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Road traffic accident claims

Whiplash injury claims solicitors

Whiplash injuries can have serious and long-lasting effects. If you have suffered a whiplash injury in a road traffic accident, Slater and Gordon may be able to help you claim compensation.​ Most of our whiplash injury compensation claims are handled on a no win no fee basis – so there is no financial risk.

In this section

Meet our road traffic accident and serious injury experts

Many of our road traffic accident solicitors are considered leaders in the field with a significant amount of expertise.

Tracey Benson, head of serious injury south

Tracey Benson

Head of Serious Injury - South

Matthew Tomlinson, our Head of Serious Injury in the North

Matthew Tomlinson

Head of Serious Injury - North

Expert profile of Richard Gaffney

Richard Gaffney

Principal Lawyer

Richard Crabtree

Richard Crabtree

Principal Lawyer

One of the UK’s leading specialist law firms.

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What is a whiplash injury?

The term ‘whiplash’ is used to describe an injury to the neck resulting from the sudden and rapid movement of muscles and ligaments due to the force of an impact. Describing this movement as whiplash is very accurate; imagine a whip suddenly ‘lashing’ back and forth, and then imagine that happening to your neck.

Whiplash injuries are common in road traffic accidents, and it does not take a lot of force to cause substantial damage. Injuries can be caused at speeds as low as five to ten miles per hour.

Though often thought of as a minor injury, whiplash can have profound consequences. The pain can be severe, and damage to the region can cause significant mobility problems. Fortunately, these symptoms can often be treated relatively quickly, though in more severe cases, injuries can cause lasting or even permanent damage.

How long can whiplash last?

How long whiplash takes to heal can vary, depending upon the seriousness of the injury. In very minor cases, the pain and discomfort caused can heal on its own in a short space of time. In more serious cases, you may require physiotherapy to heal the affected muscles and ligaments recover.

A medical professional may also advise other treatments, dependent on how significant the damage and pain are. For example, they may recommend pain relief or anti-inflammatory medication to help with any swelling or stiffness.

For severe cases, rehabilitation and treatment of the injury can take a prolonged period, and this can have considerable effects on your quality of life in the meantime.

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

The first symptoms of whiplash usually appear a few hours after a car crash or fall. It may begin with feelings of stiffness or a burning sensation in the soft tissue around your neck and can also cause headaches.

Symptoms will generally develop and worsen over the next few days. This can lead to difficulties moving or turning your neck, as well as swelling or inflammation. Other symptoms can include dizziness and nausea, pain in the shoulders, arms or back, blurred vision and fatigue.

While some cases of whiplash may resolve on their own with time, it is strongly recommended that you visit your GP if you believe you are suffering from whiplash.

How do I make a claim for whiplash compensation?

In 2021, the government introduced the Civil Liability Act 2018 and the whiplash reforms, which changed the way in which whiplash compensation could be claimed in England and Wales.

It is important to note that these changes do not apply to Scotland.

It means that, in England and Wales, any claim worth less than £5,000 (which accounts for most whiplash claims) will now be pursued via a self-service portal called Official Injury Claim. It also means that for such claims, legal costs cannot be recovered from the party at fault. As a result, most law firms no longer handle small claims.

For whiplash claims in Scotland, or for severe whiplash claims worth more than £5,000, the previous process still applies, and it is strongly recommended that you speak to a specialist road traffic accident solicitor. To help you with your claim, we’ll need the following information:

  • both your insurance information, and the insurance information of the other parties involved
  • photographs of the scene (if possible)
  • an injury report from your doctor, noting all injuries from the accident

You will also need to contact your insurance company and inform them about the accident . Once you have this information, the claims process can begin, but depending on the nature of your injuries and the traffic accident, more information may be needed throughout the process.

How long does a claim take?

It's difficult to predict how long a claim for whiplash will take as every case is different. It depends upon the circumstances of the accident, whether the insurer of the driver you believe was at fault admits responsibility, and the extent of your injuries and how long your symptoms last.

If the insurer of driver you believe was at fault for the accident admits responsibility straightaway and your symptoms only last a few weeks, the process will be finalised quickly.

However, the insurer of the driver you believe was at fault for the accident may not admit fault and after several attempts to negotiate, your case may end up having to go to court for a judge to decide.

Your symptoms may also last longer than expected, at which point further medical evidence may be required. In these situations, your claim will obviously take longer.

Talk to us about your case

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Why choose Slater and Gordon?

At Slater and Gordon, we understand how difficult it can be to deal with the consequences of whiplash. Our friendly, expert team is on hand to provide legal advice and support for those experiencing severe whiplash, helping you to access to compensation – and rehabilitation – you deserve.

Our whiplash solicitors are highly ranked in independent legal guides, such as Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500, and many also hold APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) accreditation. We also pursue the vast majority of our severe whiplash cases on a No Win No Fee basis, so there is no financial risk to you.

Discuss switching your case with our experts

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Why choose Slater and Gordon?


We are an award winning law firm and have a dedicated team of road traffic accident solicitors to advise and guide you – no matter how complex your situation may be.

Affordability and advice

We're able to offer affordable expert legal advice and can provide guidance on all aspects of road traffic accident claims. Our Initial Consultation provides tailored advice on your situation giving you clear guidance and options regarding next steps.

Tailored advice

We understand that every claim is different – so we are able to provide tailored advice and guidance to suit your individual needs.

Local access

We are a national law firm, with legal experts available locally across the UK. Meetings can be arranged via telephone or video call, to suit your requirements.

Speak to one of our road traffic accident solicitors today

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Frequently asked questions

What should I do if I have suffered a whiplash injury abroad?

If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury abroad, you are still entitled to claim compensation for your suffering and expenses. However, the process of claiming could be different; for example, the time limit within which you have to start a claim may be shorter than three years.

It is always best to reach out to expert road traffic solicitors, who will be able to advise you on any differences in process and help ensure you get the right compensation. You can contact a member of our team by calling us on 0330 041 5869 or contacting us online.

Can I still claim for whiplash if the driver at fault wasn’t insured or can’t be traced?

Simply put, yes. The Motor Insurer’s Bureau was set up to ensure that people who have been involved in a road traffic accident as a result of someone else’s carelessness are still able to access support in the way of compensation.

Claims to the Motor Insurer’s Bureau can be made by the claimant themselves (as a litigant in person) or can be pursued via a specialist road traffic accident solicitor, who will be able to support you throughout your claim.

How long does a whiplash claim take to settle?

It can be difficult to determine how long it will take a whiplash claim to settle, as each case will be different. There are several factors that can influence how long the process will take, including how quickly liability is accepted, how severe your injuries are, or if you recover as expected, among other things.

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