Vehicle accident whiplash personal injury claims

Here, Zaban Matloob, a personal injury specialist and partner at our Margate office, explains the steps you can take if you have suffered a whiplash injury.

If you have been involved in an accident in a vehicle and suffered whiplash injuries it may now be dealt with under the RTA Small Claims protocol and new whiplash tariff.

A whiplash injury involves an injury of the soft tissue in the neck, shoulders, or back and can present as a sprain, strain, or damage of the muscle, tendons or ligaments.

This protocol is designed so that claimants can pursue whiplash claims without the need for legal representation. Where the injury falls under the whiplash definition, the compensation recoverable by a claimant will be determined by the duration of their symptoms.

The Official Injury Claim online service (“the portal”) handles claims of up to £5,000 for personal injury, and £10,000 when you include “financial losses”. Financial losses can be medical expenses, travel expenses, loss of earnings, in short any financial loss relating to the accident. If your personal injury claim is worth more than £10,000 then this protocol is not the right place to start and we would be happy to assist you in bringing a claim.

You can make a claim through the portal if:

  • You are aged 18 or over when the claim is entered onto the portal
  • The accident happened in England or Wales
  • The accident happened on or after 31 May 2021
  • You were inside a vehicle
  • You believe someone else was responsible either in full or in part for the accident
  • You have the vehicle details of the person who caused the accident
  • The driver at fault was in a vehicle with a UK registration number plate.

To assist you further, please find below a link to the Guide to Making a Claim and a table indicating the whiplash tariff.

The whiplash tariff system

Duration of injury

Amount – Regulation 2(1)(a)

Amount – Regulation 2(1)b)*

Not more than 3 months



More than 3 months but not more than 6 months



More than 6 months but not more than 9 months



More than 9 months but not more than 12 months



More than 12 months but not more than 15 months



More than 15 months but not more than 18 months



More than 18 months but not more than 24 months



*The third column includes an additional amount where there is minor psychological injury such as travel anxiety.

Your next steps

If you decide to pursue your claim, court proceedings must be commenced within three years of the date of the accident. Commencing proceedings involves issuing a claim form at court. This is a formal procedure, and the documentation can take some time to prepare. If you do not complete this within the specified period of time, you will lose the legal right to claim any compensation, as a result of your accident, because you will have breached this statutory 3-year limitation period.

Call us on 01843 234000 or fill in the form on this page to start a free consultation with one of our lawyers about your case if you believe your claim is worth more than £10,000.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.