating Injuries Over £5,000

You can use the table below to value your personal injury claim if your injuries are valued at over £5,000. The compensation amounts in this table are based on guidelines from the Judicial College.

Type Of Injury Severity Damages Comments
Neck Injury Severe (i) In the region of

The neck injury suffered may be associated with incomplete paraplegia or which results in permanent, spastic quadriparesis.
Neck Injury Severe (ii) £65,740 to
The person may have suffered a serious fracture or other injuries to the discs in your cervical spine. The injury could cause the person to suffer permanent and significant disabilities.
Neck Injury Severe (iii) £45,470 to
An injury which causes a dislocation, fracture or which causes severe damage. This bracket could also include tendon ruptures.
Neck Injury Moderate (i) £24,990 to
A fractured neck or dislocation which may lead to immediate symptoms that require spinal fusion.
Shoulder Injury Severe £19,200 to £48,030 Shoulder injuries which are associated with neck injuries and which results in significant disability.
Shoulder Injury Serious £12,770 to £19,200

A dislocated shoulder which damaged the lower part of the brachial plexus.
Shoulder Injury Moderate £7,890 to £12,770 A frozen shoulder injury which is limiting the persons movement as well as causing them discomfort.
Whiplash Injury One or more whiplash injuries with one or more minor psychological injuries £3,100 Lasting between 15-18 months
Whiplash Injury One or more whiplash injuries £4,215 Lasting between 18-24 months.

General damages are included in this table, which is compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you experienced because of your injuries. Special damages have not been listed in this table. Please note you can receive more or less compensation than this table says. Why not try our personal injury claims calculator.

In addition to general damages, the claimant maybe awarded special damages compensation regardless of how the claim is made. Special damages pay for any costs associated with your injury. Including travel costs, medical expenses, care costs and compensation for loss of income.

Claiming For Whiplash – Help From No Win No Fee Lawyers

If you are claiming for whiplash, you may like to have the support of a lawyer. For example, a lawyer can help ensure that your claim is correctly valued. This  can help you understand whether or not your claim is affected by the Whiplash Reform Programme.

Additionally, you could have the support of a No Win No Fee lawyer providing their services under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)..

Under a CFA, they typically will not charge you an upfront fee for their services or expect you to pay for any ongoing costs. If your claim is successful, they deduct a success fee from your award. The CFA limits the amount they can take. However, if your claim does not succeed, you won’t pay this fee.

If you suffered whiplash in a car accident, contact our advisors. They can value your claim for free. This can help you decide the avenue you can take to seek compensation. In addition, if it seems like your claim could succeed, they could put you in touch with our lawyers. Our lawyers typically offer No Win No Fee agreements.

To get in touch about your car accident whiplash injury:

Where Can I Find Out More?

We hope that this whiplash claims guide has been helpful. Please feel free to read these related guides if you wish to know more.

Motorcycle Accident Compensation Claims

An NHS neck injuries guide

A government guide for reported road casualties for the year ending June 2021.

Information for road crash victims, from road safety charity Brake.

We also have some other guides on car accident claims that you may find useful:

Thank you for reading our guide to the new whiplash claim rules.

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      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.