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Road traffic accident claims

Severe whiplash injury

There is the misconception that whiplash is an inherently mild condition that heals relatively quickly. In some cases, this is true, however in others, whiplash can be a much more severe, long-term condition that causes significant discomfort and distress.

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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

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What constitutes a severe whiplash injury?

Whiplash describes an injury to the soft tissue of the neck caused by a sudden jolt or impact that ‘whips’ the neck back and forth rapidly. This movement can result in damage to the muscles and ligaments in the neck, causing stiffness, discomfort and pain. It is a common injury in road traffic accidents, and for many, the symptoms can be relatively mild.

However, whiplash can also cause significant damage that can result in long-lasting or even permanent consequences. This can include chronic pain and headaches for many years after the accident.

Legally speaking, if you can be expected to recover fully from whiplash within 24 months, your injuries are not thought of as ‘severe’.

What should I do if I’m suffering from severe whiplash?

If you believe you are suffering from severe whiplash, the first thing you should do is seeking medical advice, either by speaking to your GP if possible or calling NHS 111. Describe your symptoms as accurately as you can, including any limitations of movement in your neck, any dizziness or fatigue, and any twinges or pains in your arms, shoulders or back.

Your GP may wish to see you in person to rule out any further damage caused by the accident. If they remain concerned, they may wish to send you to hospital for further investigations.

How do I make a claim for severe whiplash?

Under the recently introduced Civil Liability Act 2018 and the whiplash reforms, most whiplash claims are now dealt with via the Official Injury Claim portal, with claimants acting on their own behalf.

For cases of severe whiplash (where symptoms are expected to last longer than 24 months or are considered to be exceptionally serious), claims can be brought via a law firm, with legal costs being recovered from the liable party. This means that the claimant would be represented by a specialist road traffic accident solicitor, who would pursue compensation on their behalf.

As cases of severe whiplash are more complex, it is important that you seek legal representation from an expert whiplash injury lawyer. They will be able to support you in getting the right amount of compensation, as well as providing access to high-quality rehabilitation to help you recover from your injuries.

At Slater and Gordon, our specialist whiplash lawyers are leaders in their field, and are on hand to support you every step of the way. To speak to a member of our team, call us on 0330 041 5869 or contact us online.

How much is my severe whiplash claim worth?

While there are structured rates of compensation you can expect to receive for small claim whiplash injuries, the value of a severe whiplash injury claim can range from just over £5,000 to much higher five-figure sums.

The value of the claim is dependent on the extent of your injuries and how much this affects you in your day-to-day life. This is usually determined via medical assessments and examinations. It is always best to speak to an expert whiplash lawyer, who will be able to discuss your specific circumstances in detail and offer advice on potential compensation amounts.

Talk to us about your case

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Why choose Slater and Gordon’s whiplash injury lawyers

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. To find out more or to start your claim, you can contact us at 0330 041 5869 or contact us online.

Talk to us about your case

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

How long does it take to settle a whiplash claim?

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.

What is the time limit for a severe whiplash claim?

The time limit for making a whiplash claim is three years from the date of the accident, or the date you became aware of your injuries. However, there are circumstances that can impact how much time you have to make a claim, so it is always best to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible. To start your claim, you can call us on 0330 041 5869 or contact us online.

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