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A guide to whiplash and insurance implications

A guide to whiplash and insurance implications

Around 1,500 whiplash injury claims are made every single day in the UK. It’s a common insurance claim, but changes are being introduced to the rules around payouts.

If you’ve been unlucky enough to suffer whiplash in a car accident and need to make a claim, here’s what you need to know.

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
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Posted 31 OCTOBER 2019

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is a neck injury brought on as a result of a sudden impact. It occurs when the soft tissues of the neck are sprained or strained. Symptoms include a stiff neck, headaches and dizziness, and can take six to 12 hours to develop following an accident. Minor cases should resolve themselves within a few days but more severe cases can cause the sufferer pain and problems for months, or even years, afterwards.

How to claim for whiplash injury compensation

Whiplash injury claims are only recommended if the accident that caused it wasn’t your fault. In this instance, you’ll be raising a claim with the other party’s insurance provider, rather than your own.

As with most claims, it’s important to gather as much evidence as possible. You’ll need to provide the circumstances of the accident, as well as photos and witness statements, etc. You’ll also need to have some form of medical proof of whiplash, to support the claim.

Some drivers choose to enlist the services of a legal firm that operates on a no-win, no-fee basis. They’re often able to negotiate a settlement out of court, but if the case does go to court, you’ll only need to pay for the service if they win on your behalf.

What’s the average whiplash injury payout in the UK?

The average payout for whiplash injuries is £1,850. However, the amount received depends on the severity of the injury – and the rules around payout figures are changing.

Changes to the whiplash compensation rules

In an effort to reduce the number of fraudulent whiplash claims raised, changes to the claims process are being proposed.

Firstly, no insurance provider can provide compensation for a whiplash injury without some form of medical proof.

There will also be a new fixed figure for compensation for minor injuries sustained in a car accident. At the moment, these sorts of compensation payouts have a vague range of £225 to £3,725.

The good news is that, when the rules come into effect, car insurance experts believe most drivers can expect to see some savings on their car insurance premiums.

Will claiming for a whiplash injury affect my car insurance premiums in the future?

Claiming for a whiplash injury could affect the cost of your car insurance. In fact, any claim you make, regardless of fault, can result in an increase in your premium. So, even though you’ll be claiming for a whiplash injury from a third party’s insurance provider, rather than your own, you might have to pay more for your car insurance in the future.

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