Council Compensation Claims

We work in partnership with National Accident Helpline, the UK's leading personal injury specialists.

Council Compensation Claims

Free, no obligation advice

Not sure if you have a valid claim? Contact us for free advice, with no obligation to proceed.

Council Compensation Claims

No win no fee guarantee

No win no fee* takes the risk out of making an injury claim. If you lose your case, you don't pay a penny.

Council Compensation Claims

Talk to the experts

We work in partnership with National Accident Helpline, the UK's leading personal injury experts.

Council Compensation Claims

Free, no obligation advice

Not sure if you have a valid claim? Contact us for free advice, with no obligation to proceed.

Council Compensation Claims

No win no fee guarantee

No win no fee takes the risk out of making an injury claim. If you lose your case, you don't pay a penny.

Council Compensation Claims

Talk to the experts

We work in partnership with National Accident Helpline, the UK's leading personal injury experts.

How long should a whiplash claim take to settle?

Whiplash is a neck injury common in road traffic accidents, especially rear-end collisions. It can also result from other incidents, such as sports injuries, falls or assaults. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and sometimes shoulder or back pain. For some people, it can lead to ongoing symptoms and take months or years to heal.

If you suffered a whiplash injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a claim. That could cover your pain, suffering, loss of amenity, and any financial losses resulting from the injury.

If you want to start a compensation claim or have questions such as ‘How long should a whiplash claim take?’, please call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser. Alternatively, you can enter your details into our online claim form to request a callback.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury to the neck that occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully jerked backwards and then forward. This sudden, forceful movement can strain or sprain the muscles and ligaments in the neck, leading to various symptoms such as pain, stiffness, decreased range of motion and neurological symptoms.

Whiplash commonly occurs in car accidents, particularly rear-end collisions, but it can also be sustained in sports injuries, falls, physical abuse or assaults. Treatment typically involves rest, pain management with over-the-counter medication, physical therapy, and sometimes wearing a collar for support.

Most people recover within a few weeks, but some may develop chronic pain or other long-term complications. You can find more information about the condition and how to claim compensation by visiting our whiplash compensation claims page.

Can I make a whiplash compensation claim?

If you suffered a whiplash injury due to someone else’s negligence, you might be able to claim compensation. The easiest way to determine if you can make a whiplash claim is by seeking legal advice from an experienced solicitor. They will ask you a few questions to determine whether:

  • Another party, which will be the defendant in your case, owed you a duty of care;
  • They breached their legal duty towards you
  • You suffered whiplash due to an accident caused by their negligence

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, a breach of duty will be based on various legislation. Examples include the Road Traffic Act 1988, the Occupiers Liability Act 1957, and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Remember that there is also a time limit to start your claim, which is typically three years after the accident or after you become aware of the injury.

Call 0800 678 1410 today to speak to a legal adviser and find out if you have a valid case or learn more about ‘How long do whiplash claims take to settle?’.

how long should a whiplash claim take?

What are the steps for claiming whiplash compensation, and how long do they take?

If you want to make a personal injury claim for compensation following a whiplash injury, these steps will ensure your claim will settle in the shortest time possible:

  • Talk to a personal injury solicitor. They can advise you on your legal options and guide you throughout the claims process.
  • Next, your solicitor will help you collate everything you need to support your claim. That could include medical records, photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, financial documents, and CCTV or dashcam footage. Depending on the complexity of the case, this process can take up to several months.
  • After determining all the details of your case and how much your claim is worth, your solicitor will send a formal letter of claim to the defendant with all the relevant information. They will have 14 days to acknowledge it and another four months to investigate the case and send you their response.
  • If the other party admits liability, you can begin to negotiate your compensation settlement. Negotiations can go back and forth for weeks or even months. If they deny liability, your solicitor will be prepared to take your case to court. In this event, it will likely take longer for your whiplash claim to settle.

If you suffered whiplash in a road accident, you are over 18, and you were the driver or passenger of the car or another motor vehicle, you can use the Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal to start your claim. You can do this yourself or with the help of a claims professional. However, you should not use this portal if your claim is worth over £5,000, you cannot identify the party at fault, or you are a cyclist, motorcyclist, pedestrian or horse rider.

How long do whiplash claims take to settle?

How long should a whiplash claim take? You might worry that you will need to invest too much time and effort into seeking the compensation you are rightfully owed, which might be discouraging. However, you can rest assured that if you work with an experienced solicitor, they will settle your claim in the shortest time possible while handling all communication on your behalf. This way, you can focus on recovery without worrying about the legal aspects of the case.

How long your claim may take to settle will depend on various aspects of your circumstances, which will be detailed in the section below. As a general rule, straightforward cases where liability is admitted right away can be settled within three months. If you were injured in a road accident and made your claim through the OIC portal, you could receive your compensation even faster.

However, it could take much longer to settle if your case is more complex or there are liability disputes. In this event, a whiplash claim could take anywhere from several months to several years.

What can impact the duration of a personal injury claim?

How long it takes to settle a whiplash claim can be affected by various factors, including:

  • The severity of the injury. The extent of the whiplash damage can influence how long it takes to recover and resolve the claim. You may also have other injuries, which can make the process more complicated.
  • Liability disputes. Disputes over who is at fault for the accident leading to the whiplash injury can prolong the claim process.
  • The evidence. Obtaining and reviewing medical evidence, such as diagnosis, treatment plans, and prognosis, can affect the timeline of the claim. If the defendant denies liability, you will also need to gather further proof to support your case, such as witness statements and expert testimony.
  • The complexity of the case. Claims involving multiple parties, complex legal issues, or disputed facts may take longer to resolve as they require a more thorough investigation.
  • Whether you know the defendant. If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident and cannot identify the at-fault driver or you were the victim of a violent crime, it may take longer to process your claim and receive compensation.
  • Insurance companies. Dealing with insurance companies, including processing paperwork and negotiating settlements, can be time-consuming. They may also conduct their separate investigations, leading to delays.
  • Negotiations. Negotiating a fair compensation amount can sometimes be challenging and may require multiple rounds of offers and counteroffers.
  • Court proceedings. If the claim cannot be resolved through negotiation and requires court proceedings, it can significantly extend the duration of the claim.
  • Appeals. Either party may appeal the court’s decision, further prolonging the claims process.

Your solicitor will have to consider all of these factors before accurately answering the question, ‘How long does it take to settle a whiplash claim?’.

What can I do to speed up the whiplash claims process?

There are a few things you can do if you want to help ensure a timely resolution of your claim. This includes:

  • Report the accident to the relevant authorities, such as the police, as soon as possible after it occurs.
  • Seek medical attention soon after the accident, even if symptoms of whiplash are not immediately apparent. Receiving timely treatment can strengthen your case.
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s advice for treatment and rehabilitation. Failure to adhere to medical advice could weaken your claim.
  • Contact a personal injury solicitor without delay so they can help you build a strong claim and settle early.
  • Document everything from the beginning. Keep detailed and organised records of medical treatment, expenses, and other losses related to the accident.
  • Cooperate fully with any investigations conducted by the police or other parties involved in the claim process.
  • Provide your solicitor with all the necessary documents, and be honest and thorough with all the information they ask about your case.
  • Maintain open and effective communication with your solicitor throughout the claims process. Keep them informed of any developments or changes in your situation.
  • Be willing to consider a reasonable settlement offer from the defendant instead of taking your case to court.

While it is natural to want a quick resolution to your claim, it is essential to remain patient and realistic about the time it may take to reach a fair settlement. Your solicitor will do their best to obtain the maximum compensation on your behalf in the shortest time possible.

Will it take longer to settle if I claim through the MIB or the CICA?

The Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) compensates victims of road accidents involving uninsured or untraceable drivers. Likewise, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) provides compensation to victims of violent crimes. Both organisations exist to ensure that innocent victims of wrongdoing are compensated for their pain, suffering, and financial losses.

If you make a claim through the MIB or the CICA, it may take longer to settle than a standard personal injury claim. That is because the specific types of claims these organisations handle involve additional complexities.

Both the MIB and the CICA may want to gather evidence from the police and conduct their own investigations before awarding compensation, which could lengthen the claims process. However, exactly how long it will take to receive your settlement will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.

Will my whiplash claim settle faster if I use the Official Injury Claim (OIC) Portal?

The OIC portal is designed to expedite the settlement process for personal injury claims in which the damages for pain and suffering are under £5,000, and the total value of the claim does not exceed £10,000. It sets a clear timetable for the resolution of the case, such as:

  • The defendant has 20 working days to make a settlement offer from the time you have made your claim;
  • If you are not happy with their offer, you can make a counteroffer three times, and the other party has ten working days to respond to each of your proposals;
  • Once you have accepted an offer, the defendant has ten working days to make the payment.

If the other party admits liability for your injury and you can agree on a settlement, your claim could be resolved within a month. If they deny responsibility or you cannot settle the claim, you can take your case to court, significantly prolonging the process.

How much compensation could I claim for whiplash?

Following the Whiplash Reform Programme, if you were injured on or after 31st May 2021, the compensation you could receive will be based on a fixed tariff. This tariff applies to injuries that last up to two years and is as follows:

  • £246 for whiplash that lasts up to 3 months;
  • £495 for whiplash that lasts between 3 and 6 months;
  • £840 for whiplash that lasts more than 6 months but not more than 9 months;
  • £1,320 for whiplash that lasts between 9 and 12 months;
  • £2,040 for whiplash that lasts between 12 and 15 months;
  • £3,005 for whiplash lasting between 15 and 18 months;
  • £4,215 for whiplash that lasts between 18 and 24 months.

If you have suffered more severe whiplash, your solicitor will calculate the amount of compensation you should receive based on the pain, suffering and financial losses you incurred as a result of your injury. For example, you could get £36,240 to £44,630 for a severe injury causing chronic symptoms.

How long will it take to receive my compensation once the claim has been settled?

If you win your whiplash injury claim, the terms of the settlement agreement will typically outline when and how compensation will be paid. This deadline is set whether your case settles in or out of court. As a general rule, it should take between two weeks and a month to receive your compensation from the defendant.

If you use the OIC portal to make your claim, it states that the other side should make the payment within ten working days once you have accepted their settlement offer. If they fail to deposit your compensation within this timeframe, your solicitor will contact them to learn why.

If you want to make a claim for whiplash or find out how long a whiplash claim should take to settle, contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible. You can do this by calling free on 0800 678 1410 or using our contact form to request a call back.

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