Delayed Whiplash Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a delayed whiplash injury we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a delayed whiplash injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
delayed whiplash compensation:
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in road traffic accidents.Many people who suffer from whiplash find that they feel no pain at the time of the car accident, but symptoms develop several days later.
Causes of delayed whiplash
In some cases, the delay may relate to the initial shock from the collision. Adrenalin often causes people not to feel pain immediately after a collision, but the pain can increase as the shock subsides.
The pain experienced from whiplash is similar to delayed onset muscle soreness which people often experience after exercise. The muscle pain occurs once the body begins to repair itself, rather than at the time of the activity. Whiplash pains can be felt in the neck, shoulders and back depending on the severity of the collision.
Medical professionals take delayed whiplash seriously
If someone confirms that they feel fine at the time of the accident, they often think that they will not be believed if they complain of whiplash some days later.
Doctors and medical professionals understand that the symptoms of whiplash might not present themselves until a few days, or even weeks later.
How are delayed whiplash claims processed?
Road traffic accidents are processed through the Road Traffic Accident Protocol. Notification of the claim is sent to the other side, the defendant, who then has 15 working days to respond with admission or denial of liability. This strict time line makes the initial claim a quick and simple process.
Ensuring that the correct amount of compensation is claimed is important. Whiplash claims are judged on the severity and longevity of the injury, and on the impact the injury has had on your life .It is recommended that medical advice is sought as soon as possible to understand the extent of the injury.
Expecting a quick recovery, many people affected by whiplash don't realise the severity of their injury until they have spent some time living with pain and restricted mobility.
Quality of life
If you have delayed whiplash symptoms, the injury could affect your quality of life for an extended period of time.
Depending on your lifestyle, age and career, whiplash could prevent you from engaging in certain activities while you recover. Compensation can also be sought for this loss.
You solicitor will assist you to ensure that you are diagnosed correctly, and will help to make a claim for the correct amount of compensation.
Do I have a delayed whiplash claim?
As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make a delayed whiplash claim if your injury happened:
- in the last three years, and;
- someone else was at fault, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Injury claim eligibility - Common questions
What if the road accident was my fault?
If you think you were partly responsible for the road accident or for your injury, it should still be possible to make a claim.
In these cases, claims are usually settled with a split liability agreement.
For example, if you were 50% responsible for your injuries, you would receive 50% less compensation.
What if the driver was uninsured or untraceable?
If the driver responsible for the injury is either uninsured or untraceable, a claim can be pursued through the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).
The MIB is an independent body that pays road accident compensation to the victims of uninsured or untraced (unidentified) drivers.
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a delayed whiplash claim on their own behalf.
Can I still claim if I didn't report the delayed whiplash?
If you did not report the accident it can make it more difficult to pursue a delayed whiplash claim, but a claim may still be possible. This will depend on the circumstances of your case and on the other evidence available.
What if the delayed whiplash happened abroad?
Making a claim for a delayed whiplash abroad can be more complicated. Any number of factors can affect the best way to go about making a claim. These include whether it was a package holiday, which country you were in and your insurance position. Please call us for more information.
Low value delayed whiplash claims - Updated June 2021
The regulations for making a lower-value road accident claim (sometimes called 'small claims') have changed.
From 31 May 2021, some lower-value delayed whiplash claims should be made using the Ministry of Justice’s new Official Injury Claim Service online portal.
If you were injured in a vehicle, and the general damages for your injuries are likely to be under £5,000, the Official portal will be used to make your claim. The portal should also be used if the total value (general damages and special damages) for your claim is less than £10,000.
Claims for cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and children are not affected by the new regulations.
The new process can be daunting, and we are here to help. You can still use a solicitor to calculate the value of your compensation and to help you make a low value claim through the portal.
No Win, No Fee compensation for low value delayed whiplash claims
Some solicitors are no longer assisting with lower-value claims, but we can still help you make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim for a lower-value road accident claim.
The amount of money you could claim for your delayed whiplash will depend on:
- the extent of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your delayed whiplash has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a delayed whiplash? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?
If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.
The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.
General damages for a serious shoulder injury can be £15,000
For a more minor ankle injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £7,000.
However, if you have a serious shoulder injury and a more minor ankle injury, you would typically receive £15,000 + a reduced percentage of £7,000.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.
What is the average injury compensation for a delayed whiplash claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a delayed whiplash will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your delayed whiplash compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
What if I am not yet sure of the extent of my injury?
If you have not yet sought medical attention, your solicitor will arrange a medical assessment for you ASAP. If you are awaiting test results, a claim can still be started. Once the extent of the injuries are known, the settlement can be calculated.
Calculate my delayed whiplash compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a delayed whiplash injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your delayed whiplash claim could be worth now:
How long does a delayed whiplash injury claim take?
How long it can take to process a delayed whiplash injury claim can vary considerably.
A simple uncontested road accident claim might be concluded in a matter of weeks. If liability is denied, however, a compensation claim can take considerably longer. On average a road accident claim will take 4 to 9 months. To read more about how long your claim could take, see: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your delayed whiplash claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
No win, no fee - the facts
Under a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay whatsoever if you do not winn your claim .
Our no win, no fee promise
If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a delayed whiplash injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my delayed whiplash claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my delayed whiplash claim?
If your delayed whiplash claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning road accident claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Delayed whiplash FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a delayed whiplash claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the delayed whiplash to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your delayed whiplash claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a delayed whiplash after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim delayed whiplash compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a car accident claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.