Whiplash or soft tissue injury claims
Whiplash or soft tissue injury claims

The following PI & Clinical Negligence practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Whiplash or soft tissue injury claims
  • Medical issues
  • Valuing whiplash claims
  • Changes to whiplash claims handling
  • Fraudulent claims

STOP PRESS: A new RTA small claims protocol for whiplash claims comes into effect for accidents occurring on or after 31 May 2021. The small claims track limit for personal injury claims arising from an RTA is increased to £5000 in respect of general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity for whiplash injuries (subject to certain exceptions). For further details see: The RTA small claims protocol—key features checklist

Whiplash claims (also commonly referred to as soft tissue injury claims) are caused by an impact to a vehicle, which results in its sudden acceleration and which causes a violent extension to the claimants neck. Whilst the claimant's body remains restrained, their head is thrown backwards and the neck extends. This vigorous movement of the head damages the ligaments and tendons in the neck. Tendons are tough, fibrous bands that connect muscles to bone. Ligaments are the fibrous connective tissues that link two bones together at a joint.

Medical issues

The symptoms associated with whiplash injuries include:

  1. neck pain

  2. headache

  3. back pain

  4. shoulder pain

  5. concussion

  6. shock

  7. jaw pain

  8. psychological injuries, such as travel anxiety and nightmares

A number of factors can contribute to the severity of a whiplash injury including:

The respective weight of both vehicles If a heavier vehicle collides with a lighter vehicle a larger impact occurs than if both
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