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Can A Whiplash Claim Be Refused?

Could My Whiplash Claim Be Refused Or Denied Compensation?

If you’ve suffered whiplash symptoms from a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be wondering whether you could make a personal injury claim for compensation. You might, however, have some questions about claiming, such as ‘can a whiplash claim be refused?’ and ‘what happens if a whiplash claim is denied?’ This guide aims to answer these questions and more

Can a whiplash claim be refused guide

Can a whiplash claim be refused guide

When you make a claim for compensation, whether you attempt to go it alone or use the services of a personal injury lawyer, you might worry about what happens if your claim is denied. 

While some whiplash claims could be relatively straightforward, others may not be. Whether this is due to the person you believe was at fault for the accident disputing their liability or disputing your injury, this guide aims to explain what happens if a whiplash claim is rejected, and when you could take further action to fight for compensation. 

We also explain how much compensation may be appropriate for a whiplash claim, and how you could make a claim without having to pay legal fees until such time as your compensation has been paid out.

If you would like further advice and support with a whiplash claim that has been refused, you can call our team for free advice at any time on 0800 073 8804. We’d be happy to help you.

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A Guide On Whether A Whiplash Claim Can Be Refused

Have you sustained whiplash in an accident that was not your fault? If so, you may be considering making a claim for compensation. But can a whiplash claim be refused? And is there anything you can do if a liable party refuses your claim?

This guide is aimed at those who have questions about claiming for whiplash and are worried that a claim for whiplash could be refused. 

We discuss the grounds on which a whiplash claim could be rejected and discuss the new whiplash reforms that should be implemented by the Ministry of Justice in April 2021. 

We also discuss how much compensation could be awarded in a whiplash claim, whether it is a simple, minor injury, or has led to further complications.

What Is Compensation Claim For Whiplash?

Whiplash is an acceleration/deceleration injury, in which the head snaps back and forwards quickly, or jerks to the side. Common in road traffic accidents, a whiplash injury may not present symptoms right away but could come on over some hours after an accident has occurred. 

The symptoms a whiplash injury may cause could include:

  • Pain the neck area
  • Stiffness
  • Trouble moving the head
  • Headaches
  • Spasms in the muscles of the arms and shoulders
  • Pain in the arms and shoulders

If pain is so severe that ibuprofen or paracetamol doesn’t alleviate it, or you experience pins and needles, limb weakness, issues with sitting or walking, or electric-shock style symptoms in the face, back or neck, this may mean your injury is serious and you should seek medical treatment urgently.

If you have sustained a whiplash injury in an accident that was not your fault, you could claim compensation from a liable party. Usually, the insurer of the driver at fault would pay you compensation if you could prove the accident was their policyholder’s fault. However, they may reject your claim for a number of reasons that we cover in the section below.

Grounds On Which Whiplash Claims Could Be Refused

To answer the question of ‘Can a whiplash claim be refused?’ let us look at the reasons someone might reject a whiplash claim.

Insurers know how to defend a whiplash claim and could use a variety of reasons to argue against them.

  1. If you do not have sufficient proof that you’ve been injured
  2. If the insurer of the other driver believes you’ve exaggerated your injuries (and you cannot prove otherwise)
  3. If there is insufficient evidence that another driver was at fault for your accident
  4. If the insurer believes that you have staged an accident that caused you to suffer whiplash.
  5. If your claim is not brought within the personal injury claims time limit relevant to your case.

If you have had a claim for whiplash refused and believe that the refusal was unfair, you could seek advice from a personal injury lawyer who could help you argue your case.

Can You Prove You Have Whiplash?

Proving that you’ve suffered a whiplash injury involves medical evidence. While you might have sought treatment or advice from the local hospital or your GP after an accident, this may not be enough to prove your claim. 

You may have to see an independent medical professional who would read your medical notes, examine you, and write a report detailing your prognosis for recovery as well as verifying your injury.

Legislative Changes Affecting Whiplash Claims

Back in 2018, the government changed the way that whiplash claims were calculated by passing the Civil Liability Act 2018. This changes the way in which such claims are handled and increases the small claims limit for soft tissue/whiplash injuries sustained in road traffic accidents from £1,000 to £5,000.

What this means for claimants is that they would not be awarded legal costs for such claims below the new limit, which may mean claimants forgo getting legal advice on making lower value claims. It could also deter claimants from taking claims forward.

In order to claim for lower value claims, injured parties or their representatives would have to use a government portal. The Ministry of Justice, however, has still to implement the system, which has been delayed to April 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once the system has been implemented, road traffic accidents causing soft tissue injuries would have to be handled through the new system. Until such time, claimants could continue to launch claims as normal, with legal costs compensated for by the liable party.

Limits When Claiming For A Soft Tissue Injury

As we mentioned in the sections above, there are some limits when claiming for a soft tissue injury. If you suffer a soft tissue injury in a road traffic accident after the Ministry of Justice has implemented the new system, the small claims track limit would have raised from £1,000 to £5,000. You would have to make a claim through the government portal if your case is worth less than £5,000.

This would mean you would be limited as to how much compensation you would receive. The system would have a fixed tariff for whiplash injuries to compensate for the loss of amenity, suffering and pain caused by such injuries. It would also not include compensation for legal fees. In addition, it will ban the making and acceptance of pre-medical offers (those without a medical report).

What Is The Whiplash Claims Average Payout for 2019?

If you’d like to know how much the average whiplash compensation payout in 2019 is , you may be surprised to learn that there isn’t one. 

Whiplash claims vary significantly between cases, and while one case of whiplash could see a claimant recover in 3 months, others could take much longer to resolve. Some whiplash injuries could even lead to long-term conditions including chronic pain.

Whiplash Neck Injury Compensation Calculator

If you’re continuing your fight for compensation after your initial whiplash claim was rejected, you might be wondering how much of a payout you could get. Below, you’ll see a table with compensation amounts for injuries we believe could relate to whiplash. 

While some whiplash injuries are only minor, there are cases where neck injuries lead to more severe conditions, and we have included these figures below too. The figures included below are from the Judicial College Guidelines. They could be useful as an alternative to a personal injury claims calculator in giving you some insight into compensation payouts for different levels of a neck injury.

Type of InjuryCompensation Bracket (JCG)Explanatory Notes
Severe Neck Injuries (i)Around £139,210Those injuries to the neck that lead to spastic quadriparesis, or incomplete paraplegia. Injuries would be permanent. In some cases, injuries that have led to the injured party retaining no movement, or very little movement despite being in a collar for some years. Injured parties may also have severe headaches.
Severe Neck Injuries (ii)£61,710 - £122,860Injuries that have caused damage to the discs of the cervical spine or neck fractures that are considered serious could be compensated for in this bracket. Disabilities would be less severe than those listed above but could still be considered severe.
Severe Neck Injuries (iii)£42,680 - £52,540Severe injuries to the tendons and soft tissues of the neck could feature here. So could dislocations and fractures. Injuries in this bracket could lead to chronic conditions of a significant and permanent nature.
Moderate Neck Injuries (i)£23,460 - £36,120Immediately severe symptoms of fractures or dislocations could be included in this bracket, and injuries may necessitate spinal fusion. Serious injuries to soft tissues could be included here if they lead to symptoms in the neck and the back.
Moderate Neck Injuries (ii)£12,900 - £23,460Injuries of a wrenching nature, including those which cause disc lesions due to soft tissue damage. Cervical spondylosis could feature here, as could serious movement limitations and a need for future surgery.
Moderate Neck Injuries (iii)£7,410 - £12,900If an injury has exacerbated or accelerated a previous condition for a period of up to 5 years. Soft tissue injuries that are moderate could also be included here where any recovery period was protracted and there remains an increased risk of trauma in the future.
Minor neck injuries (i)£4,080 - £7,410Full recovery would usually happen within 1-2 years.
Minor neck injuries (ii)£2,300 - £4,080Full recovery would usually happen within 3 months and 1 year.
Minor neck injuries (iii)Up to £2,300Full recovery would usually happen within 3 months.

For a more precise valuation, why not get in touch with our expert team? Once they know more about your case they can hone in on a valuation.

Compensation For Financial Losses And Expenses

As well as the payout you could receive for your whiplash injury, you could also receive compensation for financial expenses/losses that have arisen as a direct consequence. These could include:

  • Care costs
  • Travel expenses
  • Medical costs
  • Loss of income

You would need to provide evidence of any losses or expenses to claim for them. This could mean providing payslips, bank statements, receipts and bills to your lawyer so they could be included within your claim.

No Win No Fee Whiplash Damages Claims

Now we’ve answered the question ‘can a whiplash claim be refused?’, you might have realised you could go on, despite a denial of liability, to fight for compensation with the assistance of a personal injury solicitor.

Better still, you could begin your claim without paying your lawyer until your claim had been completed and your compensation payout had been arranged.

This is known as a No Win No Fee claim. In basic terms, you will not be charged any fees by your solicitor if your claim is unsuccessful. You won’t be charged any upfront or ongoing fees either, regardless of the outcome.

Like we said above, if your claim does succeed, your personal injury solicitor will deduct a small success fee, capped by law, from your compensation award. This is to cover their costs. 

For more information on No Win No Fee agreements, please get in touch.

Speak To A Legal Expert Today

Now you have an answer for your question of ‘Can a whiplash claim be refused?’, you may be looking to have your claim assessed to see if you could fight for whiplash injury compensation. 

We could not only provide you with a free eligibility assessment, but we could also provide you with a lawyer who could help you fight for compensation. You can get in touch with our team for free:

Quick Essential References

General Guidance On Whiplash Claims – Advice in this general guide includes what to say when claiming for whiplash, as well as what evidence may be needed for a successful claim.

Whiplash With A Pre-Existing Condition – This guide offers guidance on claiming for whiplash if you have a pre-existing condition.

Injured As A Passenger – Here, we include information relating to claims made by passengers who have been injured in road traffic accidents.

Detailed Whiplash Information – This publication explains what a whiplash injury is in more detail.

The Highway Code – Proving an accident was someone else’s fault sometimes involves the Highway Code. It can be found in full here.

Whiplash Reforms – You can read more information about whiplash claims reforms here.


Thank you for reading our guide on the question: can a whiplash claim be refused? We hope you’ve found it useful.


Guide by Jeffries

Edited by Billing

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