How To Make A Passenger Whiplash Injury Claim

How To Make A Passenger Whiplash Injury Claim

How To Make A Passenger Whiplash Injury Claim

Our guide will explain how you could make a passenger whiplash injury claim after being involved in a road traffic accident. We explore a driver’s responsibilities regarding passenger safety and what injuries a passenger could suffer. 

Moreover, we outline the duty of road users and how The Road Traffic Act 1988 and The Highway Code state the rules and laws that must be followed. 

Additionally, we look at the process of making a personal injury claim for whiplash and how the Whiplash Reform Programme changed how these claims are handled. 

Furthermore, we detail the potential payouts for whiplash injuries as well as the way that personal injury lawyers can value such.

If you would like further information, please continue reading our guide.

Alternatively, you can reach us with any queries about making a passenger whiplash injury claim in the following ways:  

Select A Section

  1. What Are Whiplash Passenger Injuries?
  2. Driver’s Responsibility For Passenger Safety
  3. What Injuries Could Passengers Suffer?
  4. How To Make A Passenger Whiplash Injury Claim
  5. Passenger Whiplash Injury Claim Payout Amounts
  6. Talk To Our Specialist Team

What Are Whiplash Passenger Injuries? 

A whiplash injury can usually be categorised as a sprain or strain of the neck. It can most commonly happen in a vehicle accident when the head is moved suddenly and beyond its typical movement. 

Symptoms of whiplash can include: 

  • Headaches and neck pain
  • Muscle spasms and neck stiffness
  • Difficulty moving your head

When making motor vehicle accident and injury claims, proving that a driver or other road user was at fault for your injuries is important. However, generally, it is fair to say that a passenger is rarely at fault for causing an accident and will usually make their claim against the fault party.

Also, a local authority or local highway agency may be at fault if the road is in a poor state of repair, such as a large pothole or the roads have not been gritted and are full of ice. 

Driver’s Responsibility For Passenger Safety 

The Road Traffic Act 1988 and The Highway Code outline the duty owed by road users. When a road traffic accident occurs, it is very often caused by a road user breaching this duty of care. 

Road users have a duty to navigate the roads with reasonable care so as to prevent possible injury to one another. When making a personal injury claim, you must satisfy these points;

  • The driver/other road user owed you a duty of care
  • They breached this duty through things such as unsafe driving or driving without care
  • This breach caused your injuries

To find out if you can make a passenger whiplash injury claim call our advisors today for free legal advice. 

What Injuries Could Passengers Suffer? 

As a passenger, you could suffer numerous injuries if involved in a car accident. Your neck, shoulders, arm, and upper back could all be affected by whiplash. 

The sudden motions that occur can cause soft tissue injuries such as torn ligaments and strained muscles.

These kinds of injuries are typically accompanied by neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and difficulty moving your neck. Receiving the medical attention you require is the first step you should take.

Passengers can also suffer many other different types of injuries for which you could claim for. For example;

  • Head injuries 
  • Brain injuries 
  • Bone fractures 
  • Tinnitus or hearing loss. 
  • Knee injuries as well as elbow injuries 

How Common Are Whiplash Injuries?

Whiplash injuries are quite common, and this was partially the reason for the Whiplash Reform Programme to come into action on May 31st 2021. 

Statistics provided by the government and from the Reported road casualties in Great Britain provisional estimates for 2021 show that: 

  • Road traffic accident claims are more than 40% higher than in 2006
  • There were more than 550,000 whiplash claims made in 2019/20 alone.
  • 17,306 casualties of whiplash and neck pain in 2021. This was 26.1% of all casualties recorded that year.

Statistics are provisional estimates, so these can be subject to change.

How To Make A Passenger Whiplash Injury Claim 

Personal injury solicitors can assist you in acquiring evidence when beginning your passenger whiplash injury claim. Having sufficient evidence will significantly benefit your claim. 

There are two heads of claim. One of them is general damages. These cover the pain and suffering you have endured due to your injuries. A whiplash claim can be refused if you do not provide medical proof of your injuries, so it is significant to retain such.

Evidence to claim for this kind of compensation can include: 

  • Copies of medical records/photographs of the injury
  • CCTV/dashcam footage and witness contact details
  • A diary to illustrate the impact that your injury has had on you

When making a passenger whiplash injury claim, The Limitation Act 1980 outlines the time limit for making a personal injury claim. Generally, it is stated that you have three years from the date of your accident to start your claim though there are few exceptions to this. 

The limit is suspended if: 

  • A person is under eighteen when they sustain their injuries. They have three years from their eighteenth birthday to start their claim if a litigation friend has not already done so on their behalf. 
  • A person lacks the mental capacity to claim. In the event that they regain this, they have three years from the date of this event to make a claim, provided a litigation friend has not already made a claim for them. 

Passenger Whiplash Injury Claim Payout Amounts 

Special damages are another form of compensation you could claim. These cover the monetary losses you have experienced due to your injuries. These aim to restore you to your financial position prior to the car accident and injuries. 

These can cover: 

  • Loss of earnings
  • Transportation costs to treatment appointments
  • Medication costs

Evidence to prove these losses can be: 

  • Payslips
  • Public transport tickets
  • Bank statements and receipts 

Having sufficient evidence to show your monetary losses will be useful to you when trying to claim these kinds of damages in your passenger whiplash injury claim. 

Compensation calculators can provide a rough overview of compensation amounts. Although, these are also not definite figures and may not include some of the factors that would be considered when your damages were being decided. 

Calculating special damages may not be considered with a calculator as it is more catered to calculating general damage compensation. Although sometimes loss of earnings can be factored into this.

Alternatively, the Judicial College Guidelines provide solicitors with assistance when valuing personal injury claims. The figures are not guaranteed, however, so the numbers should only be used as a guide, as the outcome of your settlement may vary.

Injury Severity Notes Value
Back Injury Severe (a) (i) There is damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots. £91,090 to £160,980
Back Injury Severe (a) (ii) These have features of nerve root damage and loss of sensation. £74,160 to £88,430
Neck Injury Severe (i) Instances of incomplete paraplegia or having little/no movement in the neck. In the region of £148,330
Neck Injury Severe (a) (ii) Involves serious fractures/damage to discs in the cervical spine. £65,740 to £130,930
Neck Injury Severe (a) (iii) Involving fractures or dislocations and severe damage to soft tissues. £45,470 to £55,990
Neck Injury Moderate (b) (i) Including fractures and dislocations that possibly require spinal fusion. £24,990 to £38,490
Neck Injury Moderate (b) (ii) These are typically soft tissue/wrenching-type of injuries. £13,740 to £24,990
Neck Injury Moderate (b) (iii) These can be soft tissue injuries with a fairly protracted recovery period. £7,890 to £13,740
Whiplash (1)(a)-2(1)(b) The duration is more than 18 months, but 24 months maximum. £4,215 to £4,345
Whiplash (1)(a)-2(1)(b) The duration is more than 15 months, but 18 months maximum. £3,005 to £3,100

What Is The Whiplash Reform Programme?

The Whiplash Reform Programme is a change to the way that whiplash claims are handled. The Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 now state that if you are a driver or passenger in a road accident over eighteen and suffer whiplash or soft tissue injuries valued at £5,000 or less, you are now required to claim through the government’s Official Injury Claims Portal. 

The legislation sets the tariffs on what can be claimed for whiplash and soft tissue injuries. We have included two examples at the bottom of the table above. If your whiplash injury is accompanied by another injury that takes the total over £5000, you no longer need to claim using this specific portal. For more advice on how to claim for whiplash as a passenger after a car accident, call our helpful advisors now.

The fixed tariff may still be used even if you do not claim via this portal. 

Talk To Our Specialist Team 

Hiring solicitors on a No Win No Fee basis may be useful to you when making your passenger whiplash injury claim. Our panel of solicitors may choose to offer you this type of arrangement. 

A popular type of this arrangement is known as a Conditional Fee Agreement. Being involved in one of these arrangements usually means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not be required to pay for your solicitor’s services. 

In the event that your claim is successful, your solicitor is likely to take a success fee. 

A success fee is a deduction from the compensation you are awarded. However, this does not apply to future awards, and The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 caps this by law. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us about making your passenger whiplash injury claim. Our team of advisors are available to discuss your queries at any time. You can reach us by: 

Related Passenger Accident Claims 

Thank you for reading our guide on making a passenger whiplash injury claim. If you found our guide useful and would like to read more of our information, please check out more of our guides below: 

For even more information, you can explore the external resources linked below: