Whiplash Compensation Claims

New rules will apply to some claims for road traffic accidents which occur on or after 31 May 2021.

Unless certain exceptions apply, if you sustain a whiplash injury as a result of a road traffic accident, whilst travelling in a motor vehicle (either as a passenger or a driver) any claim for personal injury compensation will be covered by the “RTA Small Claims Protocol”.

A whiplash injury is defined as a soft tissue injury to the neck, back or shoulder together with any associated minor psychological injury.

The new rules will apply where symptoms arising from the whiplash injury are likely to resolve within 2 years.

The new rules do not apply to individuals who suffer non-whiplash injuries as a result of a road traffic accident.

In addition, certain classes of individuals who have suffered a whiplash injury are excluded from the rules. These are:

  • Children (anyone under the age of 18)
  • Anyone who lacks capacity to pursue a claim in their own right
  • A motorcyclist and a passenger on a motorcycle or pillion passenger
  • A cyclist
  • A pedestrian
  • Wheelchair users including powered mobility scooters
  • Anyone riding a horse
  • Where the claim is brought or defended by a Personal Representative on behalf of a deceased individual
  • Where the Defendant was driving a vehicle registered outside of the UK on the date of the accident.

Where the “RTA Small Claims Protocol” applies, the level of compensation that can be recovered for pain and suffering will be determined by reference to a fixed tariff. The award of compensation made by reference to the tariffs is considerably lower than the levels previously set by the Court for identical accidents which occurred prior to 31 May 2021.

In addition, it will no longer be possible to recover legal costs for pursuing a successful claim for personal injury compensation where the RTA Small Claims Portal applies. Any legal costs will have to be paid from the damages that are recovered.

Such claims must be pursued through the Official Injury Claim portal. The portal can be accessed here. Individuals are encouraged to pursue such claims without legal representation using the Official Injury Claim portal and guidance is available on the website for this purpose.

At Sintons our personal injury specialists can help explain whether your road traffic accident claim will be caught by the “RTA Small Claims Protocol”  and what steps must be taken in order to recover compensation.

To obtain further advice with no obligation contact Sintons 24/7.