Claiming for Whiplash: What it Means

Whiplash is one of those things you may have heard a lot about but not quite know the finer details of until it affects you.

The injury can be hugely painful – often causing major disruptions to life. Claiming for whiplash has had some bad press in recent years, but if you have been affected by this injury and it wasn’t your fault, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is a strain of the soft tissue in the neck. It is caused by a sudden movement of the head and is most commonly caused by car accidents. In fact, it is the most common injury sustained in car accidents. It can also be caused by certain sporting activities, including martial arts and boxing.

It typically causes neck pain and stiffness, as well as headaches and tenderness. You may also find that you suffer from muscle spasms, dizziness and tingling or numbness in the arms – among other symptoms.

A whiplash injury typically only makes itself known 24 to 48 hours after the accident that caused it. This means you may think you’re fine immediately after your accident, but start to develop symptoms a day or two later.

The effects of whiplash

When you’ve suffered from whiplash, it can be a stressful time. You may find that you’re unable to do the things you normally would. It could affect your working life, as well as any hobbies or activities you would normally participate in.

Recovering from whiplash will take time. It can be months before you are back to normal, with some injuries even taking years to recover from. You may require treatment such as physiotherapy to help aid your recovery.

A compensation claim can help you pay for the treatment you need, as well as any expenses incurred in getting this treatment, such as travel to and from appointments.

How to make a whiplash claim

The government introduced changes to the laws around whiplash claims and compensation on 31 May 2021.

A new online portal has been introduced for you to make your claim through. The small claims limit has also increased from £1,000 to £5,000, which means that solicitors won't be able to recover their costs from the responsible party anymore.

This could make it more difficult to find the legal guidance you might need to make a claim. But First4Lawyers is still here to help. We could still take your whiplash claim on to get you the compensation you're entitled to.

The evidence that could help

When making a whiplash claim, you will benefit from collecting as much evidence as possible. If you can get everything together before deciding to go ahead with a claim, you could find the process more straightforward.

This includes any medical records, reinforcing the importance of seeing your doctor as soon as possible. If your injury was sustained in a car accident, you’ll benefit from having the other driver’s details. This should be information you have from your insurance claim.

If you have any dash cam footage of the accident, this could help prove your case. Meanwhile, if any CCTV footage of the roads is available, it could be even more helpful. Your solicitor will help you narrow down what you might need to put forward the most robust case. So if you have any queries about what you might need, don’t hesitate to ask them.

As part of a whiplash claim, you will now also have to have a medical assessment.

Going ahead with a claim

When you want to pursue a whiplash claim, just contact First4Lawyers by calling us for free, requesting a call back or starting your claim online. We’ll take a few details from you and ask you to explain how you sustained the injury. After that, we’ll introduce you to the solicitor assigned to your case.

So when you’ve had a whiplash injury, don’t feel like you have to accept it as one of those things. If it was caused by someone else, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation to get yourself back to the position you were in before the accident every happened.


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