Personal injury

True or False – Myth busters when making a whiplash claim

Now the whiplash reforms are in place, what’s true and what’s false when making a whiplash claim? Our experts bust the myths.

04 June 2021

Hands on the wheel of a car driving along the motorway

Now that the Civil Liability Act and whiplash reforms are in place there are many people who still don't know the facts about making a claim for whiplash injuries.

Here we explore some of the myths about making a claim for whiplash now the whiplash reforms have been implemented, and confirm whether they're true or false.

1. You can no longer make a claim for whiplash injuries - FALSE

This is not true. If you've ended up with whiplash injuries as a result of a road traffic accident, you can still claim compensation. The way you're able to make a claim may have changed, but if you suffer an injury in an accident where someone else was either fully or partly to blame, you're still entitled to seek compensation.

2. The amount of compensation you can receive for a whiplash injury has been reduced - TRUE

This is correct. The amount of compensation you can get for a whiplash claim ranges from £240 to £4,345 and is dependent upon a) the length of time you suffer symptoms as a result of the accident and b) whether you've suffered any minor psychological injuries in addition to your whiplash injuries. We explain more about how the amount of compensation is calculated in our article 'How much do you get for a whiplash claim?'.

Even though the amount you'll receive for whiplash compensation has been reduced, the Government have confirmed that as a result of the whiplash reforms being implemented, motorists will see their car insurance cut by approximately £35 per year, so there are benefits to the whiplash reforms.

3. The whiplash reforms affect everyone - FALSE

This is not correct. The whiplash reforms have only been introduced in England and Wales, so any accident which takes place in Scotland will not be affected by the reforms.

In addition, there are a number of road users, such as cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists who are considered vulnerable road users and are not affected, as well as children and vulnerable adults who don't have the mental capacity to deal with their own affairs. A full list of those who are not affected by the whiplash reforms can be found in our article 'Who will be affected by the whiplash reforms?'.

4. The Ministry of Justice have introduced a claims portal to make claims for whiplash - TRUE

This is true. The claims portal, called the Official Injury Claim (OIC), is a way for those with whiplash injuries caused by road traffic accidents to claim compensation, if their claim is valued at less than £5,000. By choosing to make a claim through this portal, you'll not have legal representation and will bring the claim yourself as a ‘Litigant in Person’. A guide on how you use the OIC platform can be found here.

There are challenges which may be faced when representing yourself as a Litigant in Person, and it may be a stressful and complex process.

5. You're not allowed to get legal representation if your whiplash claim is worth under £5,000 - FALSE

This is not true. There's nothing in the whiplash reforms to say that you can't get your own legal representation if you wish to make a claim for whiplash injuries caused in a road traffic accident. What they do say is the insurer of the driver responsible for causing the accident and your injuries will not be responsible for paying your legal fees.

6. There's a chance you could end up out of pocket if you pay to get legal representation for your whiplash claim - TRUE

There may be some legal firms in England and Wales that agree to take on your case if you pay them an hourly rate or a fixed fee. You must be extremely careful when signing an agreement with a legal firm as depending on how much you receive in compensation and how much your legal fees cost, may mean you end up out of pocket.

7. Slater and Gordon's micase platform provides you with legal representation with no financial risk - TRUE

Slater and Gordon believe that everyone should have the choice of getting legal representation, regardless of the value of their claim, and have therefore introduced the micase platform.

The micase platform is an innovative new, self-serve, claims portal, which enables those who wish to claim for compensation for whiplash injuries to have access to expert legal representation. We only charge a fee if you win your case and receive compensation, and the fee is a small percentage of that compensation payment so you'll never end up out of pocket.

8. You have to choose the OIC portal rather than micase platform - FALSE

This is not true. Whether you choose to represent yourself as a Litigant in Person or choose to be represented by legal experts, the choice is entirely yours. Just like with many services, you could choose to do it yourself, or choose professionals to do it for you.

For example: if your windows need cleaning, you could get a ladder and do them yourself or pay a small fee to a local window cleaner to do them for you; if you have your own business and need to complete tax returns, you could do these yourself or you could ask an accountant to do them for you. If a professional does the work for you, it can prevent you from dealing any complexities and reduce stress.

The great thing about using micase as a service is the fee charged will be a percentage of compensation received, so you'll never be out of pocket.

How do you claim for whiplash injuries?

If you've suffered whiplash injuries in a road traffic accident, register your details today on micase.

The above information was correct at the time of publication.

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