How Can I Prove I Have A Whiplash Injury?
By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 26th April 2023. In this whiplash injury claim guide, we’ll answer the question “how can I prove I have whiplash?” Here, you will find information and advice on the key steps to making a valid whiplash claim. It covers the legal process of making a claim as well as the common causes and symptoms of whiplash. It also addresses whether whiplash symptoms can be delayed and how much you compensation may be offered if you make a successful claim.
If you would like to speak to an advisor about the process of claims for whiplash injuries, then you can contact our advisors. You can call Legal Expert on 0800 073 8804, or you can reach us online using either our contact form or our live chat service.
Select a Section:
- What Is A Whiplash Injury?
- Can Whiplash Symptoms Be Delayed?
- What Are The Common Causes Of Whiplash?
- What Are Common Whiplash Injury Symptoms?
- Top Tips For Proving Whiplash Claims
- What Are The Different Parts Of A Personal Injury Claim?
- How Much Could I Claim For A Whiplash Injury?
- No Win No Fee Whiplash Accident And Injury Solicitors
According to the NHS, a whiplash injury typically affects the neck and occurs following sudden movement of the head. For example, you might suffer whiplash in a car accident if the car you are in is hit from the back by another vehicle.
You may be eligible to claim for a whiplash injury if it was caused by the negligence of someone else. Therefore, you must provide evidence that can demonstrate:
- You were owed a duty of care by someone;
- They breached their duty of care;
- You were injured as a result.
There is different legislation in place that sets out the duty of care owed to you. For example:
- On the road – The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that road users need to act in a way that prevents injury to themselves and others.
- In a public place – The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 imposes a duty of care on occupiers to ensure their premises are reasonably safe for visitors.
- At work – The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 outlines that employers must do what is reasonably practicable to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work.
Continue reading to find out how whiplash can happen and how you can prove your injuries when claiming a payout for a whiplash injury. Alternatively, speak to our advisors for free 24/7 no obligation legal advice.
Delayed whiplash or late whiplash syndrome is the medical term for a condition in which a person’s whiplash symptoms are delayed.
While people typically feel the effects of such injuries within days or weeks of their accident, people who suffer from late whiplash have reported first suffering from their injuries as far as six months later. The reported symptoms are the typical symptoms of whiplash; a headache, a neckache, stiffness or nausea for example. It is different to a chronic whiplash injury – which is a whiplash injury that has persisted for a long time but started within the usual time frame.
As it is a documented medical condition, a claim for a delayed whiplash injury could be made if you are eligible. Please reach out to one of our advisers for more information about such claims.
Some of the causes of whiplash are:
- Road traffic accidents
- Sporting injuries – where a sharp blow to the head caused trauma to the neck.
- Slips trips or falls – which wrench the neck as the victims hit the ground.
- Blunt trauma – such as being hit by a heavy object that has fallen from a height.
No matter the cause of your whiplash, if a third party was responsible for causing it, then you could be able to make a compensation claim. Call our advisors to learn about how you can prove you have whiplash.
Part of the answer to the question of how can I prove I have whiplash is to take a look at the actual whiplash symptoms and see if they correlate to a standard case of whiplash.
According to the NHS, whiplash symptoms could include pain and stiffness in the neck along with movement problems. You may also experience headaches as well as muscle spasms, and pain in the shoulders and arms. It may take a few hours following the injury for the symptoms to appear.
If you have suffered symptoms such as those detailed above, you may have suffered a whiplash injury and can potentially claim compensation. Get in touch with Legal Expert to find out how we can help you.
When seeking whiplash compensation, it’s important to use evidence to strengthen the validity of your claim. You need to prove both that you were injured, and that your injuries were caused by the negligence of another.
Our top tips for proving whiplash claims include:
- Medical records.
- Taking photographs of the accident scene and your injury.
- Getting contact information for any potential witnesses. Their statements, which a solicitor can take at a later date, can be used to strengthen your whiplash compensation
- Requesting CCTV footage if there is footage of the incident.
Keep in mind that there is a time limit for starting a whiplash injury claim. Under the Limitation Act 1980, you’ll usually have 3 years to start a claim. This time limit starts from the date of the incident in which you sustained your injury.
Another important aspect of making a whiplash compensation claim revolves around the extent of your injury. As detailed in The Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021, if your injury is worth £5,000 or less, you would need to claim through the government’s online portal. You would receive a set amount of compensation according to the tariff of injuries in the regulations.
Contact us for a free compensation estimate.
When you contact a personal injury solicitor to begin making a whiplash injury claim, your solicitor will need to discern just what types of damages they will seek on your behalf as part of your overall settlement. There are two main categories of damages; these are general damages (all of the physical aspects of your injury) and special damages (all non-physical losses related to your injury). Within these two main categories of damages, there are many sub-categories, for example, these below:
- Special damages:
- In-home care
- Medical expenses
- Travel expenses
- Financial losses
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of future earnings
- General damages:
- Permanent disabilities
- Long and painful recovery
- Psychological damage
Call our advisors today for more information on what damages could be included in whiplash claims.
You may have accessed our compensation calculator to learn more about what your whiplash injury settlement could be. However, as each claim is unique, our calculator may not account for everything. For example, your whiplash compensation may include special damages, as previously discussed.
Factors such as the length of your recovery time and the severity of the symptoms you experience for whiplash from a car accident will impact your payout. Your claim could be made through the Whiplash Reform Programme or it could be made as a personal injury claim. We explore both below.
If you have minor injuries from a road traffic accident, valued at £5,000 or less, your claim may be made through the government portal. To qualify to make a claim through the Whiplash Reforms Programme, the accident that caused your injuries must have occurred on or after 31st May 2021. This is due to the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. Your award will be valued in line with the tariff of injuries set out in the regulations.
Personal Injury Claims
If your injuries are valued at over £5,000 or your entire claim, including special damages is valued over £10,000, you will make a traditional personal injury claim. If you suffered whiplash or another minor injury along with a more severe injury, your minor injury will be valued from the tariffs as well. However, the amount for your more severe injury will be assigned value based on the compensation brackets in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).
The JCG is a document legal professionals use to help them assign value to pain and suffering. Various injuries are listed along with different severity levels next to compensation brackets. In our table below, we’ve listed guidelines given for injuries you might suffer in a car accident from the latest update of the JCG. However, it is only provided to help you understand how injuries could be valued and not provide you with an exact figure.
|Back||Severe||The injuries will range from complex fractures of the back vertebrae to multiple compound fractures and severe long-term pain.||Up to £160,980|
|Back||Moderate||The injuries will range from simple fractures of the back vertebrae to more complex fractures and some short-term pain.||Up to £38,780|
|Back||Minor||The injuries will range from almost trivial cuts and abrasions, through to minor fractures of the back vertebrae.||Up to £12,510|
|Neck||Severe||The injuries will range from complex fractures of the neck vertebrae to multiple compound fractures and severe long-term pain.||Up to somewhere in the region o £148,330|
|Neck||Moderate||The injuries will range from simple fractures of the neck vertebrae to more complex fractures and some short-term pain.||Up to £38,490|
|Neck||Minor||The injuries will range from almost trivial cuts and abrasions, through to minor fractures of the next vertebrae. Recovery will take place over one or two years.||Up to £7,890|
|Whiplash Tariff||The claimant has experienced psychological injuries plus whiplash lasting between 18-24 months.||£4,345|
|Whiplash Tariff||The claimant has experienced a whiplash injury that lasts between 18-24 months.||£4,215|
To discuss how your recovery from a whiplash injury could impact the value of your claim, call our advisors. They can also give you a free claim valuation. This will help you decide if you should make a traditional personal injury claim or claim through the portal.
Should you wish to claim compensation for your whiplash injury, you could do so with a No Win No Fee solicitor. Their services could be funded under a type of No Win No Fee arrangement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
When making a whiplash claim with the support of a No Win No Fee lawyer, you typically won’t be asked to pay an upfront fee for their services. If you receive compensation for your whiplash injury, a success fee will be taken from your payout. This will be legally capped. If your whiplash claim is not successful, you typically will not have to pay for your solicitor’s services.
Our advisors can help you find out how you can prove you have whiplash and advise on what evidence you could submit. If your whiplash compensation claim seems like it has a good chance of success, you could be passed on to our solicitors. To speak to us:
Additional road traffic accident guides:
- Bends in the road that cause car accident claims
- Neck injury claims
- Accident claims
- Drink driving car accident claims
- Foreign car accident claims
- Claims for whiplash symptoms
- Compensation claims from the MIB
- Head injury claims
- Find out if you could claim after being injured in a digger accident by reading our guide.
Further links that you may find useful:
- The Whiplash Reform Programme (WRP)
- NHS information on whiplash injuries
- NHS first aid recommendations for whiplash
If you have any other queries, such as how can I prove I have whiplash in a compensation claim, call our advisors.